Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “[C]hildren shall be the object of special respect and shall be protected against rape, forced prostitution and any other form of indecent assault.”
With regard to internal armed conflict, the Regulations states: “Children shall be provided with necessary care and assistance. Protection shall remain applicable to them even if they take a direct part in hostilities and are captured.”
In 2012, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, the deputy permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated:
It is clear that, despite the measures that have been undertaken at the international and national levels, along with the existence of a broad international legal foundation, children continue to be among the most vulnerable groups affected by armed conflict. Russia condemns all serious offences committed against children, regardless of who perpetrates them, and advocates the prosecution of all such perpetrators. … The primary responsibility for protecting and rehabilitating children belongs to national Governments …
A key role in the [UN] Security Council’s activity in the area of protecting children in armed conflict unquestionably belongs to the Special Representative of the [UN] Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. In that regard, we welcome the appointment to the post of Ms. Leila Zerrougui and hope that her considerable experience in the United Nations system will help her make a significant contribution to measures taken at the international level to protect children affected by armed conflict, and to make efforts in this area more effective. …
In recent years, we have unquestionably been quite effective in achieving system-wide coordination of efforts in the area of the protection of children in armed conflict. … Here we should mention specifically the active part played by the Special Representative in the International Criminal Court’s first prosecution of a war crime [of] the recruitment and active use of children in combat in the Lubanga case.