Related Rule
Viet Nam
Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
In 2005, 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, Viet Nam stated: “The right of children under eighteen not to … be directly involved in war … is strictly enforced.” 
Viet Nam, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/1, 12 December 2005, submitted 8 November 2005, § 40.
Viet Nam’s report concluded with the following statement: “citizens under eighteen do not participate directly in war battles except in cases of protecting the country’s independence, sovereignty, unity and integrity”. 
Viet Nam, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 December 2005, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/1, submitted 8 November 2005, § 59.
Subsequently, the Committee on the Rights of the Child asked Viet Nam to clarify the information contained in that concluding statement. 
Committee on the Rights of the Child, Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, List of issues for the State party to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the initial report of Viet Nam (CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/1), UN Doc CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/Q/1, 20 June 2006, § 3.
In its response to that request, Viet Nam stated:
Para 59 of the National Report says, “Citizens under 18 do not participate directly in war battles except in cases of protecting the country’s independence, sovereignty, unity and integrity”. This is the reality of Vietnam during the two wars for national liberation and defense, namely the resistance war against the French 1946–1954 and the war against Americans in South Vietnam until 1972. There were youths and children who volunteered to participate in fighting these enemies in local areas to defend their homeland, families and themselves. This is the legitimate right of defense of each people when his or her life is at danger at any time. 
Viet Nam, Written replies by the Government of Viet Nam concerning the list of issues (CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/Q/1) received by the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to the consideration of the Initial report of Viet Nam under Article 8(1) of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/1), 28 August 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VNM/Q/1/Add. 1, submitted 28 August 2006, p. 2.