Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides that belligerents “must ensure the maintenance of [children under 15] and facilitate the exercise of their religion, while their education must as far as possible be entrusted to persons of a similar cultural tradition”.
The manual further states: “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 and that proper steps are taken to maintain their education and religious welfare.”
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states that children “are to receive such aid and protection as they require, including an education which makes provision for their religious and moral care”.