Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
As concerns children, international humanitarian law envisages the following:
- children who have not attained the age of fifteen years shall not be allowed to take part in hostilities.
In 2008, in its first periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Ukraine stated:
7. Under Ukrainian legislation, in particular article 30 of the Child Protection Act, children are prohibited from taking part in military operations or armed conflict.
15. Article 30 of the Child Protection Act sets forth the Ukrainian legal principles prohibiting child paramilitary organizations and groups and pro-war and violence propaganda. It is forbidden to involve children in military operations or armed conflict, set up child paramilitary organizations or groups or promote war and violence among children. … No cases of children under the age of 18 being enlisted or forcibly recruited for use in armed conflict were recorded in the 2006–2007 period.
In 2008, in its third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ukraine stated:
1. Protection against economic exploitation, including child labour (article 32 38 [of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child])
149. … The law prohibits the recruitment of children for the worst forms of child labour, and their participation in arduous tasks … The worst forms of child labour prohibited by law are the following:
- … forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflicts.