United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
The UK Military Manual (1958) 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 similar cultural tradition”.
The manual further states:
If the local institutions are not adequate for the purpose, the Occupant must make arrangements for the maintenance and education of children who are orphaned or separated from their parents as a result of the war and who can not be adequately looked after by a near relative or friend. The persons entrusted for the maintenance and education of such children shall, if possible, be persons of the children’s own nationality, language and religion.
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “In the event of an evacuation of non-nationals, each child’s education must be provided with the greatest possible continuity. This should include moral and religious education as desired by parents.”
In its discussion on the 1977 Additional Protocol II, the manual states:
In general, “children shall be provided with the care and aid they require” but the protocol also lays down particular requirements. These include an education which makes provision for their religious and moral care.