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Children's Rights

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) changes have been made and (b) guidance has been issued by the Director General of Service Personnel Policy on bringing law and policy relating to under-18s into line with UK obligations under (i) the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and (ii) other international guidelines. [112629]

Our existing policy and procedures for recruitment were already in line with our obligations. We have a policy to ensure that no under 18s are deployed on UN peacekeeping operations and no under 18s carry out operational patrols in Northern Ireland, and last year we introduced a policy whereby no under 18 soldiers may be deployed on operations outside the United Kingdom unless they are of a purely humanitarian nature and no hostile forces are involved.