Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
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Declaration made upon ratification on 13.12.2004:

The Federal Republic of Germany declares that it considers a minimum age of 17 years to be binding for the voluntary recruitment of soldiers into its armed forces under the terms of Article 3 paragraph 2 of the Optional Protocol. Persons under the age of 18 years shall be recruited into the armed forces solely for the purpose of commencing military training.

The protection of voluntary recruits under the age of 18 years in connection with their decision to join the armed forces is ensured by the need to obtain the consent of their legal guardian and the indispensable requirement that they present an identification card or passport as a reliable proof of their age.

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Objection made on 21.09.2020 to the interpretative declaration made by Myanmar upon ratification (Original: English):

“The Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honor to inform the Secretary-General, in his capacity as depositary of the Optional Protocol of May 25, 2000 to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (hereinafter "the Optional Protocol"), that the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has carefully examined the interpretative declaration made by the Republic of the Union of Myanmar upon ratification of the Optional Protocol on September 27, 2019.

1) Objection

By maintaining that any responsibility deriving from recruitment of children under 18 years of age or their use in hostilities by non-state armed groups lies solely with such groups, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, in its declaration, purports to modify the legal effect of Article 4(2) and Article 6 of the Optional Protocol in their application to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The Federal Government therefore qualifies the first sentence of this interpretative declaration as a reservation under Article 2(1)(d) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

In accordance with Article 4(2) of the Optional Protocol, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to prevent the recruitment and use of persons below the age of 18 years in hostilities, including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.

Under Article 6 of the Optional Protocol, each State Party shall take all necessary legal, administrative and other measures to ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the present Protocol within its jurisdiction. The States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the present Protocol widely known and promoted by appropriate means, to adults and children alike. They shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to the present Protocol are demobilized or otherwise released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to such persons all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.

It is incompatible with the object and purpose of Article 4(2) and Article 6 of the Optional Protocol to assign any responsibility arising from the recruitment of children under the age of 18 or their use in hostilities by non-state armed groups solely to those groups.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany recalls that, according to customary international law as codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, reservations that are incompatible with the object and purpose of a convention are not permissible.

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany therefore objects to the above-mentioned reservation by the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Optional Protocol. This objection shall not preclude the entry into force of the Optional Protocol between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar in its entirety. The Optional Protocol will thus become operative between the two States without the Republic of the Union of Myanmar benefitting from the aforementioned reservation.

2) Declaration

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany understands the second and the third sentence of the interpretive declaration made by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to mean that all ethnic armed groups in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar also have a duty to apply at all times the principles governing international humanitarian law.”
06.09.2000

13.12.2004

13.12.2004
21.09.2020