Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states that the terms “wounded” and “sick” “also cover … new born babies”.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides: “Children are granted special protection under LOAC. Important rules are shown below: a. because of their age children should receive all the aid and care they require.”
The manual further states: “The occupying power must take necessary steps to ensure that children under 15 years of age and who are separated from their families are not left to their own resources.”
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
7.38 … [In the context of siege warfare] The opposing parties are required to try and conclude local agreements for … the passage of consignments of medical and hospital stores and objects … and of essential foodstuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under 15 …
9.50 Children are to be respected and protected, especially against indecent assault. The care and aid needed by children must be provided. As is the case with women, children are granted special protection under the LOAC … because of their age children should receive all the aid and care they require …
12.29 The occupying power must take necessary steps to ensure that children under 15 years of age and who are separated from their families are not left to their own resources.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
In 2010, in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council Periodic Review on Kenya, the representative of Australia stated: “We are concerned that children continue to be subject to … trafficking and other violations.”