Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Children shall be the object of a particular respect. Children shall be protected against any form of indecent assault.”
The manual also states: “Children shall be the object of a particular protection and respect.”
The manual further provides: “Necessary measures must be taken so that children under 15 years of age, who are separated from their families as a result of war, are not left to their own resources.”
In addition, the manual states: “Transports of … children … effected by convoys of vehicles and hospital trains, shall be respected and protected in the same way as hospitals.”
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “[C]hildren … must be specially protected
(emphasis in original)
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
International humanitarian law offers special protection to children. Parties to a conflict are under an obligation to provide all the care and assistance that they need due to their young age or for any other reason. Food and medical aid must be provided to children before others. International humanitarian law also contains special guarantees for detained children, the inviolability of their nationality and civil status and for reunification with their families. Children orphaned by war or separated from their parents have the right to education in accordance with their own religion and culture.
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 protecting and assisting children during armed conflicts”.