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Armed Conflict: Recruitment Of Children

Volume 589: debated on Thursday 7 May 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their view on the proposal made by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict that recruiting children under the age of 15 into the armed forces or fighting groups, and causing them to take part in hostilities, should be made a war crime; and whether they will raise this matter at the plenary meeting on the International Criminal Court in June. [HL1658]

It is the view of the Government that, in armed conflicts, recruiting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or, in internal armed conflict, armed groups, or using them to participate actively in hostilities constitutes a war crime. At the last meeting of the Preparatory Committee on the International Criminal Court we lobbied in support of the proposal that these acts should be included among the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. We will continue to do so.