Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment.
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … uses [children under 18 years of age] to participate actively in hostilities.”
At the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1999, Norway pledged “to promote the adoption of national and international standards prohibiting the military … participation in armed conflicts of persons under 18 years of age”.
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, Norway stated: “Norway meets the age-limit requirements that apply for taking a direct part in hostilities (art. 1) … and use of soldiers in armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of the State (art. 4).”
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the permanent representative of Finland stated:
The SC [Security Council] should refer violations against children in armed conflict to the ICC for investigation and prosecution when national governments fail to carry out their responsibility to protect these children.
In 2010, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the counsellor at Norway’s Permanent Mission to the UN stated: “We support the Secretary General’s proposals to include the … use of child soldiers in the mandate of all sanctions committees”.