Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed ConflictFirst Optional Protocolinvolvement of children in armed conflictOPAC treatyOptional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on children in armed conflictUnited Nations Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC), also known as the child soldier treaty, is a multilateral treaty whereby states agree to: 1) prohibit the conscription into the military of children under the age of 18; 2) ensure that military recruits are no younger than 16; and 3) prevent recruits aged 16 or 17 from taking a direct part in hostilities.wikipedia
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Children in the military

child soldierschild soldierMilitary use of children
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC), also known as the child soldier treaty, is a multilateral treaty whereby states agree to: 1) prohibit the conscription into the military of children under the age of 18; 2) ensure that military recruits are no younger than 16; and 3) prevent recruits aged 16 or 17 from taking a direct part in hostilities.
Since the adoption in 2000 of the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC) the global trend has been towards restricting armed forces recruitment to adults aged 18 or over, known as the Straight-18 standard.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the ChildUN Convention on the Rights of the ChildCRC
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the treaty as a supplementary protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child by resolution 54/263 on 25 May 2000. By 1994, five years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, children's rights advocates and sympathetic governments had persuaded the international community to establish a working group of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
The First Optional Protocol restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the [[Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography|Second Optional Protocol]] prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Military recruitment

recruitrecruitingrecruits
77.2). The new Protocols prohibited the military recruitment of children aged under 15 and their direct participation in hostilities, but continued to allow state armed forces and non-state armed groups to recruit children from age 15 and use them in warfare.
Most states which recruit children under the age of 18 have undertaken not to deploy them routinely on military operations, having ratified the OPAC treaty.

Committee on the Rights of the Child

UN Committee on the Rights of the ChildUnited Nations Committee on the Rights of the ChildCommittee
The study was proposed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, commissioned by the UN General Assembly, and produced by Graça Machel in 1996: Impact of armed conflict on children.
The Committee also monitors the Convention's three optional protocols: the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the [[Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography]] and the [[Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure]].

Child Soldiers International

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child SoldiersCoalition to Stop Child Soldiers
As negotiations on the new treaty stalled in 1998, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (now known as Child Soldiers International) was established by six human rights and humanitarian organizations (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre des Hommes, Jesuit Refugee Service, the Quaker United Nations Office (Geneva) and Save the Children).
According to UN documents, in relation to the adoption and enforcement of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Child Soldiers International plays "a key role in ensuring implementation at every level."

Australian Defence Force Cadets

Australian Defence Force Cadets ranks
The Australian Defence Force Cadets follows the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict but still accepts cadets between the ages of 13–18 (except staff) and sometimes brings them onto ADF bases.
While the Australian Defence Force Cadets is sponsored by ADF (Australian Defence Force) and runs under a similar rank structure, uniform and training activities, the ADFC is not an official branch of the Defence Force and runs in accordance with the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict which Australia has signed.

Multilateral treaty

treatymultilateralmultilateral agreement
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC), also known as the child soldier treaty, is a multilateral treaty whereby states agree to: 1) prohibit the conscription into the military of children under the age of 18; 2) ensure that military recruits are no younger than 16; and 3) prevent recruits aged 16 or 17 from taking a direct part in hostilities.

Violent non-state actor

non-state actorsnon-state armed groupsarmed groups
77.2). The new Protocols prohibited the military recruitment of children aged under 15 and their direct participation in hostilities, but continued to allow state armed forces and non-state armed groups to recruit children from age 15 and use them in warfare. The treaty also forbids non-state armed groups from recruiting anyone under the age of 18 for any purpose.

United Nations General Assembly

General AssemblyUN General AssemblyGeneral Assembly of the United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the treaty as a supplementary protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child by resolution 54/263 on 25 May 2000. The study was proposed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, commissioned by the UN General Assembly, and produced by Graça Machel in 1996: Impact of armed conflict on children.

United Nations General Assembly resolution

resolutionGeneral Assembly resolutionUN General Assembly Resolution
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the treaty as a supplementary protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child by resolution 54/263 on 25 May 2000.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
In World War I, in Great Britain 250,000 boys under 18 managed to join the army.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
In World War II, child soldiers fought throughout Europe, in the Warsaw Uprising, in the Jewish resistance, and in the Soviet Army.

Warsaw Uprising

Warsaw RisingWarsawGerman occupation of Warsaw
In World War II, child soldiers fought throughout Europe, in the Warsaw Uprising, in the Jewish resistance, and in the Soviet Army.

Jewish resistance in German-occupied Europe

Jewish resistanceJewish resistance movementJewish resistance under Nazi rule
In World War II, child soldiers fought throughout Europe, in the Warsaw Uprising, in the Jewish resistance, and in the Soviet Army.

Soviet Army

Soviet Ground ForcesSovietRed Army
In World War II, child soldiers fought throughout Europe, in the Warsaw Uprising, in the Jewish resistance, and in the Soviet Army.

Cold War

The Cold WarCold War eraCold-War
After the Cold War ended, the number of armed conflicts grew and the use of children for military purposes surged, affecting as many as 300,000 children worldwide annually by the end of the 1990s.

Military

armed forcesdefensedefence
77.2). The new Protocols prohibited the military recruitment of children aged under 15 and their direct participation in hostilities, but continued to allow state armed forces and non-state armed groups to recruit children from age 15 and use them in warfare.

United Nations Commission on Human Rights

UN Commission on Human RightsUnited Nations Human Rights CommissionUN Human Rights Commission
By 1994, five years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, children's rights advocates and sympathetic governments had persuaded the international community to establish a working group of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Bangladesh

People's Republic of BangladeshBangladeshiBangla Desh
While the large majority of states negotiating the protocol were willing to end all military recruitment of children under the age of 18 (the so-called "straight-18" principle), a small number were opposed: Bangladesh, Cuba, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

Cuba

Republic of CubaCubanCUB
While the large majority of states negotiating the protocol were willing to end all military recruitment of children under the age of 18 (the so-called "straight-18" principle), a small number were opposed: Bangladesh, Cuba, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

Israel

State of IsraelIsraeliISR
While the large majority of states negotiating the protocol were willing to end all military recruitment of children under the age of 18 (the so-called "straight-18" principle), a small number were opposed: Bangladesh, Cuba, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

South Korea

Republic of KoreaKoreaKOR
While the large majority of states negotiating the protocol were willing to end all military recruitment of children under the age of 18 (the so-called "straight-18" principle), a small number were opposed: Bangladesh, Cuba, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

Kuwait

State of KuwaitKuwaitiKWT
While the large majority of states negotiating the protocol were willing to end all military recruitment of children under the age of 18 (the so-called "straight-18" principle), a small number were opposed: Bangladesh, Cuba, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).