Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, states: “All practicable measures must be taken to prevent children under the age of 15 from taking a direct part in the hostilities”.
At the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1999, Mexico pledged “to promote the adoption of national and international standards prohibiting the military … participation in armed conflicts of persons under 18 years of age”.
In 2008, 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, Mexico stated:
In accordance with the provisions of the Optional Protocol, Mexicans who join the Mexican Army or Air Force on active service must be at least 18 years of age, except when enrolled in the military education system. There is no … obligation for [children under the age of 18] … to take part in hostilities.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, Mexico’s permanent representative stated: “We condemn all acts that jeopardize the integrity of children, such as … [the] use of child soldiers”.
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children in armed conflict, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs stated:
Mexico will continue to guide the work of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict inclusively and with determination and transparency until the end of its mandate as non-permanent member of the Security Council.
We would like to focus on five aspects … [including] promoting the implementation of action plans aimed at ending the … recruitment and use of children.