Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) deplores the fact that in past and current armed conflicts, such as those in Liberia, Chad, the Middle East or in Biafra, “children below the ages of 12 and 13 were used for the prosecution of the conflicts”.
Nigeria’s Child’s Rights Act (2003) states: “The Government or any other relevant agency or body shall ensure that no child is directly involved in any military operation or hostilities.”
The Act defines child as “a person under the age of eighteen years”.
In 2003, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Nigeria stated:
On the issue of voluntary enlistment in the armed forces, the stipulated age is 18 years. However, various armed forces divisions have their own schools where minor cadets are admitted and trained. However, beyond parade and disciplinary training, the children are not involved in military activities. There is no conscription of children into the armed forces in Nigeria.