Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Belligerents must also facilitate the reception of these children [children under 15 who have been orphaned or separated from their families] by neutral States for the duration of hostilities, with the consent of the Protecting Power, if any, and under due safeguards as above.
The manual refers to Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, which “requires that belligerents endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas of … children”.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual provides:
If children’s safety requires their removal from the area in which they are, the consent of their parents or guardians should be obtained whenever possible and the children accompanied by persons responsible for their safety and well-being.