Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section E. Rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers
In 2011, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Venezuela stated:
Implementation of the  Optional Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict]. Case of the Hacienda Daktary paramilitary forces
110. Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Optional Protocol provides that “States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to this Protocol are demobilized or otherwise released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to these persons all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.”
111. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was the first State party to implement the Optional Protocol, thus fulfilling its obligation to comply with international human rights instruments. It has been recognized by organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to protect children and adolescents. It has implemented its comprehensive protection systems to safeguard the human rights of children and adolescents, providing them appropriate treatment as victims at all times. This was the case in 2004, when paramilitary forces that included adolescents were discovered at a property near Caracas.
112. On 9 May 2004, Colombian paramilitary forces were found between the municipalities of El Hatillo and Baruta, in the Bolivarian state of Miranda, near Caracas, on an estate known as Daktary. The incident triggered the intervention of the authorities concerned.
113. The Directorate-General for Human Rights of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Justice, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Autonomous Institute and National Council on the Rights of Children and Adolescents (formerly the National Council on the Rights of Children and Adolescents), among others, intervened to protect the rights of the adolescents who were detained in the municipality of El Hatillo due to their participation in the armed group.
114. In May 2004, representatives of the Directorate-General for Human Rights asked the Directorate-General for Intelligence and Prevention to assess the situation of the adolescents who had been detained. Medical examinations were conducted to evaluate their health at the time of their detention and rule out possible injuries or trauma. The results were satisfactory.
115. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela contacted the appropriate parties in order to inform UNICEF of the purpose of its actions, which was to protect the rights of all children and adolescents on Venezuelan soil and comply with international conventions on the matter.
116. On 24 May 2004, the Child and Adolescent Protection Board of the Libertador municipal government decided, in Resolution No. 0905-2004:
117. That the adolescents should be repatriated, and the protective order for institutional custody should be revoked.
118. The Military Attorney General, Colonel Eladio Ramón Aponte, was instructed to formally hand the adolescents over to their country of origin, in the presence of national and international organizations such as UNICEF, the Family Welfare Institute of Colombia, the National Council on the Rights of Children and Adolescents, the Public Prosecution Service, the Executive Branch and the Child and Adolescent Protection Board of the Libertador municipal government.
119. The assistance of UNICEF was requested, to help the Government of Colombia enrol the adolescents and their families in rehabilitation and social reintegration programmes.
120. The adolescents were granted permission to travel to Bogotá, Colombia, in the company of an appointed delegation, as well as of the Military Attorney General, who served as their guardian.
121. On 27 May 2004, the adolescents were formally handed over to the Colombian authorities. Throughout the process, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela displayed the utmost respect for their human rights. The handover was witnessed by representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Colombia and the adolescents’ families. All of these actions were carried out in observance of both the Optional Protocol — specifically, articles 6 and 7 — and the  Convention on the Rights of the Child.