Protection Risk: Forced Recruitment and Association of Children in Armed Forces and Groups

This protection risk refers to all situations in which a person is compelled to serve in the forces of a hostile power, by means of coercion, threats or other means. FThe forced recruitment is prohibited by the Hague regulations, the third and fourth Geneva Cconvention, repeated in the list of war crimes in the Statue of the International Criminal Court and according to Rule 95 of the ICRC’s Customary International Humanitarian Law Study is considered a specific type of forced labour that is prohibited in international armed conflicts. If the victim is a child, the recruitment is always considered forced because of the impossibility for a child to give free and informed consent. A child associated with an armed force or armed group refers to any person below 18 years of age who is, or who has been, recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to those used as fighters, cooks, porters, spies or for sexual purposes. The recruitment and use of children is considered as one of the worst forms of child labour, and is listed as one of the six grave violations of children’s rights according to the monitoring and reporting mechanisms established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1612.