Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The Occupying Power must take the necessary steps to ensure that children under fifteen separated from their families are not left to their own resources.”
The manual further states: “Belligerents must make provision for the care of children under 15 who have been orphaned or separated from their families as a result of war.”
The manual then states that, as aliens in the territory of a party to the conflict, “children under 15 … must be given the benefit of any preferential treatment that is accorded to similar classes of nationals of the belligerent”.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual provides that children under 15 “are to receive such aid and protection as they require”.
In 2010, in a statement before the Ministerial Follow-Up Forum to the Paris Commitments and Paris Principles on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups, the permanent representative of New Zealand to the United Nations stated:
I am now pleased to confirm New Zealand’s endorsement of the  Paris Commitments and Paris Principles.
It is our hope that joining those who support these principles will bolster the ongoing and systematic commitment of the Security Council, Member States and the UN and its organs that is required to ensure that children are protected from the horrors of war.