Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Children shall be protected against any form of indecent assault. Children shall be provided with the care and aid they require, because of their age.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “children are entitled to special protection. The parties to a conflict should give them the care and help they need.”
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states: “Children should be the object of special respect and protected against any form of indecent assault. Children should be given the care and help they need because of their age.”
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
1060. Children must receive the care and help that they need.
1061. This involves: receiving an upbringing, including religious and moral, in accordance with the wishes of the parents or carers; facilitating the reuniting of families whose members have been temporarily separated; not being called up for service in the armed forces or armed groups, if they are under the age of fifteen; not allowing them to participate in the hostilities; special protection for such children if, despite the foregoing, they have taken part in hostilities and have been taken prisoner; and adopting measures (including temporary escorting, by adults responsible for their safety and wellbeing, as far as possible with the consent of their parents or carers) whenever children have to be transferred outside the area of hostilities to a safer part of the country.
Upon ratification of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Netherlands stated: “In times of armed conflict, provisions shall prevail that are most conducive to guaranteeing the protection of children under international law.”