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Model legislative provisions on the recruitment or use of children in armed conflict

23-05-2013

Annex XVII to the Manual on Domestic Implementation of IHL. This document suggests model legislative provisions to be used by States as guidance in the drafting of legislation prohibiting the recruitment or use of children in armed conflict.

Annex XVII to the Manual on Domestic Implementation of IHL.

The Model Provisions offers two possible approaches:

  • Option 1, which encapsulates what is widely known as the “straight 18” approach goes beyond the individual requirements of international treaty and customary law and offers a broader scope of protection by prohibiting all recruitment of persons under the age of 18 by armed forces or armed groups, and their participation in hostilities;
  • Option 2, which follows more strictly the existing provisions in treaty and custom.


Annex XVII is divided into four parts:

  • Part I contains the text of the model legislative provisions;
  • Part II offers commentary on the text of the model legislative provisions, citing sources of international law and national legislation and practice;
  • Part III indicates the relevant sections in the sources of international law; and
  • Part IV sets out the relevant national legislation and other practice.


Although this document might prove particularly adapted to common law countries, it should also be seen as a useful "checklist" in civil law countries.


It has been developed as a complement to Annex XVI to the Manual : "Guiding Principles for the Domestic Implementation of a Comprehensive System of Protection for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed groups".