Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children

Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts
The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts provides:
Article 6:
3. States Parties 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 …
Article 7:
1. States Parties shall cooperate in the implementation of the present Protocol, including in the prevention of any activity contrary thereto and in the rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons who are victims of acts contrary thereto, including through technical cooperation and financial assistance. Such assistance and cooperation will be undertaken in consultation with the States Parties concerned and the relevant international organizations. 
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 54/263, 25 May 2000, Annex I, Articles 6(3) and 7(1).
Ouagadougou Political Agreement between the Presidency of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces Nouvelles of Côte d’Ivoire
The 2007 Ouagadougou Political Agreement between the Presidency of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces Nouvelles of Côte d’Ivoire provides:
Preamble
At the invitation of His Excellency Mister Blaise Compaoré, President of Burkina Faso, in his capacity as incumbent Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), acting upon the latter’s express mandate, two delegations of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, one representing the President of the Republic and the other the Forces Nouvelles, met in Ouagadougou from 5 February to 3 March 2007 …
After identifying the problems encountered in the implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis, Accra and Pretoria Agreements, as well as of the UN resolutions on Côte d’Ivoire, the Parties, with a view to taking decisions, reaffirmed:
- their commitment to the Linas-Marcoussis, Accra and Pretoria Agreements;
- their commitment to all UN resolutions on Côte d’Ivoire, in particular to UN Security Council resolutions 1633 (2005) and 1721 (2006).
In order to facilitate the implementation of the Agreements and the resolutions addressed above, notably resolution 1721 (2006), the Parties have taken the following decisions:
III. On the defence and security forces of Côte d’Ivoire
3.3. Civic service
3.3.1. The two (2) Parties agree that the civic service, intended to supervise all the young people and to train them with a view to employment, shall equally welcome all the young people who have familiarized themselves with the handling of weapons for the needs of the war, with the aim to supervise and train them for future civilian or military employment. 
Ouagadougou Political Agreement between the Presidency of Côte d’Ivoire and the Forces Nouvelles of Côte d’Ivoire, having met at Ouagadougou from 5 February to 3 March 2007, Ouagadougou, 4 March 2007, preamble and Section III., § 3.3.1.
N’Djamena Declaration on Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups
In June 2010, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan adopted the N’Djamena Declaration and agreed as follows:
Reiterating our concern regarding the precarious situation of children affected by conflict and the consistent presence of children within armed forces and groups in our region;
Recalling the 1997 Cape Town Principles and Best Practices on the Recruitment of Children into Armed Forces and on Demobilization and Social Reintegration of Children in Africa;
Recalling the 2007 Paris Commitments to Protect Children Unlawfully Recruited or Used by Armed Forces or Armed Groups and the Paris Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups; and subsequent annual forums to assess the implementation of the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles and exchange information on lessons learnt and next steps;
Recognizing that States have the primary responsibility of ensuring, without discrimination, the security and protection of all children living on their national territory, …
We pledge:
3. To ensure that children formerly associated with armed forces and groups are treated as victims not as perpetrators, and are supported with appropriate rehabilitation and reintegration packages;
6. To establish programs of psychological rehabilitation, socio-educational and economic reintegration consistent with international standards, and promote the culture of peace, tolerance, dialogue and national unity. 
N’Djamena Declaration adopted at the Regional Conference on Ending Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Forces and Groups: Contributing to Peace, Justice and Development, signed by Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Sudan, N’Djamena, 7–9 June 2010, Preamble and §§ 3 and 6.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states with regard to the protection of children: “If they … take part in the fighting and fall into enemy hands, they shall be entitled to [special protection].” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 53.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Decree on the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, CONADER, (2003), provides:
First Article:
A National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, CONADER, is created.
Article 3:
The CONADER comprises five Directorates, namely:
- the Directorate for Disarmament and Demobilization;
- the Directorate for the Reintegration of Ex-combatants;
- the Directorate for Finances and Personnel;
- the Directorate for Children Associated with the Armed Forces;
- the Directorate for Information and Sensibilization.
Article 7:
The Directorate for Children Associated with the Armed Forces is charged with:
- planification and identification;
- psychosocial support;
- conception and implementation of mechanisms of rehabilitation and/or family reintegration;
- identification of national and international partners in the sector. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Decree on the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, 2003, Articles 1, 3 and 7.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Law on Child Protection (2009) states:
Article 71
The State ensures the demobilization of children enlisted or used in armed forces and groups, as well as in the police, and their reintegration into their families or communities.
Article 73
The State shall ensure the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in a difficult and/or exceptional situation. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Law on Child Protection, 2009, Articles 71 and 73.
The Law also states:
Article 2
For the purpose of the present law, it is understood as:
1. child: every person under the age of 18;
5. child in an exceptional situation: a child in a situation of armed conflict[.] 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Law on Child Protection, 2009, Article 2(1) and (5).
Kenya
Kenya’s Children Act (2001) states: “It shall be the responsibility of the Government to provide protection, rehabilitation care, recovery and re-integration into normal social life for any child who may become a victim of armed conflict or natural disaster.” 
Kenya, Children Act, 2001, § 10(3).
Liberia
Liberia’s Act to Establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005) states:
Preamble
Considering that the civil conflict was generally characterized by gross violations of human rights and the widespread commission of gruesome and heinous crimes against humanity in further violation of international humanitarian laws and standards.
Article IV. Mandate of the Commission
Section 4. The objectives/purpose of the Commission shall be to promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation by:
(e) Adopting specific mechanisms and procedures to address the experiences of … children … , paying particular attention to … the issue of child soldiers, providing opportunities for them to relate their experiences, addressing concerns and recommending measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations in the spirit of national reconciliation and healing. 
Liberia, Act to Establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2005, Preamble and Article IV, Section 4.
The Act also states:
The TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] … functions and powers shall include … :
(f) Helping restore the human dignity of victims and promote reconciliation by providing an opportunity for victims, witnesses, and others to give an account of the violations and abuses suffered and for perpetrators to relate their experiences, in an environment conducive to constructive interchange between victims and perpetrators, giving special attention to the … experiences of children … during armed conflicts in Liberia. 
Liberia, Act to Establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2005, Article VII, Section 26.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism (Surrendees Care and Rehabilitation) Regulations (2011) states:
10. (1) The Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation shall, in consultation with the District Secretary of any District, the relevant Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services and the Chairman, National Child Protection Authority, take steps to i[]dentify suitable locations for the establishment of –
(a) Protective Child Accommodation Centres for the purpose of accommodating any person under eighteen years of age, (hereinafter referred to as a “child surrendee”) who surrenders or is arrested in terms of paragraph (3) of this regulation; and
(b) Protective Child Rehabilitation Centres for the purpose of providing care, psychosocial support, and vocational and other training for the facilitation of the process of re-integration of a child surrendee into his family, community and into society.
(2) As and when such locations are identified as provided for in paragraph (1), the Commissioner-General shall by Notification published in the Gazette, specify the type of Centre being established and the location at which such Centre has been established.
(3) Where a person under eighteen years of age –
(a) who … has been forcibly recruited as a combatant in an armed conflict … or
(b) who has committed or is suspected of having committed an offence during any period in which he … was forcibly recruited as a combatant in an armed conflict … or
(c) who through fear of threats or reprisals by any party to the said armed conflict, or who through fear of … being forcibly recruited as a combatant in an armed conflict …
surrenders to, or is arrested by, any police officer or any member of the armed forces or surrenders to any public officer or any other person or body of persons authorized by the President in that behalf, such police officer or member of the armed forces or public officer or other person or body of person authorized by the President, shall record the statement of such child surrendee and the circumstances in which such child surrendee surrendered or was arrested.
13. (1) Where the child surrendee has surrendered to or has been arrested by, the police, or has been produced at the police station by any member of the armed forces or by any pubilc officer or any person or body of persons authorized by the President, the officer in charge of such police station shall forthwith take all measures to inform the parents or guardian of such child surrendee, the Probation Officer and the Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority for such area, of the fact of such surrender and shall within twenty four hours of such surrender produce such child surrendee before the relevant Magistrate.
(2) The Magistrate before whom such child surrendee is produced shall –
(c) order such Probation Officer to prepare, in consultation with the Child Rights Promotion officer and the Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority for the area, within one month of the date on which such child surrendee was produced before him, a social inquiry report wherein the immediate and long term needs of the child surrendee are clearly set out;
(d) return the child surrendee to the charge, care and custody of his parents or guardians or make order that the child surrendee be placed in a Protective Child Accommodation Centre, for a period of one month, supported and monitored by the Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services and forthwith communicate to the Commissioner/General of Rehabilitation the address at which such child surrendee is to be accommodated:
Provided however that where there is evidence the child surendee has engage[d] in an[] armed conflict as a combatant, the magistrate shall refer him to a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre for a period of one year for the purpose of assessment.
14. (1) Where the child surrendee has been accommodated in a Protective Child Accommodation Centre, the Magistrate shall, at the end of the period of one month referred to in sub-paragraph (d) of the paragraph (2) of regulation 13 determine, having regard to the results of such examination and interview, and the social inquiry report referred to in subparagraph (c) of paragraph (2) of regulation 13 and with the assistance of the police –
(a) whether such child surrendee should be returned to the charge, care and custody of his parents or guardians;
(b) whether such child surrendee should be accommodated for a period not exceeding one year in a Protective Child Accommodation Centre under the care and supervision of the Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child care Services; or
(c) whether such child surrendee should be place[d] in a “Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre”, for a period not exceeding one year:
Provided that, where there is evidence that the child surendee has committed an offence during any period in which he was recruited as a combatant, the Magistrate shall place him in a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre for period not exceeding one year:
Provided further, the Magistrate may in the exercise of his powers of review referred to above, in respect of such child surendee require the person in charge of the Protective Child [A]ccommodation Centre in which such child is placed, to forward to him quarterly reports in respect of such child.
(2) (a) In arriving at the determination referred to in paragraph (1) the Magistrate shall have regard –
(i) to the necessity to ensure the protection and the best interests of the child surrendee; and
(ii) the need to effect family reunification or placement within the extended family, taking into consideration the necessity to ensure at all times, the safety of the child surrendee and his family.
(b) Upon the making of his determination, the Magistrate shall forthwith cause a copy of his determination along with his recommendation as to the period for which the child surrendee is to be accommodated at the Protective Child Accommodation Centre or the Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre, as the case may be, and the address of the place where such child surrendee is accommodated, kept or resides, to be communicated to the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation.
15. The Magistrate before whom a child surrendee is produced under the provisions of this regulation or who arrives at a determination under the provisions of paragraph (2) of regulation 13, shall direct that child friendly procedures are adopted –
(b) at the Protective Child Accommodation Centre and the Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre to which the child surrendee may be sent,
and shall also ensure that the child surrendee is treated with courtesy, consideration and kindness.
16. (1) If the Magistrate orders that such child surrendee be returned to his parents or guardian he shall order that the Probation Officer supported by the Child Rights Promotion Officer or the Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority, monitor the process of re-integration of such child surrendee into his family and into society, along with his progress thereafter for a period of one year from the date of return to his parents or guardian. Such Probation Officer, Child Rights Promotion Officer or Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority as the case may be, shall undertake monthly visits to such child surrendee and forward monthly reports on his progress to the Court, as well as to the Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services.
(2) The Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services shall take all measures to ensure that the child will benefit from the reintegration services available in the district. Such reintegration services shall be co-ordinated by the Chairman of the District Child Development Committee (DCDC) in collaboration with other child protection agencies in the District. …
(3) The Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services shall forward quarterly reports on the progress of such child to the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation.
17. Where the Magistrate orders that a child surrendee shall be accommodated at a Protective Child Accommodation Centre, such Magistrate shall, if such Protective Child Accommodation Centre is located in a judicial division other than the judicial division over which such Magistrate has jurisdiction, transfer the record relating to such child surrendee to the Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area in which such Protective Child Accommodation Centre is located.
18. (1) The officer in charge of the Protective Child Accommodation Centre at which such child surrendee is accommodated, shall –
(a) cause such child surrendee to be examined by a medical officer and take necessary measures to provide him with necessary health care;
(b) provide him with psychosocial counselling in accordance with the needs of such child surrendee i[]dentified in the social inquiry report, required under regulation 16;
(c) facilitate and encourage visits by and contact with the family at least once in every two weeks;
(d) provide the necessary physical care and sustenance for the child;
(e) assist the child to obtain the necessary identification and other documents which he is lawfully entitled to obtain and which he does not presently possess;
(g) prepare monthly reports and submit them to the Magistrate, the Probation Officer and the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation which reports shall contain information regarding any changes on the current status of the child surrendee, the training and facilities being accorded to him and the progress of such child surrendee;
(2) The officer in charge of the Protective Child Accommodation Centre shall maintain a record substantially in Form No. 4 specified in the Schedule to these regulations.
19. The Magistrate to whom the reports referred to in regulation 18 are submitted, shall take all such measures as may be necessary to monitor the progress of such child surrendee and, where he is of the opinion that it would be more appropriate for such child surrendee to be accommodated at a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre or returned to the custody, care and control of his parents, or guardian, transfer such child surrendee to such Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre or return him to the custody, care and control of his parents.
20. Where the Magistrate orders that such child surrendee be acc[]ommodated at a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre, or that such child surrendee be returned to the custody, care and control of his parents or guardian, he shall cause –
(a) the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation to be informed of the address of the place to which such child surrendee has been transferred or sent; and
(b) a certified copy of his order to be issued to the parents or the guardian as the case may be and also to the police.
21. If the Magistrate orders that a child surrendee be placed in a Protective Child Rehabilita[ti]on Centre and if such Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre is located in a judicial division other than the judicial division over which such Magistrate has jurisdiction,
(a) such Magistrate shall transfer the record relating to such child surrendee to the Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area in which such Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre is located; and
(b) the probation officer who has been assigned to monitor the progress of such child surrendee shall transmit all relevant records and reports relating to such child surrendee to the relevant probation officer having jurisdiction over the area in which such Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre is located.
22. (1) The officer in charge of the Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre in which such child surrendee is placed shall –
(a) cause such child surrendee to be examined by a medical officer and take necessary measures to provide him with the necessary health care;
(b) provide him with psychos[o]cial counseling in accordance with the needs of such child surrendee i[]dentified in the social inquiry report prepared under regulation 18;
(c) facilitate and encourage visits by and contact with his family at least once a month;
(d) provide the necessary sustenance and physical care for the child sur[r]endee;
(e) assist the child sur[r]endee to obtain the necessary identification and other documents which he is lawfully entitled to obtain and which he does not presently possess;
(g) prepare quarterly reports, and submit them to the Magistrate, the probation officer and the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, which reports shall contain information regarding any changes on the current status of the child surrendee, the training and facilities being accorded to him and the progress of such child surrendee;
23. (1) The Magistrate to whom the reports referred to in regulation 18 are submitted shall –
(a) review his decision to accommodate or place as the case may be any such child surrendee at a Protective Child Accommodation Centre or a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre once a month in the case of a Protective Child Accommodation Centre and once in three months in the case of a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre to ensure proper monitoring of the progress and security of the child surrendee; and
(b) where he is of the opinion that it would be more appropriate for such child surrendee to be accommodated at another centre in another district or returned to the custody, care and control of his parents or guardian, shall transfer such child surrendee to such other centre, or hand the child surrendee to the custody, care and control of his parents or guardian. 
Sri Lanka, Prevention of Terrorism (Surrendees Care and Rehabilitation) Regulations, 2011, Articles 10, 13–22(1) and 23(1).
United States of America
The US Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (2004), in Title VII—Implementation of 9/11 Commission Recommendations; Subtitle A—Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, and the Military in the War on Terrorism, states:
Sec. 7104. Assistance for Afghanistan.
(h) UNITED STATES POLICY TO SUPPORT DISARMAMENT OF PRIVATE MILITIAS AND EXPANSION OF INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING AND SECURITY OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN.—
(1) UNITED STATES POLICY RELATING TO DISARMAMENT OF PRIVATE MILITIAS.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—It shall be the policy of the United States to take immediate steps to provide active support for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of armed soldiers, particularly child soldiers, in Afghanistan, in close consultation with the President of Afghanistan. 
United States, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2004, Public Law 108-458, 17 December 2004, Title V, Subtitle E, § 7104(h)(1)(A).
Colombia
In 2005, in the Constitutional Case No. C-203/05, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The legal and institutional response to the problem of demobilising underage combatants should be geared towards resocialization, rehabilitation, education and protection. This conclusion is based both on international and constitutional sources: (i) On one hand, it is a State obligation to promote the best interests of the child as well as the special protection and fundamental rights of minors, in their capacity as particularly vulnerable victims of the armed conflict and a war crime [of recruiting children into the armed forces or armed groups]. (ii) On the other hand, both Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol as well as the various provisions in Article 3 common to the [1949] Geneva Conventions and in their [1977] Additional Protocol II bind the State to implement programmes aimed at resocializing, rehabilitating, educating and protecting minors that have been affected by the armed conflict, thus promoting the eventual reincorporation of such minors into an ordinary civilian life in their communities of origin. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-203/05, Judgment of 8 March 2005, § 6.2.
The Court also held:
The mere participation of a child or adolescent in acts of violence committed by underage combatants will necessarily have grave psychological and social effects that demand an especially strong response from the State in terms of protection and rehabilitation, an objective to which determining the criminal responsibility of each minor and confronting the minor with the facts can contribute as well as the full implementation of the different steps of the process of reconciliation with the community, the society and the State. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-203/05, Judgment of 8 March 2005, § 6.4.3; see also § 8.1.
Australia
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Australia stated:
[C]hildren who arrive in Australia from countries where they may have been engaged in armed conflict, such as all refugee and humanitarian entrants, are eligible for Short-term Torture and Trauma counselling during their time in the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (usually for six to twelve months after their arrival in Australia). 
Australia, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 September 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/AUS/1, submitted October 2008. § 62.
Bangladesh
In 2007, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Bangladesh stated:
Children who were involved in [the] Chittagong Hill Tracts [CHT] conflict long ago are all adults by now. Since the CHT Peace Accord was adopted, there is no more insurgency in the area and all arms and ammunitions were confiscated. The Government is still working to maintain peace in the area. There is no more … fighting in the area and though some arms are still found in some small … [areas, they] are believed to [have been] procured more recently and [to be] used for other purposes. [Bangladesh] … does not believe that there is any point around disarmament, demobilization and social reintegration of victims in CHT. 
Bangladesh, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 29 October 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/BGD/4, submitted 4 September 2007, § 448.
Belgium
In 2004, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Belgium stated:
Priority will be given to the rapid reintegration of demobilized children in civilian life so that they can readjust to daily life. Social components of reintegration programmes should cover the child’s education, vocational training and psychosocial care. Emphasis should be placed on the psychological dimension in view of the trauma experienced by most children who have taken part in hostilities. 
Belgium, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/BEL/1, 15 August 2005, submitted 30 March 2004, § 73(c).
Burundi
In 2008, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Burundi stated:
7. In 2003, … the Government had already begun with the demobilization of child soldiers, initiating a plan to that effect in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank. The objectives of the plan are to demobilize all child soldiers [and] reintegrate them into society …
64. … [A] programme to demobilize child soldiers ha[s] been under way since 2003. The demobilization programme began in 2001 with a number of studies, followed in 2002 by consultations among the various stakeholders, the administration and the communities concerned. A national demobilization structure for these children has been in place since March 2003.
302. As noted in the introduction, in 2002 the Government launched a programme for the demobilization of children who had taken part in the armed conflicts. The target groups are:
- Child soldiers recruited by the government army
- Police officers
- Children who fought on the side of the armed movements which signed ceasefire agreements
303. Objectives of the programme:
- Demobilize 90 per cent of all child soldiers (estimated at 3,000) in military formations of the government army and in the targeted rebel factions over a period of 12 months
- Reintegrate all demobilized child soldiers into their communities over a period of eight months
304. The programme has attained its objectives because more than 3,000 children have been demobilized. It is pursuing the reintegration and prevention process, providing material aid to children who are still able to go to school or wish to earn a living. The children receive psychological counselling from organizations which have concluded agreements under the programme.
305. The Government has devised a plan for the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers with the financial support of the World Bank. The objective is to achieve the social reintegration of 1,440 demobilized child soldiers old enough to work through a subsidy to help them find a decent job and regular income.  
Burundi, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 7 January 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/BDI/2, submitted 17 July 2008, §§ 7, 64 and 302–305.
Canada
In 2009, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Canada stated under the heading “Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict”:
Between 2000 and 2005, Canada invested $171 million in new programming related to children’s rights and protection in support of the Canadian International Development Agency’s Action Plan on Child Protection. As of 2007, the Government of Canada had supported over 120 projects addressing a range of issues related to children and armed conflict, including basic education, demobilization and reintegration of former child soldiers. 
Canada, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 4 January 2012, UN Doc. CRC/C/CAN/3-4, submitted 20 November 2009, § 109; see also § 22.
Chad
In 1997, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Chad stated:
189. At the national level, a memorandum of understanding signed between the Republic of Chad and France on 30 July 1991 provided for a reduction in the armed forces, the discharge of minors and their resettlement in civilian life. Article 2 of decree No. 398/PR/MDNACVG/92 of 24 July 1992 concerning the discharge of army personnel stipulates specifically that the provisions concern minors. In accordance with this decree a census of minors was organized by the Ministry for the Armed Forces. Of the 500 minors listed, 467 were discharged with an end-of-service grant. The other 33, having reached the age of majority, preferred to continue their army career.
190. As part of a medium term plan, the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Affairs, in collaboration with UNICEF, is drawing up a programme for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in especially difficult circumstances, who from 1996 onwards include combatant minors. 
Chad, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 24 July 1997, UN Doc. CRC/C/3/Add.50, submitted 14 January 1997, §§ 189–190.
Chad
In 2009, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to Chad’s second periodic report, Chad stated:
The children whom the State party considers as having priority and urgently requiring attention with a view to the implementation of the [1989] Convention [on the Rights of the Child] are those in need of special protection measures [including] … children involved in the armed forces or armed groups …
On 9 May 2007, the UNICEF office in Chad and the Government of Chad signed a protocol of agreement on protecting children who are victims of armed conflict and on their sustainable reintegration into communities and families, with a view to enforcing international instruments concerning the protection of children affected by armed conflict. Under the agreement, UNICEF is helping the Government of Chad … to ensure that they are absolutely free and reintegrated into their communities.
This agreement came after the Government had signed the Paris Commitments to protect children unlawfully recruited or used by armed forces or armed groups in Chad.
A national programme to … remove and take temporary custody of children recruited or used by armed forces and armed groups in Chad has been in place since 2007, following the signing of the Paris Commitments and the protocol of agreement. A national coordinating body has been entrusted to ensure the proper implementation, monitoring and overall harmonization of ongoing or proposed activities of the programme, take strategic decisions and make sure that the process is consistent with the Paris Principles. It is composed of eight ministries, five United Nations agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Human Rights Commission, two human rights organizations, the Red Cross in Chad and four international non governmental organizations.
Provision has been made to implement a communication strategy and integrated communication plan for this programme in 2008.
(a) Information concerning children deprived of a family environment and separated from their parents is available only for the following years:
2007: 658, including … 451 children recruited or used by armed forces and armed groups and separated from their parents
2008: 59 children recruited or used by armed forces and armed groups and separated from their parents
Disaggregated data are available for children recruited or used by armed forces and armed groups, as follows:
9–11 years old: 25 children, or 90 per cent
12–14 years old: 143 children, or 28.03 per cent
15–17 years old: 318 children, or 62.35 per cent
18 years or older: 24, or 4.7 per cent
(b) In 2006, 326 children were placed in 12 institutions throughout the country, while in 2007, 566 children were placed in 19 institutions throughout the country;
(c) Eight children placed with foster families;
(d) Five children have been fully adopted since January 2008, two girls and three boys, including one child adopted abroad. 
Chad, Written replies by the Government of Chad to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the second periodic report of Chad, 8 January 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/TCD/Q/2/Add.1, submitted 7 January 2009, pp. 4–5.
Chad
In 2009, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Human Rights Committee with regard to Chad’s initial report, Chad stated:
The Government has signed an agreement with UNICEF on the reintegration of child soldiers into the working population. Chad has also undertaken to implement the Paris Commitments adopted at the “Free Children from War” conference held in Paris on 5 and 6 February 2007. 
Chad, Written replies by the Government of Chad to the Human Rights Committee concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the initial report of Chad, 20 January 2009, UN Doc. CCPR/C/TCD/Q/1/Add.1, submitted 12 January 2009, § 47.
Chad
In 2011, in the Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups in Chad, signed by the Government of Chad and the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism Task Force on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, the Government of Chad stated:
The government undertakes to implement the Action Plan to … release all children associated with its [armed] forces and paramilitary groups and to ensure that the children benefit from programmes of reintegration into their communities. … This Action Plan applies to the Chadian National Army (ANT) and to associated major formations, in particular to the Directorate-General of the Security of State’s Structures and Institutions (DGSSIE), Directorate-General of the National Gendarmerie (DGGN) and the Chadian National and Nomadic Guard (GNNT). 
Chad, Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups in Chad, signed by the Government of Chad and the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism Task Force on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, 15 June 2011, Article 1.1.
The Government of Chad also stated:
2.1 The Government of Chad specifically undertakes to fully and effectively implement the following provisions:
a) Prevent and end the association of children under the age of 18 with armed forces and armed groups and guarantee their immediate release and reintegration …
d) Appoint focal points with clear terms of reference and responsibilities for the implementation of the Action Plan at the highest level of the government and the associated military and paramilitary structures. This should be done in cooperation with the United Nations and [other] partners to ensure oversight, monitoring and control of the plan’s implementation …
e) Immediately and unconditionally release the identified children to UNICEF’s partner organisations for the protection of children and to other UN agencies. Facilitate return and reintegration of all children associated with armed forces or armed groups to their communities, while paying special attention to their gender and age, as well as to the specific needs of girls and children born to the girls released from armed forces and armed groups.
k) Ensure that no child previously associated with the ANT or any armed group will be prosecuted for the desertion and/or any other violation of the military order. 
Chad, Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups in Chad, signed by the Government of Chad and the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism Task Force on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, 15 June 2011, Article 2.1(a), (d), (e) and (k).
The Government of Chad further stated:
Article 3 – Procedure
3.1 The following framework defines the activities and the timeline for the implementation of the Action Plan.
Release and support for the reintegration of children
a) Issue a clear and enforceable policy directive to non-military personnel associated with the ANT and to the major associated formations and a clear military order to all members of the armed and/or paramilitary forces to stop the recruitment and use of children and to ensure their rapid and orderly release. The directive must indicate sanctions in the event of non-compliance and demand reporting of the breaches to the competent authorities, so they can immediately act upon them. The order should be widely and effectively disseminated, in writing and orally.
b) Identify, control, register and plan the release of all children associated with armed forces and/or with paramilitary groups at all sites, such as military bases, training camps, detention centres, medical facilities and recruitment centres.
d) Support arrangements for temporary care and assistance to children, taking into account their gender, age and an initial assessment of their well-being for psycho-social support, health care and documentation services to help to restore family links and for setting up social reintegration programmes.
e) In cooperation with the relevant government departments and civil society organisations, support the reintegration of released children through sharing a monthly list of demobilised children for confirmation and verification.
Recruitment prevention, awareness raising and capacity building
c) Identify gaps and take concrete measures to comply with the national and international legal obligations, including … (3) set up and provide training for children protection units within the ANT and the security forces at the national and regional level; authorize these units to monitor ANT’s compliance with the military guidelines and national legislation.  
Chad, Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups in Chad, signed by the Government of Chad and the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism Task Force on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, 15 June 2011, Article 3.1.
The Government of Chad also stated:
Article 4 – Applicable principles
In the implementation of their work for children affected by armed conflict, the signatories shall be guided by the following general principles:
4.5 Children associated with armed forces or armed groups are first of all victims of violation of their basic rights – All children who had been recruited by armed forces or armed groups and are accused of international crimes should be primarily considered as victims of the violations [of their basic rights]. They should be treated in conformity with international standards for juvenile justice and offered rehabilitation and social reintegration. Independent international observers should have access to all judicial proceedings where children are victims, survivors, witnesses or alleged perpetrators.
4.7. Respect for the right of the child to be released from the armed forces – … prevention activities should be carried out on an ongoing basis, the release, protection and reintegration of children should be consistently researched and shall not be conditional upon the existence of an armed conflict or upon the demobilisation of adults. 
Chad, Action Plan on Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups in Chad, signed by the Government of Chad and the United Nations Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism Task Force on Grave Violations against Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, 15 June 2011, Articles 4.5 and 4.7.
Chad
In 2012, in its second periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Chad stated:
215. Chad took an active part in the Paris international conference on child soldiers. This enabled it to draw up a national programme for the withdrawal and temporary care of child soldiers and their reintegration into their families. This programme is being carried out under an agreement concluded in May 2007 between the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Chad. In this highly important agreement, the State undertook to hand over to UNICEF all children recovered upon the incorporation of the various armed groups into the regular armed forces of the Republic of Chad.
217. In effectively withdrawing the children, the Government benefited from the support of Care International and UNICEF, which opened transit centres in N’Djamena where, to begin with, children were housed and fed and given medical and psychological care. The children were then returned to their parents. Some 90 per cent are estimated to have effectively rejoined their families, as against 10 per cent who remained in the centres.
218. Within the framework of the peacebuilding process initiated under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Chad intends to strengthen the institutional mechanisms of the national programme for the withdrawal, temporary care and family reintegration of children. …
Implementation of the child soldier rehabilitation support programme
219. In the past few decades, Chad has experienced a succession of wars and intercommunity conflicts whose consequences have included the enlistment of children (girls and boys) in armed groups and forces.
220. The Government has mobilized substantial resources for the withdrawal and care of juveniles and their reintegration into their communities, in partnership with international institutions such as UNICEF, Care International, etc.
221. The Government’s commitment has been illustrated in the following ways:
– Signing of a statement of principle and commitment, Paris, 6 February 2007;
– Signing of a memorandum of understanding on 9 May 2007 between the Government and the Chad UNICEF office for the withdrawal of all child victims of armed conflicts and their lasting reintegration;
– Training of military officers in the protection of children in situations of armed conflict;
– Awareness-raising campaign in camps, garrisons and instruction centres (more than 3,000 members of the military);
– Production of leaflets and integrated communication plans. 
Chad, Second periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 28 January 2013, UN Doc. CCPR/C/TCD/2, submitted 20 July 2012, §§ 215 and 217–221.
Colombia
In 2004, in its third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Colombia stated:
586. In dealing with the armed conflict situation, the Government conducts, since 1999, intersectoral programmes for the disengagement of minors from the conflict and their social reintegration. The main goal is to provide disengaged minors with support for reorganizing their lives.
587. The Assistance programme for armed-conflict victims is mainly implemented through specialized centres, where the young people in question receive assistance and advice for social rehabilitation. The following modules are used:
588. Transition homes: This programme’s current first phase consists in providing assistance to boys and girls by court decision or Family Ombudsman decision; and conducting psychological and social assessments to determine host conditions in view of socialization.
589. Specialized assistance centres: The goal of this initiative is the restoration of infringed human rights through comprehensive (vocational, sport, academic, cultural and employment-related areas) assistance for minors. Minors undergo medical and psychological assessments in view of arrangements for embarking on the life plan to lead and facilitating their social inclusion.
590. Houses of the adolescent: This initiative aims at facilitating the socialization process, thereby contributing to social integration.
591. Social and family-related assistance measures can be classified under two headings: Home mentoring, a phase in which disengaged minors and other young people – after receiving assistance in transition homes, specialized assistance centres or houses of the adolescent – live in a foster family environment when it is impossible to return to their own families; and Family reintegration, a phase in which the children or young people concerned – subject to a diagnostic assessment by the establishment – return to their home of origin or stay with relatives.
592. Assistance programmes focus on family, social, cultural and economic integration. Generally speaking, priority is given to the safety of the disengaged person and his or her family. Family integration requires identifying a suitable family for the child or adolescent to facilitate basic contact in view of further reintegration. Conceptually and methodologically, orientation aims to respond appropriately to the phenomenon by strengthening family and community networks in order to ensure support that meets the particular needs of the given population group. 
Colombia, Third periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 24 August 2005, UN Doc. CRC/C/Add.129, submitted 28 June 2004, §§ 586–592.
Côte d’Ivoire
In 2010, in its combined initial to third periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Côte d’Ivoire stated: “There are several resettlement programmes for young combatants”. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Combined initial to third periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 18 October 2010, UN Doc. CEDAW/C/CIV/1-3, submitted 7 September 2010, § 271.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2007, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated:
52 The resources of the Government are supplemented by financial support from bilateral or multilateral cooperation[s] directed towards the implementation of specific projects. … Funding of US$ 1,047,489 was provided [by the World Bank] during the period 2002–2005 for the project “Support for abused children and children leaving armed forces and armed groups.”
56. Through Act No. 004/2001 of 20 July 2001 containing general provisions applying to non-profit entities and entit[i]es serving the public interest, the Government strengthened its cooperation with organizations of civil society involved in the development of policies and programmes. Their implementation requires public and private entit[i]es to work together with synergy. By way of illustration, in the domain of social and economic reintegration of children involved with armed forces and armed groups, the executing entit[i]es that are working as partners with the National Commission for Disarmament and Reintegration (Commission nationale de désarmement et réinsertion (CONADER)) belong exclusively to civil society.
68. [O]ther legal enactments that provide specific protection for persons under age 18 are:
(a) Decree-Law No. 066 of 9 June 2000, providing for demobilization and reintegration of vulnerable groups present within fighting forces, whose article 2 provides: “Vulnerable groups shall mean: child soldiers, girls or boys under age 18 (…)”;
96. The war, which had a very adverse effect on children’s rights, has ended through the conclusion and implementation of the Global and Comprehensive Agreement signed in Pretoria on 17 December 2002, although there remain to this day some isolated pockets of armed conflict in the East of the country.
97. … Among the positive measures taken by the Government to maintain a lasting peace, the following should be noted:
- The demobilization of children in armed forces and armed groups;
201. The extreme poverty faced by families accounts for the massive enlistment of children in armed groups since the war of 1996. Having thus been prematurely put through the traumatizing experience of war, these children have been denied the enjoyment of their fundamental rights to education, health and integrated development. In order to extricate these children from that harmful environment in the future, the Government, with significant support from international cooperation, has exerted considerable efforts to remove from armed groups and forces all children involved in them in one way or another (soldiers, bearers, pages, household aides, etc.), whose number has been reckoned at over 30,000, including about 15 per cent girls.
203. The application of Decree-Law No. 066/2000 had been entrusted to the National Office for Demobilization and Reintegration (Bureau national pour la démobilisation et la réinsertion (BUNADER)), which was replaced by the National Commission for the Demobilization and Reintegration of Child Soldiers (Commission nationale pour la démobilisation et la réinsertion (CONADER)), created under Decree No. 03/042 of 18 December 2003 [on the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration)]. Accountable to the Ministries of National Defence, Demobilization and Veterans’ Affairs, Social Affairs and Solidarity and Humanitarian Affairs (article 39), CONADER is entrusted with coordination and follow-up of all actions pursued for the benefit of children involved in armed forces and groups. This activity is carried out in parallel with the reorganization of adults from the regular armed forces and from armed groups who are fit to continue in military service. The DDR [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] Programme is supported by a trust fund managed by the World Bank.
204. On 30 April, 2006, 29,291 children certified in orientation centres were withdrawn from armed forces and groups; 15,220 are beneficiaries of a programme of social and economic reintegration being carried out on the ground by about 9 international NGOs and 35 national NGOs, which are also receiving support from UNICEF. Thus, the presence of children in some largely un-integrated military units is dwindling.
205. However, surveying the number of girls and ensuring their removal remains a fairly delicate issue. Many girls who were conscripted or who voluntarily enlisted now consider themselves the “wives” of soldiers and thus place themselves outside the DDR programme. Moreover, those who are completely free to leave the armed groups are reluctant to come forward and to seek aid from the DDR programme. Fear of social ostracism if they reveal their association with the armed forces, and a concern to preserve their dignity, lead them to prefer a discreet return to civilian life.
206. Also noteworthy is the implementation of the inter-regional programme to prevent involvement of children in armed conflicts and to provide for their reintegration, as part of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
207. With a view to facilitating their reception, a Community Programme to foster family reunification and socio-economic reintegration of children from armed forces and groups has been implemented in all of the country’s provinces. In summary, the national programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of children comprises the following stages:
(a) A campaign for the release of children involved in armed forces and groups;
(b) Training functional partners in temporary reception and reintegration activities;
(c) National and local awareness-raising on the issue of children involved in armed forces and groups;
(d) Identification of children in the hands of armed forces and groups;
(e) Reception of children in transitional centres;
(f) Seeking out families and arranging family reunification;
(g) Social and economic reintegration activities.
208. However, the programme of economic reintegration of children is currently hampered by the lack of opportunities for children to improve their economic situation in general and by financial difficulties due to the lack of a long-term source of support. As a result, children run the risk of falling into delinquency and some are even tempted to enlist again in the regular armed forces or in armed groups that are still active in some parts of the country, such as the North (Equateur Province) or the East (Eastern, North-Kivu and South-Kivu Provinces). The Government intends to resolve this financial problem with the support it anticipates from its partners in order to give renewed impetus to the programme of social, vocational and economic reintegration of these children.
209. With regard to measures for psychological readjustment of children involved in armed forces, it should be noted that temporary resettlement in “peace villages” (structures d’encadrement transitoire (SET)) through which children transit before reunification with their families does not completely satisfy that need because the programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration provides for only a short stay (30 days at most) in those facilities, and the facilities in any event lack qualified psychologists. The consequences of this state of affairs are such that some children have difficulty in adjusting to family life and show behavioural problems that translate into acts of violence against those close to them.
210. The solution envisaged consists of giving international and national NGOs providing for the re-education of children in temporary centres and for their reunification with their families the means to do systematic follow-up work with children withdrawn from armed forces and groups and to provide psychological counselling for those who need it.
214. Paradoxically, the progress that has been made in suppressing conscription of children has made it more difficult to take stock of the children still present in various groups involved in the process of reorganization of the army. Fearing that they may be prosecuted for conscripting children, most commanding officers who decide to take part in the reorganization simply abandon the children who were still present in their ranks. That in turn deprives those children of the benefit of social and economic reintegration activities. This has been noted especially in Katanga, South Kivu and Equateur Provinces. It must needs be acknowledged as well that the persistence of zones of fighting increases the risk that children will be conscripted. That is so in Ituri and the Kivu provinces, where there have recently been reports of abduction of some thirty children, including girls. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 24 July 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/COD/2, submitted 23 October 2007, §§ 52, 56, 68(a), 96–97, 201, 203–210 and 214.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2008, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to its second periodic report, the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated:
With regard to the budget for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes (DDR), it should be pointed out that in their phases I and II (under BUNADER (Bureau national de démobilisation et de réinsertion – National Demobilization and Reinsertion Office) and CONADER (Commission Nationale de la Demobilization et Reinsertion – National Commission for Demobilization and Reintegration)), which are now completed, budget appropriations for the DDR programme amounted to about US$ 208 million, including a US$ 108 million donation from the IDA/World Bank and US$ 100 million from the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). The funding was administered by the Committee for the administration of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration resources (CGFDR), established pursuant to Decree No. 03/043 of 18 December 2003. In its work on behalf of children, the DDR programme assisted 30,594 children released by the armed forces and armed groups through phases devoted to the search for families, family reunification and reintegration support.
Phase III, which is being carried out by the DDR implementation unit (UEPN-DDR), has received US$ 72 million in funding, including US$ 50 million from the World Bank and US$ 22 million from the African Development Bank (ADB).
Providing the necessary assistance for the physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as social reintegration of children who have left the armed forces or armed groups has been part of the DDR programme since its inception in 2001. Generally speaking, the process of psychological counselling and assistance in family and community reintegration is as follows:
(a) Children removed from the armed forces and armed groups whose families can be easily contacted are directly reunited with them as soon as they arrive at the “peace villages” (structures d’encadrement transitoire (SET));
(b) Children who must stay a little longer in the SETs receive a token “civilian life” kit containing clothing, shoes, bed linen and kitchen utensils. They are also given a medical examination. Counselling sessions are held with them throughout their stay at the centre … Other socio-cultural and sports activities are also organized.
At the same time, the search for families is started, followed, as appropriate, by mediation aimed at achieving reunification. If mediation fails or if the children are unable to find their biological family, they are placed with a “temporary foster family”, which is pre-selected by the DDR implementation unit in accordance with criteria set by the operating handbook on the prevention, withdrawal and care of children involved with armed forces and armed groups. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Written replies by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the second periodic report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 December 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/COD/Q/2/Add.1, submitted 24 December 2008, pp. 11–12.
El Salvador
In 2002, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, El Salvador stated:
495. The Welfare Programme for FMLN [Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional] Children was adopted to facilitate the educational reintegration and technical training of minors demobilized from the FMLN, aged between 15 and 16 on 16 January 1992, who had not had access to the Land Programme under the Supplementary Agreement between the Government of El Salvador and the FMLN.
496. The National Secretariat for the Family conducted a national survey to identify child beneficiaries of the project and the reintegration option they wished to choose, either technical training or education at Ministry of Education establishments. Among the children identified, 152 opted to attend public educational establishments and 97 to enrol for technical training. The National Educational Supervision Directorate of the Ministry of Education took the requisite steps to have them enrolled, giving them priority access to baskets of basic educational materials and priority for exemption from the corresponding enrolment quota.
497. Only nine of the children who opted for enrolment in educational establishments were successfully incorporated in the system. The National Secretariat for the Family, with support from the World Food Programme, supplied them with a basic food basket for a period of six months. Only one of the nine children completed the course of studies.
498. The Vocational Training Programme funded by the European Economic Community, and the Programme for Integration and Promotion of Employment of Demobilized Persons financed by the German corporation for international cooperation GTZ and the National Secretariat for the Family, attended to the needs of the target group and to those of a further 25 children for whom no provision had been made in the Programme. 
El Salvador, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 22 October 2003, UN Doc. CRC/65/Add.25, submitted 10 July 2002, §§ 495–498.
El Salvador
In 2006, in its written replies to the issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child with regard to El Salvador’s initial report under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, El Salvador stated:
Disarmament, demobilization and social reintegration of child victims of activities contrary to the [Optional] Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict]
The Welfare Programme for Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) Children was adopted to facilitate the educational reintegration and technical training of minors demobilized from FMLN, aged between 15 and 16 on 16 January 1992, who had not had access to the Land Programme under the Supplementary Agreement between the Government of El Salvador and FMLN.
The National Secretariat for the Family conducted a national survey to identify child beneficiaries of the project and the reintegration option they wished to choose, either technical training or education at Ministry of Education establishments. Among the children identified, 152 opted to attend public educational establishments and 97 to enrol for technical training. The National Educational Supervisory Office at the Ministry of Education took the requisite steps to have them enrolled, giving them priority access to baskets of basic educational materials and priority for exemption from the corresponding enrolment quota.
Only nine of the children who opted for enrolment in educational establishments were successfully incorporated in the system. The National Secretariat for the Family, with support from the World Food Programme, supplied them with a basic food basket for a period of six months. Only one of the nine children completed the course of studies.
The Vocational Training Programme funded by the European Economic Community, and the Programme for Integration and Promotion of Employment of Demobilized Persons financed by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the National Secretariat for the Family, attended to the needs of the target group and to those of a further 25 children for whom no provision had been made in the Programme. 
El Salvador, Written replies by the Government of El Salvador to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the list of issues formulated by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in connection with its consideration of the initial report of El Salvador under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 May 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/SLV/Q/1/Add.1, pp. 2–3.
[emphasis in original]
Finland
In 2004, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of Child under Article 8(1) of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Finland stated:
18. The Government of Finland’s report on human rights policy, released in March 2004, states that children in the midst of international conflicts and civil wars require special protection. Child soldiers, like other children affected by war, are victims.
19. The Government supports all United Nations activities through which boys and girls who have become victims of armed conflict are taken into account (so-called mainstreaming). It gives its full support to the United Nations mechanisms and organizations that strive to improve the position of all child victims of armed conflict and help their post-conflict recovery. It supports a comprehensive approach when child victims of armed conflict are helped. Children should be our special concern even before any conflict erupts and, during conflict, their rehabilitation and mental recovery should also be taken care of after the end of hostilities. 
Finland, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of Child under Article 8(1) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 10 March 2005, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/FIN/1, submitted 1 June 2004, §§ 18–19.
France
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, France stated:
30. Compliance with the Protocol also results from close cooperation with UNICEF and other United Nations bodies.
31. In 2006 the French contribution to UNICEF was 13.8 million euros. France specifically supports the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, which works on best practices in the reintegration of children associated with armed conflict, in particular young girls, and is preparing a guide to the participation and protection of child victims or witnesses in international legal mechanisms in association with the International Criminal Court.
32. Along with UNICEF, our country is taking an active part in organizing a conference on the Cape Town Principles in Paris on 23 and 24 November 2006. These principles, adopted in 1997 by a group of experts, are still the standard in the field of child protection through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. However, they need to be brought up to date, and might be developed by broadening the scope of criteria governing planning and intervention, enhancing measures for preventing recruitment, improving activities for reintegration into the family and the community, reinforcing witness protection, as well as preventing and campaigning against gender-based violence. 
France, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 6 November 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/FRA/1, submitted 26 September 2006, §§ 30–32.
Germany
In 2001, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Germany stated:
814. The Federal Government has given practical help for the reintegration of child soldiers in an exemplary fashion by supporting the reintegration fund in Mozambique. There, 2,000 former child soldiers have found employment and new perspectives. In Angola and Uganda, too, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development supports projects for the reintegration of ex-combatants, including many children and young people.
816. Furthermore, the psychosocial situation of former child soldiers also has to be considered. For example, in cooperation with Medico International the Federal Government is sponsoring a project for the psychological rehabilitation of children and young people traumatized by war, especially former child soldiers and militias, in conjunction with their families and village communities. 
Germany, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc. CRC/C/83/Add.7, 24 July 2003, submitted 23 July 2001, §§ 814 and 816.
Germany
In 2005, in its Seventh Human Rights Policy Report submitted to the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), Germany’s Federal Government stated:
Apart from efforts in international fora and in the context of bilateral development cooperation, Germany financially and/or politically supports institutions and aid programmes for the demobilization and rehabilitation of former child soldiers as well as for the prevention of violations of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict …
On the basis of the 2003 EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict and the relating 2004 Plan of Action, [the Federal Government] together with its EU partners will work towards better protection of children in armed conflict, and to this purpose
- will continue giving financial support to projects on the demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers. 
Germany, Federal Government, Seventh Human Rights Policy Report, 17 June 2005, pp. 73 and 203.
Germany
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Germany stated:
7. At the national level, the Federal Government is promoting institutions and aid programmes for demobilization and rehabilitation of former child soldiers as well as to prevent contraventions of the Optional Protocol, inter alia through the regular voluntary German contribution and also through the funding of UNICEF projects, as well as through projects for the promotion of human rights. Germany is also making a contribution to rehabilitation and social reintegration of child soldiers, using the instrument of the Civil Peace Service with a number of peace specialists, e.g. those working in the field of trauma treatment.
Article 7
19. The Federal Republic of Germany is cooperating bilaterally and, within the framework of international organizations, with other State parties in order to achieve the objectives laid down in article 7. In doing so, Germany provides technical support and, to a considerable extent, financial assistance. Hence, within the framework of bilateral State development cooperation with Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, there were projects worth about 83 million euros in the first quarter of 2006 designed to reintegrate ex-combatants, especially child soldiers. Further resources amounting to about 1.4 million euros have been committed for the care of child soldiers through Civil Peace Service programmes in Uganda, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
20. Furthermore, former child soldiers are profiting from the various bilateral development cooperation programmes generally dedicated to the prevention of violence and conflict relating to children and juveniles. 
Germany, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, UN Doc. CCPR/C/OPAC/DEU/1, 17 April 2007, submitted 5 January 2007, §§ 7 and 19–20.
Germany
In 2010, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) entitled “Treatment of child soldiers by the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) during operations abroad”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
8. Which procedures are envisaged for the treatment of child soldiers injured, apprehended or detained by the Bundeswehr?
In the completed operation EUFOR RD CONGO, the following framework was adopted regarding apprehended or detained children and included in the pocket card of June 2006 for the German contingent of the operation EUFOR RD CONGO:
e) As soon as possible they are to be transferred into the care of the competent individuals or institutions, if necessary to an organization or authority specialized in dealing with victims of armed conflict and their re-integration. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by Members Paul Schäfer, Jan van Aken, Sevim Dağdelen, further Members and the Parliamentary Group DIE LINKE, BT-Drs. 17/2998, 21 September 2010, pp. 4–5.
Germany
In 2010, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Germany stated:
38. As [regards] projects to support children involved in armed conflict, Germany is currently promoting roughly 20 projects with the target group “child soldiers”, especially in the African Great Lakes area. The projects in Africa receiving support from the Federal Government to reintegrate child soldiers are promoted by much more than €100 million, the following being named as examples:
- The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is providing support via the GTZ [German Technical Cooperation] for instance with the project entitled “Promotion of Employment for Marginalized Youths” for the return and reintegration of young war refugees to their homes in Sierra Leone. The goal of the project, which is to run until 2013, is for disadvantaged juveniles and young adults to participate actively in their communities’ social, economic and political activities.
- With the project running until 2011 entitled “Integration of child soldiers (Phase I) and economic reintegration of disadvantaged juveniles and young adults in Maniema (Phase II)”, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is promoting via the GTZ the social and economic reintegration of child soldiers in the Congo. The focus here is on catching up on primary schooling, training in preparation for taking up work, the creation of infrastructure, as well as support in establishing small businesses. The total German promotion of the project is €5.5 million.
39. Other projects of the Federal Government in the field of “Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration” (DDR), such as in Burundi, Rwanda and Sudan, contain components of the reintegration of child soldiers or consciously contain support for children affected by conflicts – such as in Liberia or Nepal. Finally, the Federal Government promotes projects whose focus is not exclusively on child soldiers, but which at least also benefit them. 
Germany, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights the Child, 11 September 2012, UN Doc. CRC/C/DEU/3-4, submitted 10 October 2010, §§ 38–39.
(footnote in original omitted)
Germany
In 2010, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) entitled “Treatment of child soldiers by the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) during operations abroad”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
20. Which measures has the Federal Government financed in the areas where the Bundeswehr has so far been deployed, in particular Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers (please provide years and costs of the measures)?
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal Government has been implementing a project on the economic integration of disadvantaged adolescents and young adults in Maniema province. Participants in this project receive intensive assistance and basic, practical education and vocational training in very small and small companies. Since 2005 almost 3,500 adolescents, including more than 200 former child soldiers, have successfully participated in the vocational training courses. 70 per cent of them are still working in the professions in which they were trained. It is planned to expand this project, for which so far 10.6 million euros have been pledged, to the South Kivu province. Through the so-called peace fund, established by the Federal Government in 2008 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly disadvantaged population groups such as former child soldiers are given new employment opportunities and thus new perspectives in life. The measures by the fund, for which up to 50 million euros were made available, take place in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the capital Kinshasa.
Moreover the Federal Government is participating in the regional and Congo-specific donor fund of the World Bank on demobilization and reintegration of combatants (“Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Programme” – MDRP) between 2002 and 2009 with approximately 12.5 million euros.
In Afghanistan, as part of the international division of labour [the Federal Government] has taken the lead concerning demobilization and reintegration measures for unlawful armed groups including their under-age members.
The Federal Government also finances a number of complementary measures in the area of basic education and enhancement of children’s rights with more than 1.6 million euros in the period 2004 to 2010. In 2003, it supported a UNICEF project for the reintegration of child soldiers in Afghanistan with 125,000 euros. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by Members Paul Schäfer, Jan van Aken, Sevim Dağdelen, further Members and the Parliamentary Group DIE LINKE, BT-Drs. 17/2998, 21 September 2010, pp. 7–8.
Greece
In 2005, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Greece stated:
With regard to post conflict situations, special attention should be given to ensure that all children are included in all disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, [and that] their specific needs are being addressed such as medical support, education, and reunification with their families. 
Greece, Statement by the permanent representative of Greece before the UN Security Council, Open Debate on Children in Armed Conflict, 23 February 2005.
Guatemala
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Guatemala stated:
More than 3,000 guerrillas of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca [Guatemaltecan National Revolutionary Unit] participated in reintegration programmes when the internal armed conflict ended. It is estimated that 214 of those guerrillas were minors. 
Guatemala, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 July 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/1, submitted 17 May 2006, § 7.
Guatemala
In 2007, in response to a list of issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to its consideration of the initial report of Guatemala under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Guatemala stated:
Under the terms of the peace agreements relating to assistance to the victims of the internal armed conflict, however, since 1998, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare has been implementing a mental health programme as one of its official policies, under which psychological assistance must be available to the victims of the armed conflict in Guatemala. 
Guatemala, Written replies by the Government of Guatemala concerning a list of issues raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to its consideration of the initial report of Guatemala under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/GTM/Q/1/Add.1, 23 April 2007, § 8.
Guinea
In 2009, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Guinea stated:
471. Guinea has been greatly affected by the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone that have raged since 24 December 1989. …
475. This situation has also given rise to child trafficking and separated children from their families. A study conducted in November 1999 by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has helped to identify and document 252 separated children on the streets of Conakry. These children were separated from their families following rebel incursions into border areas, resulting in a sadly unknown number of Guinean and refugee children being abducted and forcibly recruited into the rebel forces and turned into child soldiers.
482. Action taken:
- Repatriation and reintegration of 25 to 40 former child soldiers demobilized in Liberia.
491. In addition, with assistance from ICRC, 23 former child combatants in Liberia were demobilized and returned to their homes in Guinée Forestière, involving 16 communities in four prefectures. These children were able to rejoin their families and benefit from a customized project monitored by the non-governmental organization Sabou Guinée with funding from UNICEF. 
Guinea, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 18 April 2012, UN Doc. CRC/C/GIN/2, submitted 24 December 2009, §§ 471, 475, 482 and 491.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
In 2009, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) stated:
2. Children in armed conflict (art. 38 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child]), including physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration (art. 39 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child])
127. In the event of war, the Government will review the measures necessary for the physical and mental rehabilitation of children who are the victims of armed conflict and their social reintegration, according to the possibilities at the time.
128. Since the past 30 years have been a time of peace, children under 18 have never been the victims of war. As a result, the Government has no policy or plan to repair the physical and psychological effects of war on children and promote their social reintegration; similarly, no measure has been taken to demobilize child soldiers, as the Lao People’s Army contains no soldiers below the age of 18.
129. Given that the provisions of articles 38 and 39 of the Convention do not reflect the actual situation in the Lao PDR, the Government is unable to assess the progress made or difficulties encountered in implementing those articles. It is, however, in the process of looking into the possibility of signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. 
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 10 August 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/LAO/2, submitted 22 April 2009, §§ 127–129.
Liberia
In 2009, in its combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Liberia stated:
173. Working with UNDP and UNICEF, the Government implemented the Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Programme. The Programme commenced in December 2003 and had disarmed 103,912 persons by December 2004. The number of children demobilised was 11,780. Of these, 2,738 were girls while 9,042 were boys.
302. Much was accomplished through the Disarmament and Demobilisation for Children Associated with Fighting Forces in Liberia. The 9,042 and 2,738 together represented 11 per cent of individuals who were disarmed through the programme in the country. The programme, which was the first to pay a transitional safety allowance, had many partners including UNDP, UNICEF, and child protection agencies in the country. 
Liberia, Combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2009, §§ 173 and 302.
Liberia also stated:
196. The Government and its partners have accomplished much to reintegrate children that were demobilised after the war. Assisted by partners such as UNICEF, the Government implemented the Reintegration Programme for Children Associated with Fighting Forces. The Programme aimed at social and economic reintegration, community reintegration, and education through vocational skills and apprenticeships. In addition to helping establish 293 child welfare committees, the programme contributed towards the formation of 228 children’s clubs and 193 youth clubs to facilitate greater participation for the children.
197. As of April 2007, 217 of the child welfare committees, 163 of the children’s clubs, and 35 of the youth groups were still active. The results included 50 per cent of the children associated with the fighting forces being returned to school. In addition, many possess vocational and business skills and apprenticeship and work-related experiential knowledge. An evaluation of the programme certified that the children were well accepted and appreciated in their communities, following the programme.
198. A less successful result was with regard to the economic reintegration, largely because of the poor economic situation obtaining in the country. Currently, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Women and Children Protection Section of the Police do significant rehabilitation work. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is required to:
[A]ddress the experiences of women, children and vulnerable groups, paying particular attention to gender based violation, as well as to the issues of child soldiers, providing opportunities for them to relate their experiences, addressing concerns and recommending measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations in the spirit of national reconciliation and healing. 
Liberia, Combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 9 November 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/LBR/2-4, submitted 5 August 2009, §§ 196–198.
[footnote in original omitted]
Liberia further stated:
Since the end of war, the Government has worked with its partners to strengthen the protection of children in the country. Starting with the economic, education, and social integration of children who were associated with fighting forces, the efforts have gradually extended to other child protection areas, such as juvenile justice and the institutionalisation of children.  
Liberia, Combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 9 November 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/LBR/2-4, submitted 5 August 2009, § 312.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
Mexico calls on the international community to strengthen its efforts to protect children, in particular, … to cooperate with and assist States that suffer the consequences of armed conflict in order to strengthen or establish programmes for the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers into their communities and families. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative of Mexico before the UN Security Council, 6114th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6114, 29 April 2009, p. 29.
Mexico
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children in armed conflict, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs stated:
Mexico will continue to guide the work of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict inclusively and with determination and transparency until the end of its mandate as non-permanent member of the Security Council.
We would like to focus on five aspects … [including] supporting the establishment of comprehensive programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate children in the ranks of armed groups into their families and communities, as well as preventing new violations and abuses against them. 
Mexico, Statement by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico before the UN Security Council, 6341th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6341, 16 June 2010, p. 13.
Norway
In 2009, in a White Paper on “Norway’s Humanitarian Policy”, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The Government supports the efforts to reintegrate child soldiers into their families and local communities, and it makes active endeavours to strengthen the protection of children.” 
Norway, Report to Parliament, White Paper on “Norway’s Humanitarian Policy”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 May 2009, p. 18.
Rwanda
In 2003, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Rwanda stated:
317. Some children under the age of 18 were enrolled in the armed forces during the war and genocide of 1994. Immediately after the war, all these children were demobilized and a programme of rehabilitation and school reintegration was implemented with the support of international sponsors, as suggested by the spirit of Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which has been ratified by the Rwandan Government.
318. Other children serving with the armed bands of infiltrators from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are often captured by the Rwandan army and sent to solidarity camps for re-education and reintegration into society. As of 30 July 2001, the Mudende solidarity camp housed 273 ex-combatant minors, aged from 12 to 18. A programme of assistance to these minors has been drawn up and MINALOC [Ministry of Local Administration and Social Affairs], in cooperation with UNICEF, the World Food programme and Assoferwa, has, starting on 11 August 2001, transferred these children to the Gitagata centre so that they can be cared for, re-educated and taught a trade. 
Rwanda, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Doc CRC/C/70Add.22, 8 October 2003, §§ 317–318.
Rwanda
In 2010, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Rwanda stated:
I. Summary
4. … Rwanda ratified the [2000] Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict] following the liberation war that began in 1990 and culminated in the Tutsi Genocide in 1994. The war and the Tutsi Genocide have deeply affected Rwandan children. Some of them were involved or are still involved in armed conflicts. They were initially Genocide survivor children who joined RPF [Rwanda Patriotic Front] in search of security and then Rwandan children belonging to armed groups in DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo].
5. At the time of the drafting of this report, Rwanda is in the demobilisation phase in which children have been given special attention. Their demobilisation began in 1997 with children who had taken refuge in RPA [Rwanda Patriotic Front] and it has currently been extended to children belonging to armed groups in DRC who are disarmed and repatriated to be reintegrated into the society.
6. The present report contains political and legislative measures that were taken by the Government of Rwanda in the framework of the implementation of the Protocol. However, since all these measures ensure that any person under eighteen years of age should not be in the army, the application of the Protocol concerns especially the demobilisation and social reintegration of children who were involved in armed conflicts.
7. Measures taken in this area include the creation of a Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, which has a child protection unit, as well as the establishment of a demobilisation camp specifically for children. The camp receives children repatriated from DRC but the remaining major handicap is that these children come in very small numbers since armed groups continue to keep them in their rank and file.
III. General information
B. General Measures of implementation of the Protocol
1. Policy measures
24. … Rwanda formulated a national policy on orphans and other vulnerable children since January 2003. This policy contains strategies and measures to respond to various situations of vulnerability of the child. Under the National Policy on Orphans and other Vulnerable Children, children affected by armed conflicts are displaced, kidnapped or refugee children who are forced by the war, genocide, poverty or armed groups to take part in armed conflicts. Children who take part in armed conflicts are not only those who fight on the frontline, but also informers, cooks, carriers and others.
25. Specific objectives of the Policy on these children are the following:
(c) To reintegrate children affected by conflicts into their communities.
26. To achieve these objectives, the following strategies are used:
(a) To demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers;
(b) To establish monitoring mechanisms for reintegrated children;
(c) To promote the culture of peace, reconciliation, tolerance and conflict resolution by negotiation.
C. Factors and difficulties that hinder the fulfilment of obligations provided for in the Protocol
41. The implementation of the Protocol is faced with constraints of which the major one is the low rate of the repatriation of Rwandan children enrolled in armed groups operating in RDC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. This low rate of repatriation is due to the fact that the armed groups keep children in their ranks and prevent them from being disarmed, demobilized and repatriated and from eventually being reintegrated into the civilian life. Out of 2500 children that are estimated to belong to armed groups in DRC, only 702 have been repatriated. At the time of writing the present report, 661 children had been reintegrated in their families or in foster families while Muhazi Centre hosts 41 children.
IV. Specific measures of implementation of the Protocol
73. … Beyond the national territory, Rwandan children involved in armed conflicts in neighbouring countries, in particular in DRC, have been disarmed and demobilised and are hence repatriated to be reintegrated into the society. The Government uses intensive diplomatic measures both at the national level and international level so that children held hostages are identified and repatriated.
Article 5: Provisions of the national legislation or international instruments and international humanitarian law applicable to Rwanda that promote most the respect of the rights of the child; the state of ratification by Rwanda of major international instruments on the participation of children in armed conflicts and other commitments entered into by the country in this area
2. Paragraph 3: Measures adopted on disarmament, demobilization (or relieve from military obligations) and the provision of suitable assistance for physical and psychological re-adaptation and social reintegration of children, taking into account the specific situation of girls
(a) Measures adopted on disarmament, demobilization (or relieve from military obligations)
124. In this area, Rwanda established a Commission called Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, created by Presidential Decree N°37/01 of 09 April 2002.
125. In the framework of the World Bank’s Multi-Country Demobilization and reintegration Programme (MDRP), Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (PRDR) was adopted in 2002 with the following objectives:
(a) To assemble ex-combatants identified and repatriated by UNMIC [United Nations Mission for the Democratic Republic of Congo], i.e. to verify their status, nationality and age as well as enable them to benefit [from] demobilisation and reintegration programmes;
(b) To monitor and coordinate reintegration activities in families and communities;
(c) To sensitize and prepare decentralized authorities to receive and care for ex-combatant children;
(d) To ensure monitoring after reintegration;
(e) To provide appropriate assistance to ensure physical [and] psychological re-adaptation and social reintegration of children.
126. After their arrival at the demobilization camp, children receive basic personal effects. Children also receive basic care, as some of them will have been wounded by bullets or suffer from various infections. The centre has a dispensary for this purpose.
127. Psychosocial support is also provided for. This is why in the programme called Post Traumatic Stressed Disorders (PTSD), each child meets a social worker once a week and their session last at least for three hours. The centre has two social workers, a man and a woman.
128. Still on health care, Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission has signed an agreement with Ruhengeri Hospital, Kigali Central Hospital and University hospital (CHUK), Kanombe Military hospital to provide health care to ex-soldier children during the process of demobilization and reintegration. The Commission meets the cost of medical care for children who have serious infections that require follow-up after reintegration, for a period of 12 months maximum.
129. In the demobilization centres, children receive a balanced diet. Children learn how to read, write and to count and this prepares the younger among them to resume normal education, once reintegrated into the society. They also receive other lessons among which civic education.
130. These school activities begin immediately on arrival at the camp where each child receives uniform identical to that of pupils of primary school. The centre has a permanent teacher, while others are external and are provided by decentralised authorities, depending on the lessons offered.
131. In addition, children are allowed to play, sing, dance, watch films, etc. the centre has football and volley ball grounds, game’s halls, a television with a video tape recorder. The centre is also open to the surrounding population who may equally benefit from these social activities and this provides an opportunity for children to socialise and familiarize themselves with the environment in which they are being prepared to live.
133. These activities in the demobilization camp are accompanied by Family Tracing, i.e. the research for families or families close to the children since the centre only serves as [a] transit place. The National policy on the matter is that every child should have a family.
Family Tracing is carried out in collaboration with ICRC which must each time obtain the opinion of the child.
134. The ex-soldier child who has just been demobilized may reintegrate the civil life through various options:
(a) Handing over the child to its parents (father and mother) or to the one of the two surviving parents (ideal option);
(b) Hand over the child to a foster family (Fostering);
(c) Group home that consists in grouping a limited number of children of (3, 4, or 5) in one family;
(d) Independent life (A child with its own household).
(e) Institutionalization, i.e. putting the child in an orphanage or in a centre for other vulnerable children.
135. Of all these options, ex-soldier children reintegrated until now were received by their families (nuclear or extended family). For children whose families were traced, there exists a reunification ceremony to which local authorities and the surrounding community are invited …
(i) Specific Situation of Girls
140. In connection with ex-girl soldiers and according to the data of RDRC [Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission], only 2 girls were officially demobilised …
141. If only two girls have been until now officially repatriated and have been reintegrated, it does not mean that armed groups do not use girls aged less than eighteen years in their activities. However, most [of] the ex-fighting girls prefer to clandestinely regain the civilian life as they prefer to keep this part of their worry to keep hidden this part of past “under military service” hidden as in most cases this traumatizing past is considered as a source of scorn and a shame by the society in which these children have to relive.
142. As for RDRP [Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Programme], it does not make any distinction of beneficiary children and despite that there are very few girls demobilized through the official process designed in the framework of this programme, facilities are especially put in place for them at demobilisation centres (separate dormitories and toilet facilities from those of boys, female social worker).
(ii) Children targeted by these measures [and] their participation in designed programmes …
143. Children targeted by this programme are Rwandan children recruited by armed militia operating in DRC. There is also a Burundian child who was repatriated in 2006 and who belonged to FNL [National Forces of Liberation]. The family of this child was traced and the child reunified.
(c) Various measures taken to ensure social rehabilitation of children, for example, temporary care, access to education, and to professional training, reintegration in the family and in the community and relevant legal measures, taking into account specific needs of the children concerned, depending particularly on their age and their sex
164. At the Demobilization Centre itself, the Commission, the child, his parents and local authorities discuss what the child will be able to do, once reintegrate[d] into the society, particularly depending on the age, sex, capacity of the child and the potentialities of the surrounding environment. The choices are particularly directed towards:
(a) Professional training (Trades): There exist a Convention between the Commission and GACULIRO Youth Professional Training Centre where children can learn various trades;
(b) Formal education for the youth;
(c) Income generating activities (IGA). This orientation is preferred by the oldest children. The main activities which they carry out are agriculture and animal keeping and informal trade. 
Rwanda, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 6 December 2011, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/RWA/1, submitted 20 January 2010, §§ 4–7, 24–26, 41, 73, 124–131, 133–135, 140–143 and 164.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Sierra Leone
In 2006, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Sierra Leone stated:
267. Regarding the response of Government to the civil conflict, which was officially declared at an end in January 2002, the Government reiterates that it disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated into society a total of 6,845 children associated with the fighting forces out of a total of 72,490 combatants who were disarmed and demobilized from all factions. … After setting the age of majority for purposes of the DDR [Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration] programme at 18 years, the Government noted that 8 per cent of the total number of demobilized combatant children were girls. …
268. The Government, through the Ministry for Social Welfare, UNICEF-Sierra Leone and other CPN [Child Protection Network] partners, further reports that it has used a number of child-responsive programmes to react to the problems associated with demobilization and the attendant psychosocial trauma. Various ICCs [Interim Care Centres] equipped with welfare support workers and “camp followers” were set up in order to make demobilization of children associated with the fighting forces child-centred. Mediation with families, psychosocial healing, rapid response and education recovery methods, as well as skills training for older children were systematically applied. An exit strategy for children was also created through the Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) programme to trace and reunite lost and found children with their families/guardians or relations. Fostering and responsible placement were also conducted for children who were orphaned by the conflict or whose parents/guardians could not be traced. Certain child protection groups/organizations, such as the Forum for African Women Educationalists, undertook medical treatment of children who were victims of sex-related diseases, early/forced pregnancies and drug abuse. These groups/organizations kept comprehensive data on the abuse of women and girls and the treatment they received for sex-related diseases and complications.
270. The Government also acknowledges that UNICEF-Sierra Leone, the focal partner of the Ministry for Social Welfare, has continued to provide reunification support in the form of education packages, including school items and fees, for a total of 3,086 children affected by the DDR programme. In particular, UNICEF-Sierra Leone reports that since 2002, a total of 957 teaching/learning/recreational packages were supplied to 550 schools where children associated with the fighting forces were enrolled; consequently, a total of 272,527 pupils and 7,644 teachers in the 550 schools benefited directly from the packages. Besides, the agency records that 1,414 girls who had not been included in the DDR programme due to various fears, including stigmatization, were reintegrated and provided with DDR services. To date, many children associated with the fighting forces have either graduated from school or are advancing their education in institutions of higher learning or skills centres.
271. The Government reports too that the current basic education programme is greatly complementing reintegration services available to war-affected children generally. The Ministry, UNICEF-Sierra Leone and other CPN partners continue to monitor the general reintegration patterns of affected children into peaceful society. 
Sierra Leone, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 8 September 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/SLE/2, §§ 267–268 and 270–271.
Sierra Leone
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sierra Leone stated:
28. With regard to the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of child ex-combatants, 6,845 children that were associated with the fighting forces, out of a total of 72,490 combatants, were disarmed and demobilized from the various factions. The Government of Sierra Leone set the age of majority at 18 years for the purposes of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme. It was noted that of the total number of 6,845 children associated with the fighting forces that went through the DDR programme, 8 per cent of them were girls.
29. In response to the reintegration needs of the children, the State Party established the National Commission for War Affected Children (NaCWAC) by Act of Parliament in January 2001. The Commission was officially inaugurated in January 2002. The main purpose of the Commission was to provide the requisite environment for psychosocial recovery, and capacity building of war affected and other disadvantaged children, for expeditious reintegration into their families and communities.
30. The line Ministry, NaCWAC and other child protection agencies, with support from UNICEF, established interim care centres, nationwide, as a stepping stone in the children’s reintegration process. Specialized care was provided for children who were victims of sexual abuse and sex-related diseases. 
Sierra Leone, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 5 April 2009, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/SLE/1, submitted 31 March 2008, §§ 28–30.
South Africa
In 2012, in an opening statement at the Twelfth Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation stated:
[T]here have been some encouraging achievements, for example, the [2008] Convention on Cluster Munitions and the [1989] Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which are either signed or ratified by almost all countries in Africa, and as a result many children that were used as child soldiers have been reintegrated back into their communities and are also enrolled in schools. Like the ICRC, South Africa believes very strongly that the safety of all the vulnerable, especially women and children should be of primary consideration. 
South Africa, Opening statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation at the Twelfth Annual Regional Seminar on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in Pretoria, 14 August 2012.
Sri Lanka
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
10. An Action Plan for Children Affected by War was signed by the Government, UNICEF and the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] in 2003 in the aftermath of the 2002 Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA). This included a clear commitment by the LTTE to stop child recruitment while collaborating with the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and UNICEF to provide rehabilitation services for such children. Three transit centres for child soldiers were planned to be established in Killinochchi, Trincomalee and Batticaloa costing US$ 1 million for children due to be released by the LTTE. However, though resources were made available to the TRO by UNICEF, the three centres did not function and children were not released as promised to UNICEF by the LTTE.
19. The Government is encouraged that the TMVP [Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal] facilitated the release in April 2008 of 39 children held by the paramilitary group known as the Karuna faction. These children now have access to rehabilitation, … and reintegration which the Government working in close cooperation with international partners – notably UNICEF – stands ready to provide. …
21. In annex II of the [UN] Secretary-General’s report reference has been made to the Karuna faction, which is a breakaway group of the LTTE and its refusal to release children. However, subsequent to TMVP entering the political process in the East, 11 children were released (out of an original number of 40 who have expressed a desire for release) to the Rehabilitation Centre in Ambepussa. The Government is confident that the TMVP will eventually release all children who are with them. There are current negotiations with the TMVP to get all the children released.
24. In April 2007, the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment established a Task Force in relation to children affected by the armed conflict. It focused on issues raised in United Nations Security Council resolution 1612 and the Security Council Committee set up under it. Subject areas of focus in the Task Force include conformity of Sri Lankan legislation with the [1989] Convention [on the Rights of the Child] to provide protection for children affected by the armed conflict, [and the] protection and rehabilitation of child soldiers …
25. A Steering Committee on the release, providing protective care, rehabilitation and reintegration of children used by armed groups was set up under the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation (CGR), and the Ministry of Justice. Key Government agencies involved include the MCDWE [Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment], NCPA [National Child Protection Authority], Ministries of Vocational Training and Education. Academics as well as UNICEF are members of this committee. A policy has been developed and approved. This includes guiding principles, vision, mission, goal and policy objectives, which are now being implemented. UNICEF has provided support and more resources are being sought for effective implementation of these policies.
49. The Government in 2003 decided to collaborate with UNICEF to draw up a plan to prevent child recruitment. Thus an Action Plan for Children Affected by War (the Action Plan) was signed between the Government, the LTTE and UNICEF in April 2003. The Action Plan focuses on child recruitment both in terms of preventative strategies as well as activities designed to promote demobilisation, immediate release, reintegration, rehabilitation and enable access to psychosocial therapy.
55. The Women and Children’s Division of the Department of Labour is the focal point for implementing ILO-IPEC [International Labour Organization-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour] [a]ctivities in Sri Lanka. The IPEC activities are monitored by a Steering Committee of Stakeholders chaired by the Secretary to the Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower.
56. Among other things, with regard to Children in armed conflict, the IPEC programme implements a number of activities in the districts of Amparai, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Trincomalee, and Vavuniya which are in the North and the East of Sri Lanka. The specific IPEC responses are delivered within two inter-UN agency projects: The Action Plan for Children affected by War and the project on Repatriation, Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (4Rs) in North East of Sri Lanka. The target group of beneficiaries are vulnerable children, including child soldiers from female-headed households and internally displaced families and adult family members. … The development objective of IPEC’s North-East programme is to contribute to the withdrawal of child labour, specifically child soldiers from the worst forms of child labour through reintegration … programmes …
58. The Government is … committed to the prevention of recruitment as well as the protection, care, rehabilitation and reintegration of all children under the age of eighteen years who have been recruited as combatants by the LTTE and its break-away Karuna faction. … However, in the context of the ongoing fight against LTTE, the Government seeks the support of relevant international organizations to strengthen the capacity of institutions such as the NCPA, the HRCSL and the Office of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation to … provide protection, rehabilitate and re-integrate the children who had been used in armed conflict.
62. Sri Lanka … is committed to ensure not only the unconditional release of all children recruited but to protect, rehabilitate and to reintegrate such children into society.
80. A separate Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment was established in 2005 by the present Government. This Ministry supports and assists the Government in its efforts to prevent child abuse and in the protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of children who have been subjected to abuse … and recruitment.
91. Pursuant to a decision taken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights (IMCHR) in November 2007, the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights established a multidisciplinary Committee to inquire into allegations of abduction and recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. The Committee is mandated to:
(c) Monitor and recommend steps to assure that released children have access to facilities and procedures aimed at their protection, rehabilitation and reintegration in accordance with Sri Lankan written law and, in doing so, pay special attention to the needs of female children.
93. The Committee decided that supervision and rehabilitation of children was a crucial issue, which would be undertaken by the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (CGR) appointed by the Government in September 2006. Security forces, including the police, provide the necessary support. Relevant line Ministries and agencies such as the NCPA, UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have also been requested to provide support. The Committee agreed to request the IGP [Inspector General of Police] to assign special police officers to investigate children in “custody” who have been recruited or abducted for use in armed conflict.
94. A sub-committee with a multi-disciplinary membership has been established under the supervision of the Chairman/NCPA to assess former child combatants in depth, and also to provide psychosocial support. This sub-committee is coordinating with UNICEF in the establishment of a “child friendly” support system.
95. It is proposed to set up Village-level Committees for the purpose of surveillance and prevention of recruitment of children for armed conflict, which would also support family reintegration of former child combatants.
96. Guidelines on Protective care, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Child Combatants have been developed in collaboration with the office of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation.
97. The Guidelines include the following:
(d) To establish an interim protective care centre/s of a multi-sectoral nature which provides opportunities for child combatants who “surrender” or who are “demobilized” which will enable them to be re-united with their families, facilitate reintegration with their families and communities, provide access to health and nutrition and any other services relevant to their special needs including any war injuries and disabilities they may have suffered;
(e) Creating a balanced and unified “release” mechanism which incorporates both an interim centre based protective care system as well as an effective process and mechanism for family reunification and community integration;
(g) To respond effectively to the psychosocial needs of the children. These can commence with the introduction of diverse activities and interventions such as health and nutrition, … [and] family reunification. Such interventions have [the] potential to mitigate psychosocial needs and problems particularly if it is possible to build interventions as components connected with the emotions and feelings of children which they are generally expected to endure. However, in-depth training for caregivers working at the care centre is essential as they have to play an important role;
(h) Preventing reinforcement of negative identities and developing new ones to prevent stigmatization and the creation of resentment during the provision of interim protective care;
(i) Plan and develop community based interventions which take into account family realities of such children such as poverty, health and nutrition needs, … skill development, protection, and security concerns;
(j) To improve financing and resource allocation.
98. As part of the Action Plan for Children Affected by War, formulated in 2003, UNICEF collaborated with the Government in planning a mass media awareness campaign on child rights … The mass media awareness campaign … included messages and commitments to ensure the care and reintegration of returning underage recruits, promote child rights in the context of peace and reconciliation.
99. According to reports by UNICEF, the mass media campaign was indefinitely postponed to January 2004 as the LTTE did not approve of the key messages. It was subsequently never implemented.
106. Due to the total lack of commitment showed by LTTE as stated above, the Government established the Office of the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation in September 2006, which was designated to handle all aspects of rehabilitation including children. A special gazette pertaining to “child friendly procedures” is being finalised at present.
107. All children in war affected areas[,] including those who have managed to escape from the LTTE as well as those vulnerable to recruitment[,] are provided [with] free preventive and curative health care by the Government. This has continued during the entire period of the conflict without discrimination, even in uncleared areas. …
108. Children vulnerable to recruitment and those who have escaped have access to a wide network of Government primary health care services and free curative health care services. This includes an emphasis on maternal and child care services. This has continued throughout the conflict from 1983 and is sustained by the Government. The package of services for children in the North-East is the same as those provided in the rest of the country.
Protective accommodation and rehabilitation centres
114. In its effort towards the realization of the objective mentioned above, the President, by regulation dated 12th September 2006, appointed the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation (CGR) who is entrusted with specific responsibilities in relation to all “surrendees” of the conflict, including children. A new regulation incorporating child friendly procedures for the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of child surrendees has been drafted.
115. The current procedure which applies to “surrendees” is as follows:
(a) When a person (including a child) surrenders, the authorized officer or person to whom he surrenders is required to hand over such surrendee to the CGR within ten days of the surrender. A surrendee is required to give a written statement to the authorized officer to the effect that he is surrendering voluntarily;
(b) In terms of this regulation the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence is authorized to approve centres called “Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres” for the purpose of receiving and keeping surrendees;
(c) The CGR is entrusted with the task of assigning a surrendee to a centre … The CGR is authorized to keep a surrendee for twelve months in the first instance at such centre and has to forward a report to the Secretary, Ministry of Defence within two months indicating the nature of the rehabilitation being carried out in respect of the surrendee. Surrendees are entitled to meet their parents, relations or guardians once in every two weeks;
(d) The CGR is required to forward, before the expiration of the period of twelve months, a report stating whether in his opinion, it is appropriate to release the surrendee or extend the period of rehabilitation of such surrendee. The Secretary to the Ministry of Defence may after perusing the report, either order the release of such surrendee or extend the period of rehabilitation for periods of three months at a time … however … the aggregate period of such extensions shall not exceed a further twelve months. Each such extension has to be made on the recommendation of the CGR and of an Advisory Committee appointed by the President;
(e) The “surrendee” may be investigated after three months of his being assigned to a centre, with the prior written approval of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence for his involvement in the commission of an offence set out in paragraph 2 of the Regulation and where necessary, tried for such offence. Where a surrendee is found guilty of such offence the court may take into consideration the fact of his surrender in determining the sentence to be imposed on him. The court may[,] where appropriate, order that such surrendee be subject to a further period of rehabilitation at a centre;
(f) Where a surrendee who is over sixteen years of age and is so subjected to a further period of rehabilitation acts in a manner detrimental to the rehabilitation programme the court may after summary inquiry sentence him to imprisonment in lieu of rehabilitation. However action is being taken to finalise a separate Gazette notification where Children are concerned. This will incorporate the objectives of the policy on Child Rehabilitation.
116. The Government has completed construction work in the centre at Ambepussa, which is scheduled to be opened soon. Resources are required to develop the Ambepussa centre as well as the Office of the CGR.
117. As a temporary measure child surrendees are presently housed at Pallekelle in Kandy, until the permanent centre at Ambepussa is opened. Already the officers manning the centre have rendered assistance to children who did not have a passport or identity card. They also assisted such children to contact their parents. Those who wished to return to their homes were assisted to do so and 10 children were reintegrated. There are 11 at present, many of whom also want to return to their families. A community based system to protect such children from re-recruitment is being put in to place.
118. Once the surrendees are accommodated at the permanent [rehabilitation] centre at Ambepussa, … the Government has developed a programme which includes skills development, … training in aesthetics, … and sports. Psychosocial support will also be provided. All surrendees will be provided with such services as are necessary for their physical and mental wellbeing. The determination of which services children will have access to will be done with the guidance and consent of the parents and the children concerned. The overall objective is to equip children to be reintegrated with their parents and the community to which they belong. This interim protective care will include health services, nutrition, … psychosocial support, … and rehabilitation support. The NCPA will collaborate with the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation on many of these aspects including the Ministries of Vocational Training, Child Development and Women’s Empowerment as well as UNICEF.
119. The assessment of health and nutrition status will be prioritized and will include a response to the psychological and emotional needs of the surrendee. The special needs of girls will be taken into account of and appropriate measures will be developed to provide psychosocial counselling and care based on individual need.
120. Details of surrendees will be treated with confidence in order to ensure their protection. The aim will be to equip these children to earn a livelihood on their own while re-integrating with society and thus avoiding the risk of re-recruitment.
121. A balanced and unified system of release which incorporates both interim care centers and services of a multi[-]sectoral nature which provide a protective mechanism for immediate family re-unification and community re-integration is aimed at.
122. An interim care protective environment will be established and created for those children who need to remain. … During the period of protective interim care, care will be taken to prevent re-enforcement of negative identities. The establishment and operation of interim care centres (Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centers) will be undertaken on a basis of transparency and accountability.
123. These interim care centres will provide opportunities for child combatants who surrender or who are demobilized to be reunited with their families, facilitate reintegration with their families and communities, provide access to health, nutrition and medical care and other services based on the particular needs of the children including any war injuries and disabilities which they may have suffered. This will be undertaken through centre and community based interventions and programmes based on the individual needs of the children.
124. The Government considers it important that an effective follow-up at community level once the child leaves the centre is provided. A home visiting system through trained care givers will be provided. The support of local organizations will be mobilized in the reintegration process. Community based interventions would be planned and developed. A district referral system will be formulated on existing reintegration services, which will strengthen psycho-social counselling and support from Government and non-governmental organizations and will be used to address community based integration …
125. Since Sri Lankan children living in the North and East have been recruited as child combatants since 1983, a comprehensive plan to undertake wide scale rehabilitation and family reunification … which will cover all those affected is essential.
126. The NCPA is committed to prevent children being used as combatants. This involves advocacy against recruitment as well as the promotion of viable options for rehabilitation.
128. The Government has now taken over the task of providing rehabilitation and protective care for child combatants under the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. A policy has been developed and the first permanent centre is being set up in Ambepussa.
Rehabilitation and psychosocial support
129. The UNICEF-supported transit centre established in Kilinochchi in 2003 only functioned for a short period and the release programme was not effective. … Thus more community based options for rehabilitation will need to be determined.
130. … The Government in collaboration with organizations such as UNICEF and German Economic Cooperation (GTZ) has … provided support for psychosocial counselling in communities and schools. There are also programmes conducted by the Ministry of Health staff through the Baticaloa General Hospital as well as Vavuniya and Jaffna. The impact of such programmes needs to be determined. Since the conflict is ongoing, the numbers affected are high and difficult to reach in a comprehensive manner.
133. The Ministry of Health under its programme on mental health has appointed mental health officers island-wide including the North and East. Such officers provide clinic services related to psychosocial therapy[,] provide outreach care and conduct education programmes. Efforts to involve them more effectively, for the benefit of former child combatants[,] are important.
Financial assistance
137. The Government seeks financial support to implement its programme on the rehabilitation of child combatants. There is also need for … the reintegration of combatants who return to their families. 
Sri Lanka, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 February 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/LKA/1, submitted 16 June 2008, §§ 10, 19, 21, 24–25, 49, 55–56, 58, 62, 80, 91(c), 93–96, 97(d)–(e) and (g)–(j), 98–99, 106–108, 114–126, 128–130, 133 and 137.
[footnote in original omitted]
Sri Lanka
In 2008, in its combined third and fourth periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Sri Lanka stated:
336. The Action Plan for Children Affected by War was a multi-sectoral programme drawn up in 2003 during the period following the Ceasefire Agreement. It involved the participation of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam], with the … focus being … rehabilitating former child combatants. The Action Plan included provision for psychosocial care, … health and nutrition, [and] income generation. …
341. … The limitations and negative experiences with past rehabilitation measures led the present Government to take a fresh look at the need for a new approach to the rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers. …
342. … In September 2006, a Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (CGR) was appointed under the Office of the President. The CGR now takes the lead in the rehabilitation of “child surrendees”, who give themselves up in to government authorities.
343. The Government has established a dedicated centre for “child surrendees”, the Ambepussa Rehabilitation Centre. Around 90 children have been through the centre, with 25 currently in residence. The CGR has developed a policy framework for the rehabilitation of “child surrendees” in collaboration with the NCPA [National Child Protection Authority]. Accordingly they are provided with … language and literacy skills in addition to protection. They are provided with psycho social support including regular access to their parents. Some child surrendees in the east decided to be reintegrated with their parents in their own communities.
344. Local NGOs and designated government authorities are involved in monitoring such children. Efforts are being made to involve the Probation and Child care staff in such monitoring including the NCPA coordinators. Action is also being taken to identify transit homes in each district for such children to get protection in case this is preferred to being at the main centre.
345. The Government is finalizing an amendment to Emergency Regulations to deal with the situation of child surrendees – Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No. 1 of 2005. The amendment will provide for the establishment of Protective Child Accommodation Centres and Protective Child Rehabilitation Centres, the latter to extend psychosocial support, … and other services which would facilitate the successful reintegration of a child surrendee[] into his or her family, community and eventually society. The regulation will contain the procedure to be followed when a person under “18 surrenders” such as informing the child’s parents of guardian, Probation Officer and the NCPA area coordinator; investigation regarding the child’s circumstances; appearance before a Magistrate; preparation of reports; and accommodation.
348. As a follow up to Security-Council resolution 1612 and the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on children affected by the conflict, a task force meets regularly under the Secretary [of the] Ministry of Child [D]evelopment to discuss and follow up outstanding issues, particularly in relation to action needed. These include issues such as child recruitment and rehabilitation.
349. Psychosocial support and assistance for children affected by the armed conflict have been given attention by both government and NGOs at community level. Such programmes cover child combatants released to homes as well as other children affected by the conflict living in communities. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 20 January 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 24 October 2008, §§ 336, 341–345 and 348–349.
Sri Lanka
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
Child soldiers
62. … [T]he Government of Sri Lanka has undertaken … and continues to undertake, progressive action towards … facilitating rehabilitation of former child combatants. …
64. Recently, Sri Lanka introduced new regulations under the Public Security Ordinance, which specifies procedures for the rehabilitation of children leaving armed groups. …
65. Sri Lanka respects its obligations in the [1989] Convention on the Rights of the Child, the [2000] Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and Sri Lanka’s commitments to the international community.
67. The end of the conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, and the end of the terrorist activities of the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam], marks a significant starting point for the Government and for the children affected by the armed conflict. Today, with the end of [LTTE] terrorism, most child combatants have been identified.
69. The Government is now tasked with ensuring the protection and promotion of the rights of former “child soldiers” and their successful reintegration into society. …
End of war and rehabilitation of former child soldiers
70. His Excellency the President, by Regulation dated 12 September 2006, appointed a Commissioner General of Rehabilitation (CGR) who is entrusted with specific responsibilities in relation to all “surrendees” of the ongoing conflict which include … children. The CGR now takes the lead in the rehabilitation of “Child Surrendees” and functions under the President’s Office.
71. In terms of this Regulation, the CGR in consultation with the district secretary, Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care and Services and the NCPA [National Child Protection Authority] will identify protective accommodation and rehabilitation centres for the purpose of receiving Child surrendees. Policies on protective care, rehabilitation and reintegration of child combatants have been developed by a multisectoral committee headed by the NCPA.
72. The CGR is entrusted with the task of providing surrendees with [inter alia] protective care, [and] psychosocial support. There are at present three such centres. The centre in Ambepussa, is for children … Facilities at the centres include the provision of food, clothing and basic necessaries. An immediate step at the centre is to reunite such surrendees particularly the children with their parents.
73. The centre at Ambepussa receives surrendees under the age of eighteen years and women. This Centre has been set up by the Government exclusively to care for and reintegrate children leaving armed groups. This rehabilitation process involves psychosocial counseling, spiritual guidance and social rehabilitation. … In addition 239 child soldiers verified by UNICEF and currently in the IDP camps are due to be admitted to a new rehabilitation centre … [for] former child soldiers being opened in Vavuniya in 2 weeks where they could be close to their families. UNICEF is working closely with the Gov[ernment] to support this new Centre as well.
74. The centres at Welikanda and Jaffna, accommodate surrendees over eighteen years. Arrangements have already been made to impart training in plumbing, tailoring and bread making. The officers manning the centres assist surrendees to obtain necessary documentation including passports, birth certificates and identity cards, if they do not possess such.
75. … Plans are also … to open a [g]ym for their leisure. Religious and cultural activities in keeping with their own socio[-]ethnic background take place and surrendees are allowed access to their families regularly during their period of stay at the centres.
76. Accordingly, “Child Surrendees” are provided with psychosocial support, including regular access to their parents, local NGO’s and designated government authorities who are involved in monitoring such children. Efforts are being made to involve the staff of the Department of Probation and Child Care, as well as the NCPA coordinators in such monitoring. Action is also being taken to identify transit homes in each district, for such children to get protection, in case this is preferred over the main centre.
77. There are two other centres at Welikanda and Jaffna, to which former combatants (adults) are admitted. The Commissioner for Rehabilitation is engaged in an ongoing programme of providing training to such ex-combatants in partnership with the Ministries of Vocational Training, Education and also the Cadet Core. The Government plans to open another Centre at Vavuniya. Plans are also underway to set up transit centres in the Eastern Province. Depending on the need, the Government plans to open more centres.
Legal and institutional initiatives undertaken to facilitate rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers
78. New regulations have been framed under section 5 of the Public Security Ordinance by the President in order to introduce “Child Friendly” procedures and processes related to the surrender and release of children recruited as combatants.
79. Under these regulations the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation in consultation with the District Secretary of any district, the relevant Provincial Commissioner of Probation of Child Care Services and the Chairman, National Child Protection Authority identifies suitable locations for the establishment of the following:
(a) Protective Child Accommodation Centres for the purpose of providing accommodation and support for person under 18 years of age who surrender or who are arrested in terms of the provisions of these regulations; and
(b) Protective Child Rehabilitation Centres for the purpose of providing care, [and] psychosocial support for the facilitation of the process of reintegration of such child into his family, community and into society.
80. It is to be noted that the centres are not only for children who surrender but also for those who are arrested. The person to whom the child surrenders or by whom the child is arrested shall produce a child within 24 hours of such surrender or arrest at the nearest police station. He has to record the statement of such child and the circumstances in which such child surrendered or was arrested and ensure the custody of such child in a place which is apart from adult surrendee or detainees if any.
82. The officer in charge of the police station has to forthwith take all measures to inform the parents or guardians of such child the Probation Officer and the Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority of such area and produce a child within 24 hours before the Magistrate.
83. Such Magistrate interviews the child in camera assisted by the Probation Officer, the police, the Child Rights Promotion Officer or the co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority and where possible the parents of the child surrendee. The Magistrate has to take all necessary measures to ensure that the mother tongue of the child is used for such interview and where that is not possible that an instantaneous translation of such interview is provided.
84. The Magistrate also orders a medical examination of such child and orders a social inquiry report wherein the immediate and long term needs of the child are clearly set out and either returns such child to his parent or guardian or makes order that such child be placed in a Protective Child Accommodation centre for a period of one month supported and monitored by the provincial commissioner of probation and child care services.
85. At the end of the period of one month the Magistrate having regard to the results of the medical examination and interview and social inquiry report, with the assistance of the police determines:
(a) Whether … [a surrendered or arrested] child [soldier] should be returned to the charge, care and custody of his parents or guardian;
(b) Whether such child should be accommodated for a period not exceeding one year in a protective child accommodation centre under the care and supervision of the Provincial Commissioner of Probation and Child Care Services; or
(c) Whether such child should be placed in a protective child rehabilitation centre for a period not exceeding one year.
86. In arriving at his determination the Magistrate has to have regard to:
(a) The necessity to ensure the protection and best interest of such child;
(b) The need to effect family reunification or placement within the extended family taking into consideration the necessity to ensure at all times the safety of such child and his family.
87. At all stages of the process, child friendly procedures have to be adopted and the child would be treated with courtesy, consideration and kindness.
88. The officer in charge of a Protective Child [soldier] Accommodation Centre or protective child [soldier] rehabilitation centre in which … [a surrendered or arrested] child [soldier] is placed shall:
(a) Cause such child to be examined by a medical Officer and give him the necessary health care;
(b) Provide him with psychosocial counselling;
(c) Facilitate and encourage visits by and contact with his family at least once a month;
(d) Provide the necessary sustenance and physical care for the child;
(e) Assist the child to obtain the necessary identification and other documents which he is lawfully entitled to obtain. …
89. The Magistrate receives reports on the progress of such child and shall review his decision to place such child at a Protective Child Accommodation Centre once a month and at a Protective Child Rehabilitation Centre once in three months.
90. The Regulation enables children to be reunited with their families, facilitates family reintegration and provides access to … health care and efforts are ongoing to respond to their psychosocial needs.
92. Subsequently His Excellency the President by regulation dated 2008 has established procedures in relation to child [soldier] surrendees which take into account the special vulnerability of children identified as all those under the age of 18 years.
Other steps taken to rehabilitate and reintegrate former child soldiers
94. Several other measures [were] taken by the Government … concerning inter alia, psychosocial support and assistance for children affected by armed conflict …
95. Attention was given to psychosocial support and assistance for children affected by the armed conflict by … the Government … at community level. Such programmes cover child combatants released to homes as well as other children affected by the conflict living in communities.
97. The Psychosocial Coordination Forum operating at district level in the conflict-affected areas is one mechanism to cater to the psychological needs of all children. This mechanism evolved over 2003–2004 but became functional from 2005 with the input of new funds from tsunami aid. The Psychosocial Forum is linked to the mental health units of government hospitals in the relevant areas. The NCPA has appointed Psychosocial Coordinators who act as focal points within DCDCs [District Child Development Committees], thereby allowing for coordination and linkages among government, NGOs and the community in providing psychosocial assistance and support to children. …
98. As a reflection of the government’s commitment at the highest executive level to combat child recruitment, His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched on 26th February 2009 the joint Government of Sri Lanka and UNICEF Public Awareness Campaign on Child Recruitment … [The] campaign targets armed groups, vulnerable communities and children affected by the armed conflict; and communicates the government’s commitment to responding to child recruitment. The message of the campaign is three fold:
(c) Children leaving armed groups will receive rehabilitation and reintegration support from the Government.
99. “Bring back the Child” is a multimedia campaign that calls … for those children currently … [associated with the LTTE] to be released, so that they can return to their families and have access to services, including healthcare, [and] psychosocial support. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, §§ 62, 64–65, 67, 69–80, 82–90, 92, 94–95, 97, 98(c) and 99.
Sri Lanka
In 2011, in its Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis July 2006–May 2009, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence stated:
XII. Consequences of the Humanitarian Operation
Rehabilitation of Former LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] Cadres
270. Rehabilitation efforts of former LTTE cadres have been largely successful. Of the more than eleven thousand LTTE cadres who surrendered or were detained by Security Forces, the 595 former LTTE child soldiers were rehabilitated under a programme assisted by UNICEF and were then reunited with their families by May 2010. A policy decision was made by the Government of Sri Lanka to not prosecute any child soldiers. 
Sri Lanka, Ministry of Defence, Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis July 2006–May 2009, July 2011, § 270.
The Ministry of Defence further stated: “On 18 May 2009, Sri Lanka defeated the LTTE, bringing to an end three decades of conflict and suffering.” 
Sri Lanka, Ministry of Defence, Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis July 2006–May 2009, July 2011, § 12.
Sri Lanka
In 2011, in a table entitled “Rights of Children” included in the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, Sri Lanka’s Government stated:
Focus area
4. Children affected by armed conflict
Goal
4.1 Reintegration of former child combatants who have “surrendered” and been released to their families and communities
Issue
4.1.a Need for greater support with reintegrating children into their families and communities on release
Activity
Provide necessary support including monitoring and follow up services. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka 2011–2016, 2011, p. 104.
Sri Lanka
In 2012, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence issued a press release entitled “Allow Sri Lanka’s efforts at reconciliation to proceed unimpeded – Minister Samarasinghe at UNHCR, ‘No justification or urgency for resolution to implement LLRC recommendations’”, which stated:
The 595 LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] child soldiers who were in Government custody have been rehabilitated under a UNICEF-assisted programme without setting in motion any criminal procedure, and returned to their families within one year. Several have successfully passed their Advanced Level examination last year, some having even gained entry to undergraduate programmes. 
Sri Lanka, Ministry of Defence, “Allow Sri Lanka’s efforts at reconciliation to proceed unimpeded – Minister Samarasinghe at UNHCR, ‘No justification or urgency for resolution to implement LLRC recommendations’”, Press Release, 27 February 2012, p. 7.
Sri Lanka
In 2012, in a section entitled “Theme area: Human Rights” of its National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, which also includes a section entitled “Theme area: International Humanitarian Law Issues”, Sri Lanka’s Government stated:
Recommendation
9.78, 9.82 – Examine on a case-by-case basis the cases relating to young LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] suspects with a view to instituting legal action without delay or rehabilitating and/or releasing them. Ensure that no sooner than they complete the rehabilitation program, children be allowed to live with their families and assisted to continue their studies or earn a living[.]
Activity
This concern has been fully addressed with large numbers pursuing academic activities followed by reunification with their families. …
Recommendation
9.81 – Consider establishing a national, Government led, multidisciplinary task force to develop and implement a comprehensive child-tracing program.
Activity
Child conscripts identified, rehabilitated and re-integrated. 
Sri Lanka, Government, National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 26 July 2012, p. 5.
Sri Lanka
In 2012, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Sri Lanka stated:
45. … As of 1 October 2012, 10,985 persons, which included 594 LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] child soldiers have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. The GoSL [Government of Sri Lanka] adhered to a policy of not subjecting children to legal proceedings based on the rationale that they were victims and not perpetrators. It is to be noted that the child soldiers released were afforded the opportunity of a formal education and restored to their families. 212 youth who were previously pursuing tertiary education were re-inducted into the university system to follow their undergraduate studies. …
46. Particular attention was given to the 594 child soldiers who surrendered. A special rehabilitation programme was organised with assistance from UNICEF. These programmes were carried out at the Child Protection Centre in Poonthottam and the Hindu College in Ratmalana. Great care was taken to providing counselling for the child beneficiaries of the rehabilitation programme. Special spiritual development activities and positive values cultivation programmes were conducted for them. Formal education was provided, with classes being conducted for more than 200 students between Grade 8 and Grade 11, and 65 students in the Advanced Level sections. Several 6 month long vocational training programmes were also conducted in subjects including information technology, aesthetics, carpentry, masonry, beauty culture etc. The child beneficiaries were reunited with their families within one year, and 74 came back to Hindu College in Ratmalana to continue the education programmes they had been following. 
Sri Lanka, Fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 31 January 2013, UN Doc. CCPR/C/LKA/5, submitted 29 October 2012, §§ 45–46.
Sri Lanka also stated:
In accordance with the Government obligations under UNCRC [1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child] no children were recruited by the Government of Sri Lanka during the 30 year conflict and in addition, all feasible measures were undertaken to care for children affected by the conflict. This also included the effective implementation of Article 38 of UNCRC in relation to the rehabilitation of the “Child surrendees”. This included the Extraordinary Gazette notification No 1580/5 on 15th December 2008 which included “Child friendly procedures in relation to “Child surrendees” and policies. These take into account the promotion of physical and psychological recovery, social integration of all children within government jurisdiction. This also includes the setting up of Protective Accommodation Centres for such children through which such recovery and reintegration take place in a manner which safeguards the dignity and self-respect of the children. There is also respect for the child’s view and special emphasis is placed on family reintegration. 
Sri Lanka, Fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 31 January 2013, UN Doc. CCPR/C/LKA/5, submitted 29 October 2012, § 299.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Child soldiers
The Optional Protocol of 2000 to the [1989] UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for measures to ensure the reintegration in society of children who have served as combatants. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 10.
Switzerland
In 2011, in a statement during an interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated: “It is necessary to further examine the question of cross-border cooperation in order to improve the coordination and implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanisms to reintegrate former child soldiers in the society in their country of origin.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland during an interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, 12 October 2011.
Switzerland
In 2012, in its combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Switzerland stated: “Switzerland attaches particular importance to … demobilizing and reintegrating child soldiers.” 
Switzerland, Combined second, third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 30 October 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/CHE/2-4, submitted 19 July 2012, p. 117.
Switzerland
In 2013, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued the “Strategy on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts”, which states that Switzerland “supports projects pertaining to prevention of recruitment of children by parties to a conflict and reintegration of those who have been demobilized”. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Strategy on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, 2013, p. 17.
Uganda
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Uganda stated:
58. … [C]hildren rescued from the LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army] have been handled by a specialized unit within the national armed forces the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Forces], called the Child Protection Unit (CPU), before being handed over to the rehabilitation centers run by civil society organizations …
74. … The UPDF and Save the Children has been working together in ensuring that children rescued from the LRA were taken to reception centers, counseled and reintegrated into the community instead of recruitment into the armed forces. …
115. Over the last 18 years the LRA has abducted over 30,000 children. Of this [number], about 25,000 have returned and over 8,000 remain unaccounted for. Those children who returned have become known as formerly abducted children (FAC). In response to their needs for psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration, many [civil-society] organizations … have provided psychosocial rehabilitation, vocational training and reintegration services to formerly abducted children.
119. The government of Uganda together with the support of the World Bank’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme is supporting the Amnesty Commission to resettle formerly abducted children.
120. … The Amnesty Commission also screens children who have suffered violence as a result of armed conflict and refers them to trauma counseling centers where they undergo rehabilitation before they are reintegrated into their communities.
121. The government has provided an enabling environment that has allowed NGOs to operate freely. Many of the rehabilitation centers for children involved in armed conflict are run by NGOs, with the support of the District Probation and Social Welfare Officers (DPSWOs). Those children who are rescued from the battle front are kept under the care of the child protection unit in the army until they are handed over to the rehabilitation centers. On arrival to the centers, formerly abducted children are offered food, medical care and resettlement kits, consisting of clothes, bedding and washing items. In some cases, during the welcome ceremony for the children all the old clothes and military attires are burned symbolically to mark the end of bush life and the start of a new life in freedom from terror.
122. To encourage quick recovery, children are encouraged to talk about their experiences in captivity and express their feelings through drawings, drama and music. Their psychological process works on their mind sets to make them realize that they are still children and they can still reclaim their childhood and lives of dignity. They are taught all over again to play, dance and have a good time like other children.
123. Catch-up classes are conducted to prepare children for going home. They are taught to read, write, and given lessons in mathematics, health education, debates and news analysis as well as vocational skills.
125. The Child Protection Unit (CPU) in the UPDF is responsible for receiving children rescued from LRA and other forces. It is also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that these children are not abused or further traumatized by irresponsible journalism. Where it is necessary that their photos appear in the press for the sake of evidence, children’[s] faces are blurred to prevent identification. 
Uganda, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 17 July 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/UGA/1, submitted 16 August 2007, §§ 58, 74, 115, 119–123 and 125.
Uganda
In 2008, in its written reply to the Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning Uganda’s initial report under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Uganda stated:
24. The process of disarmament, demobilization and re-integration is done by the Amnesty Commission. However, the majority of children leaving the LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army] do so either by escaping or by being captured [by] government forces. Under the military procedures … [of] the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Force] child protection units … [they are] released into the custody of civilian organization[s] within 48 hours. …
25. While in the custody of civilian organizations, children receive the following services:
- Medical assistance
- Family tracing and resettlement
- Recreational activities
- Counseling and psychosocial support
- Educational programmes: these include life skill[s] as well as basic training skills to resettle children back into normal life.
At the Centers, social workers hold counseling sessions with the children to help them heal the traumas experienced during captivity. They also carry out home visits to areas where children came from to prepare the homes and the communities for the resettlement of their children.
28. Through the government programme of Peace Recovery and Development Program (PRDP), the strategy for demobilization and reintegration focuses on provision of resettlement packages to all ex-combatants, facilitating reunion with their families and providing opportunities to access existing service providers. LRA have fair access to this program, however, there being no cases of demobilized children from LDU [paramilitary local defence units], none has had access.
31. Under the African Union Commission Project, about 400 LRA ex-child soldiers have been provided with skills training in tailoring, bicycle repair, brick laying and concrete practice, carpentry and joinery. Provision of sanitary materials, maternity kits, supplementary foods for children have also been provided to child mothers in the war affected areas in Kitgum District. 
Uganda, Written replies of the Government of Uganda to the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the initial report of Uganda under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 8 September 2008, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/UGA/Q/1/Add.1, submitted 5 September 2008, §§ 24–25, 28 and 31.
Ukraine
In 2008, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ukraine stated:
Protection of children in armed conflict (article 38 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child]), including physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration (article 39)
140. There are no armed conflicts in the territory of Ukraine. Accordingly, issues related to the physical and psychological rehabilitation of children in armed conflict areas are not relevant to the country. I[n] the event that refugee children in Ukraine have participated in armed conflicts in the territory of their country of permanent residence, such children, if necessary, are provided with appropriate psychological and social assistance in family support centres or centres for social and psychological rehabilitation. 
Ukraine, Third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 3 March 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/UKR/3-4, submitted 26 September 2008, § 140.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a written reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Secretary of State for International Development stated:
The most effective way of tackling the use of child soldiers is to prevent, reduce and resolve armed conflicts. This is part of the wider issue of the impact of armed conflict on children generally, their families and communities. In addressing this, my Department is working with other UK Government Departments and other governments through appropriate regional mechanisms, the non-governmental community and the multilateral system to this end. UNICEF, with the support of my Department and other governments, works to effect the disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation of child soldiers, particularly back into the community and prevent their re-recruitment. Through a multi-year capacity building programme supported by my Department, UNICEF are collecting data on the situation of children affected by armed conflict globally, to better inform policy, guidance and programming on the wide range of issues involved. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Secretary of State for International Development, Hansard, 30 January 2003, Vol. 398, Written Answers, col. 966W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the United Kingdom stated:
Article 7
Prevention, rehabilitation and social integration
62. The United Kingdom supports humanitarian programmes and projects run by UNICEF, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs that include providing support to child soldiers. For example, we support UNHCR to work with and provide protection and humanitarian assistance to displaced children. The United Kingdom’s new institutional strategy (IS) with UNHCR for the years 2007–09 includes priority objectives about age, gender and diversity mainstreaming throughout UNHCR’s programmes. We expect this to improve efforts to address the needs of the most vulnerable, including displaced children. In 2005, the United Kingdom provided £30 million to UNHCR, of which £20 million was core IS funding. In 2006, in addition to our contributions to UNHCR through country-based offices, we also provided £20 million core IS funding. United Kingdom funding for UNICEF has also included a focus on children affected by armed conflict. Our current support for UNICEF aims to improve the capacity of the organization for evidence-based advocacy in relation to violations against children. In relation to the NGO sector, the United Kingdom has funded Save the Children to train a number of child protection officers over a period of five years with the intention of addressing the issue of insufficient capacity in the protection sector of the humanitarian system. We also provide support for the Women’s Commission for refugee women and children and we help to fund the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict to raise international awareness about these issues. 
United Kingdom, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, UN Doc. CCPR/C/OPAC/GBR/1, 3 September 2007, submitted 16 July 2007, § 62.
United States of America
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the United States stated:
The United States has contributed substantial resources to international programs aimed at preventing the recruitment of children and reintegrating child ex-combatants into society and is committed to continue to develop rehabilitation approaches that are effective in addressing this serious and difficult problem. The United States applies a definition of child ex-combatants in keeping with the Cape Town Principles of 1997, which cover any child associated with fighting forces in any capacity, whether or not he or she ever bore arms. In this regard, United States programming adopts a broad approach by seeking to include all children affected by armed conflict rather than singling out for separate services former child combatants. It also espouses the principle that family reunification and community reintegration are both goals and processes of recovery for former child combatants. United States programming aimed at assisting children affected by war addresses the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and integration into civilian society of former child combatants; the prevention of recruitment of children; and the recovery and rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict, including activities to identify separated children, protect them from harm, provide appropriate interim care, carry out tracing for family reunification, arrange alternate care for children who cannot be reunited, reform their legal protections and facilitate community reintegration. The Protocol serves as a means for encouraging such programs and constitutes an important tool for increasing assistance to children who are affected by armed conflict. 
United States, Initial Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/USA/1 (2007), 22 June 2007, submitted on 8 May 2007, § 34.
Venezuela
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 [2000] 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 [1989] Convention on the Rights of the Child.  
Venezuela, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 September 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VEN/1, submitted 5 July 2011, §§ 110–121.
Viet Nam
In 2015, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the permanent representative of Viet Nam stated:
We appreciate the work done by UN bodies and concerned agencies in armed conflict, particularly in monitoring and reporting on grave violations against children, incorporating child protection policies in peacekeeping operations, and promoting the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs. 
Viet Nam, Statement by the permanent representative of Viet Nam before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, 25 March 2015, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the protection of children in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council:
Requests parties to armed conflict to include, where appropriate, provisions for the protection of children, including the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of child combatants, in peace negotiations and in peace agreements and the involvement of children, where possible, in these processes. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1314, 11 August 2000, § 11, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council:
2. Decides that MONUC will have the mandate, within the limits of its capabilities and in its areas of deployment, to assist the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in establishing a stable security environment in the country, and, to that end, to:
(l) Support operations led by the FARDC integrated brigades deployed in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo … in accordance with internationally recognized standards and norms on human rights and international humanitarian law, with a view to:
– Disarming the recalcitrant local armed groups in order to ensure their participation in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process and the release of children associated with those armed groups;
– Disarming the foreign armed groups in order to ensure their participation in the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process and the release of children associated with those armed groups;
(n) Contribute to the implementation of the national programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of Congolese combatants and their dependants, with particular attention to children, by monitoring the disarmament process and providing as appropriate security in some sensitive locations, as well as supporting reintegration efforts pursued by the Congolese authorities in cooperation with the United Nations Country Team and bilateral and multilateral partners. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1756, 15 May 2007, § 2(l) and (n), voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 2004, in a statement by its President regarding cross-border issues in West Africa, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council stresses the importance of a regional approach in the preparation and implementation of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) programmes. To this end it invites the United Nations missions in West Africa, the Governments concerned, the appropriate financial institutions, international development agencies and donor countries to work together to harmonize individual country DDR programmes within an overarching regional strategy to design community development programmes to be implemented alongside DDR programmes, and to pay special attention to the specific needs of children in armed conflict. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2004/7, 25 March 2004, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2005, in a statement by its President regarding children and armed conflict, the UN Security Council noted:
… [The Security Council] has started work on a new resolution with the aim of its early adoption and with due consideration of views expressed by the United Nations Member States during the open debate held on 23 February 2005, in order to take forward the implementation of its previous resolutions with a view to ending the recruitment or use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and other violations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict situations, and promoting their reintegration and rehabilitation. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2005/8, 23 February 2005, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President on children and armed conflict, the UN Security Council stated:
… The Security Council urges parties to armed conflict to cooperate with the SRSG [Special Representative of the Secretary-General], as well as with UNICEF and other relevant United Nations entities, with a view to ending recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and all other violations and abuses committed against children by parties to armed conflict.
The Security Council underlines the importance of a sustained investment in development, especially in health, education and skills training, to secure the successful reintegration of children in their communities and prevent re-recruitment. The specific situation of girls exploited by armed forces and groups must be recognised and adequately addressed. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/33, 24 July 2006, pp. 1–2.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President regarding peace consolidation in West Africa, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council underlines the crucial importance of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, taking into account the special needs of child soldiers and women, and encourages the international community to work in close partnership with the countries concerned. It further affirms the need to find lasting solutions to the problem of youth unemployment in order to prevent the recruitment of such youth by illegal armed groups. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/38, 9 August 2006, p. 2.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN General Assembly welcomed the commitments undertaken by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) “not to recruit into its armed forces children under the age of eighteen and to demobilize all child soldiers still remaining in the military and hand them over to the competent civil authorities for reintegration. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 55/116, 4 December 2000, § 1(m), voting record: 85-32-49-23.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
welcomes … the accession of the Transitional Administration on 24 September 2003 to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and urges Afghan groups to refrain from the recruitment or use of children contrary to international standards, while stressing the importance of demobilizing and reintegrating child soldiers and other war-affected children. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/27 B, 5 December 2003, § 14, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN General Assembly:
Urges all parties concerned in the region to cease any recruitment, training and use of child soldiers, which are contrary to international law, welcomes the initial steps taken by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers, in particular through education, and urges the Government and all parties to continue their efforts in this context, and to take into account the particular needs of girl ex-combatants. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/123, 17 December 2003, § 9, voting record: 169-1-0-21.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly:
45. Urges all States and all other parties to armed conflicts to end the recruitment and use of children in situations of armed conflict contrary to international law and to ensure their demobilization, effective disarmament and rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society;
46. Urges all States:
(b) To protect children affected by armed conflict, in particular to protect them from acts that constitute violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and to ensure that they receive timely, effective and unhindered humanitarian assistance as well as support for physical and psychological recovery. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/157, 22 December 2003, §§ 45 and 46(b), voting record: 179-1-0-11.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly:
6. Once again urges the Government of Myanmar, as stated in its resolution 57/231 and in Commission on Human Rights resolution 2003/12:
(c) To put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers, inter alia, by some armed ethnic groups, and ensure their disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 58/247, 23 December 2003, § 6(c), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and reconstruction of war-stricken Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
Welcomes the progress of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process for ex-combatants, including child soldiers, by the Government of Afghanistan and the efforts of the international community to assist in this process, and urges all Afghan parties to continue their efforts in this regard; recognizing the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan, reiterates the importance of ending the use of children contrary to international law, while welcoming the recent accession by Afghanistan to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol thereto on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and stresses the importance of the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers and care for other war-affected children, and notes in this regard the value of preparing an action plan to address this issue. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/112 B, 8 December 2004, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States:
To take all feasible measures to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, taking into account the rights and the specific needs and capacities of girls. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/261, 23 December 2004, § 48(b), voting record: 166-2-1-22.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly called upon the Government of Myanmar to end the “use of child soldiers and to extend full cooperation to relevant international organizations in order to ensure the demobilization of child soldiers, their return home and their rehabilitation”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 59/263, 23 December 2004, § 3(i), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and reconstruction of war-stricken Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
Welcomes the completion of the disarmament and demobilization of child soldiers in the Afghan Military Forces, stresses the importance of the reintegration of child soldiers and of care for other war-affected children, commends the Government of Afghanistan for its efforts in this regard, and encourages continued efforts in cooperation with the United Nations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/32 B, 30 November 2005, § 4, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly called upon States:
To take all feasible measures to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, in particular through educational measures, taking into account the rights and the specific needs and capacities of girls. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/231, 23 December 2005, § 33(b), voting record: 130-1-0-60.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN General Assembly strongly called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to extend full cooperation to relevant international organizations in order to ensure the demobilization of child soldiers, their return home and their rehabilitation in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) of 22 April 2004 and 1612 (2005). 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/233, 23 December 2005, § 3(e), adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
Also welcomes the completion of the disarmament and demobilization of child soldiers in the Afghan Military Forces, stresses the importance of the reintegration of child soldiers and of care for other children affected by war, commends the Government of Afghanistan for its efforts in this regard, and encourages it to continue efforts in cooperation with the United Nations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/18, 28 November 2006, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly:
condemns the abduction of children, in particular extortive abduction and abduction of children in situations of armed conflict, including for the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts, and urges States to take all appropriate measures to secure their unconditional release, rehabilitation, reintegration and reunification with their families. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/146, 19 December 2006, § 16, voting record: 185-1-0-6.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation in Afghanistan, the UN General Assembly:
Welcomes the completion of the disarmament and demobilization of child soldiers in the Afghan Military Forces, stresses the importance of the reintegration of child soldiers and of care for other children affected by war, commends the Government of Afghanistan for its efforts in this regard, and encourages it to continue efforts in cooperation with the United Nations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/6, 11 November 2007, § 12, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 entitled “Policies and programmes involving youth: youth in the global economy – promoting youth participation in social and economic development”, the UN General Assembly adopted the “Supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/126, 18 December 2007, § 2, adopted without a vote.
According to the Supplement:
51. Governments should provide opportunities for all youth who have been engaged in active combat, whether voluntarily or by force, to demobilize and contribute to society’s development if they seek to do so. In this regard, Governments should establish programmes to provide opportunities for youth ex-combatants to retool and retrain so as to facilitate their employment in economic activity and their reintegration into society, including family reunification.
52. Governments should take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children and young victims of armed conflicts, in particular by restoring access of those children and youth to health care and education, including through Education for All programmes, as well as to put in place effective youth employment strategies to help provide a decent living for young people and to facilitate their reintegration into society. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/126, 18 December 2007, annex: §§ 51–52, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the rights of the child, the UN General Assembly:
41. Calls upon States:
(b) To take all feasible measures to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, in particular through educational measures, taking into account the rights and the specific needs and capacities of girls;
53. Also condemns all kinds of abduction of children, in particular extortive abduction and abduction of children in situations of armed conflict, including for the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts, and urges States to take all appropriate measures to secure their unconditional release, rehabilitation, reintegration and reunification with their families. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/141, 18 December 2007, §§ 41(b) and 53, voting record: 183-1-0-8.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, ECOSOC urged the Afghan Transitional Authority to:
Initiate rapid demobilization and disarmament, and facilitate the reintegration of those, in particular women and girls, who have participated in or have otherwise been affected by war into society and work. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2003/43, 22 July 2003, § 3(n), adopted without a vote.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, ECOSOC urged the Afghan Transitional Administration and future Government to “continue demobilization and disarmament and facilitate the reintegration into society and work of women and girls who have been affected by war”. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2004/10, 21 July 2004, § 3(o), adopted without a vote.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 entitled “Supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond”, ECOSOC recommended to the UN General Assembly that it adopt a resolution stating:
Governments should provide opportunities for all youth who have been engaged in active combat, whether voluntarily or by force, to demobilize and contribute to society’s development if they seek to do so. In this regard, Governments should establish programmes to provide opportunities for youth ex-combatants to retool and retrain so as to facilitate their employment in economic activity and their reintegration into society, including family reunification. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2007/27, 27 July 2007, § 51, voting record: 49-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights strongly urged the Government of Myanmar:
To put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to extend full cooperation to relevant international organizations in order to ensure the demobilization of child soldiers, their return home and their rehabilitation in accordance with Security Council resolution 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/12, 16 April 2003, § 5(e), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged all parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
To extend full cooperation to the United Nations system, humanitarian organizations and the World Bank in order to ensure the rapid demobilization and reintegration of armed groups and of child soldiers in particular. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/15, 17 April 2003, §4(k), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Sierra Leone, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged the Government of Sierra Leone:
To continue working to reintegrate the remainder of the ex-combatants in all areas and to give special attention to former child combatants and female former combatants in the reintegration process, bearing in mind the special needs and particular vulnerabilities of girls. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/80, 25 April 2003, § 4(b), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the abduction of children in Africa, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release and safe return of all abducted children to their families and communities;
5. Calls upon African States:
(d) To take adequate measures to prevent the abduction and recruitment of children by armed groups, as distinct from armed forces of States, through, inter alia, the adoption of legal measures to prohibit and criminalize such practices;
9. Requests African States, in cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, to provide the victims and their families with the necessary assistance and to support sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for abducted children, including the provision of psychological assistance, basic education and vocational training, taking into account the special needs of abducted girl children. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/85, 25 April 2003, §§ 4, 5(d) and 9, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
41. Calls upon States:
(e) To take all feasible measures to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, taking into account the rights, and the specific needs and capacities of girls;
44. Encourages States to cooperate, including through bilateral and multilateral technical cooperation and financial assistance, in the implementation of their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including in the prevention of any activity contrary to the rights of the child and in the rehabilitation and social integration of the victims, such assistance and cooperation to be undertaken in consultation among concerned States and relevant international organizations as well as other relevant actors. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/86, 25 April 2003, §§ 41(e) and 44, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the abduction of children in Africa, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release and safe return of all abducted children to their families and communities;
5. Calls upon African States:
(c) To take adequate measures to prevent the abduction and recruitment of children by armed forces and armed groups, through, inter alia, the adoption of legal measures to prohibit and criminalize such practices;
9. Requests African States, in cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, to provide the victims and their families with the necessary assistance and to support sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for abducted children, including the provision of psychological assistance, basic education and vocational training, taking into account the special needs of abducted girl children;
10. Requests States, relevant United Nations bodies and donors to provide African States and African regional mechanisms with the necessary assistance, including technical assistance, in order, first, to devise appropriate programmes to combat crossborder abduction of children and protect refugee children, especially unaccompanied minors and internally displaced children in African countries, who are exposed to the risk of being abducted, and, secondly, to develop and implement programmes for the reintegration of children in the peace process and in the postconflict recovery and reconstruction phase. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/47, 20 April 2004, §§ 4, 5(c) and 9–10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
42. Calls upon States:
(d) To take all feasible measures to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, taking into account the rights and the specific needs and capacities of girls;
43. Recognizes that education is an integral part of the process of demobilization, effective disarmament, rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society of children involved in armed conflicts, and that it is a means of facilitating a return to normality for such children and is a key protection measure against re-recruitment by parties to armed conflict as well as against sexual abuse and exploitation and other rights violations;
46. Encourages States to cooperate, including through bilateral and multilateral technical cooperation and financial assistance, in the implementation of their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including in the prevention of any activity contrary to the rights of the child and in the rehabilitation and social integration of the victims, such assistance and cooperation to be undertaken in consultation among concerned States and relevant international organizations as well as other relevant actors;
47. Also encourages States to promote actions for the social reintegration of children in difficult situations, considering, inter alia, views, skills and capacities that these children have developed in the conditions in which they lived and, where appropriate, with their meaningful participation. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/48, 20 April 2004, §§ 42(d), 43 and 46–47, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights strongly urged the Government of Myanmar:
To put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to extend full cooperation to relevant international organizations in order to ensure the demobilization of child soldiers, their return home and their rehabilitation in accordance with Security Council resolution 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/61, 21 April 2004, § 5(h), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on advisory services and technical assistance in Burundi, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Applauds the establishment by the Transitional Government of a “child soldier” project to deal with disarmament, demobilization and return to life in society and normal occupations, and of the general demobilization programme under the Office of the President of the Republic, while urging those parties which have not yet done so to stop using children as soldiers. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/82, 21 April 2004, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of National Unity and Transition to take specific measures:
To continue to cooperate with the United Nations system, humanitarian organizations and the World Bank in order to ensure the rapid demobilization and reintegration of armed groups and of child soldiers in particular. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/84, 21 April 2004, § 5(j), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of Myanmar:
To put an immediate end to the recruitment and use of child soldiers and to extend full cooperation to relevant international organizations in order to ensure the demobilization of child soldiers, their return home and their rehabilitation in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003 and 1539 (2004) of 14 April 2004 by the Army, but stresses the need for full implementation of the plan and the need to maintain close dialogue with the United Nations Children’s Fund, as well as to cooperate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/10, 14 April 2005, § 5(c), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the abduction of children in Africa, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Recalling further the Optional Protocol […] to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict … ,
3. Demands the immediate demobilization and disarmament, reintegration and, where applicable, repatriation of all child soldiers, particularly girls, who have been recruited or used in armed conflicts in contravention of international law;
4. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release and safe return of all abducted children to their families, extended families and communities;
6. Encourages all African States to integrate the rights of the child into all peace processes, peace agreements and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction phases;
9. Requests African States, in cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies, to provide the victims and their families with the necessary assistance and to support sustainable rehabilitation and reintegration programmes for abducted children, including the provision of psychological assistance, basic education and vocational training, taking into account the rights and special needs of abducted girl children;
10. Requests the international community, including donor countries and relevant United Nations bodies, to complement and supplement the efforts of African States and African regional mechanisms in providing the necessary assistance, including technical assistance, in order, first, to devise with the participation of children, their families and communities appropriate programmes to combat abduction of children and to protect them, including refugee and internally displaced children, especially unaccompanied and separated children, who are exposed to the risk of being abducted, and, second, to develop and implement programmes for the reintegration, including rehabilitation, of children in the peace process and in the postconflict recovery and reconstruction phase. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/43, 19 April 2005, preamble and §§ 3–4, 6 and 9–10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Emphasizing the importance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and that its provisions and other relevant human rights instruments must constitute the standard in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, and bearing in mind … the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict,
38. Calls upon States:
(b) To take all feasible measures to prevent recruitment and use of children by armed groups, as distinct from the armed forces of a State, including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practice, and the adoption of measures to prevent rerecruitment, in particular education;
(c) To take all feasible measures, in particular educational measures, to ensure the demobilization and effective disarmament of children used in armed conflicts and to implement effective measures for their rehabilitation, physical and psychological recovery and reintegration into society, taking into account the rights and the specific needs of the girl child. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, preamble and § 38(b)–(c), voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Commission on Human Rights requested the Transitional Government to take specific measures to “continue with its programme for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/85, 21 April 2005, § 6(j), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 2001, in a report on violence against women perpetrated and/or condoned by the State during times of armed conflict, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences stated:
Despite the specific needs and experiences of girls in armed conflict, girls are often the last priority when it comes to the distribution of humanitarian aid and their needs are often neglected in the formulation of demobilization and reintegration programmes. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences, Report on violence against women perpetrated and/or condoned by the State during times of armed conflict (1997–2000), UN Doc. E/CN.4/2001/73, 23 January 2001, § 52.
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No data.
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of the Philippines in 2003, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee is concerned that the measures of protection of children are inadequate and the situation of large numbers of children, particularly the most vulnerable, is deplorable. While recognizing that certain legislation has been adopted in this respect, many problems remain in practice, such as:
d) Children as young as 13 allegedly being used by armed groups without adequate measures of protection by the State (art. 24 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]);
The State party should:
c) Take all appropriate measures to ensure protection of children who have been involved in armed conflict and provide them with adequate assistance and counseling for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society (art. 24). 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the consolidated second and third periodic reports of the Philippines, UN Doc. CCPR/CO/79/PHL, 1 December 2003, § 17.
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the initial report of Uganda in 2004, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee is concerned about the magnitude of the problem of abduction of children, in particular in northern Uganda … It is also concerned about the fate of former child soldiers …
The State party should take the necessary steps, as a matter of extreme urgency and in a comprehensive manner, to face the abduction of children, and to reintegrate former child soldiers into society. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the initial report of Uganda, UN Doc. CCPR/CO/80/UGA, 4 May 2004, § 15.
[emphasis in original]
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2006, the Human Rights Committee stated:
While noting the delegation’s comments on the subject, the Committee remains concerned at … the forced recruitment of many children into armed militias and, although to a lesser extent, into the regular army (article 8 of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]).
The State party should pursue its efforts to eradicate these phenomena. Information on steps taken by the authorities to eliminate the forced recruitment of minors into the armed forces and rehabilitate and protect the victims, among other things by reinforcing the activities of the National Commission for the Demobilization and Reintegration of Child Soldiers (CONADER), should be provided in the next periodic report. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN Doc. CCPR/C/COD/CO/3, 26 April 2006, § 18.
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Sudan in 2007, the Human Rights Committee stated:
While noting efforts by the State party to eradicate the practice of forced recruitment of child soldiers, including the establishment of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration commissions, and the reference made by the State party to the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration commission website, the Committee remains concerned at the small number of children who have actually been demobilized. It also notes the statement by the State party that in the absence of a comprehensive civil register it is difficult to determine the exact ages of the people serving in its armed forces. (arts. 8 and 24 of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights])
The State party should put an end to all recruitment and use of child soldiers, and provide disarmament, demobilization and reintegration commissions with the human and financial resources they need to fulfil their mandates, in order to ensure the expertise required to demobilize child soldiers. The State party should also speed up its programme for the establishment of a civil register, and ensure that all births are registered throughout the country. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Sudan, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SDN/CO/3, 29 August 2007, § 17.
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