Norma relacionada
Venezuela
Practice Relating to Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities
In 2011, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Venezuela stated:
I. Introduction
6. This report describes the measures taken by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to follow all the parameters established by the United Nations for effectively protecting children and adolescents throughout the country, so as to ensure that they … are not recruited or drafted into compulsory military service.
III. Commitments undertaken by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela upon ratifying the Optional Protocol: information on articles 1 to 7
A. Article 1
1. Legislative measures to prohibit the direct participation of children and adolescents in hostilities
23. With regard to the primary obligation mentioned in article 1 of the [2000] Optional Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict], on measures to prohibit the participation of children and adolescents in hostilities, the Organic Act on Child Protection requires the Government to ensure that all legislation relating to the content of and limits on the rights and guarantees of children and adolescents is in line with the express provisions of the Convention, as well as other international treaties and instruments.
24. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has amended its legislation, including article 78 of the 1999 Constitution [on the protection of children], to deal specifically with this issue. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has adopted the doctrine of comprehensive protection of children and adolescents, as embodied in the Organic Act on Child Protection, which provides protection for children and adolescents from the moment of conception to the age of 18 years.
25. The current Civil Code, which was passed in 1982, includes the following: Book I, Of Individuals. Title I. Of individuals in general and individuals in regard to their nationality. Chapter I, of individuals in general, article 18: An individual is an adult when he or she reaches the age of eighteen (18). An adult has capacity for all acts of civil life, with the exceptions established in special provisions.
27. Article 4 of the Act amending the Conscription and Military Enlistment Act sets the age of military service, as follows: “For the purposes of this Act, the age for military service shall be between 18 and 60 years. Consequently, Venezuelans included in this age group shall be required to register and shall be eligible for military service.”
28. The Venezuelan Government has always respected the fundamental rights of all children and adolescents living within the national territory. During the period covered by this report, 2003–2010, no cases have arisen in which children and adolescents have taken a direct part in armed hostilities, nor have they been forcibly recruited into the National Bolivarian Armed Forces. This is in line with article 1 of the Optional Protocol.
31. Pursuant to article 23 of the Constitution and bearing in mind that it is a party to the [1989] Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela undertook, in its periodic report of 2006 to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, to guarantee the human rights of all children and adolescents in the country. In particular, it referred to the prohibition against supplying or facilitating weapons of war, ammunition or explosives to children and adolescents.
32. The laws adopted by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on this matter include the Organic Act on Child Protection. Article 92(d) of that Act, in the section on the rights, guarantees and duties of children, includes the prohibition against selling or facilitating weapons, ammunition and explosives to children and adolescents. Anyone who fails to comply with or violates this rule shall be subject to a criminal penalty, on the grounds of failing to provide due protection …
33. In keeping with the spirit and purpose of the Optional Protocol, article 79(b) of the Organic Act on Child Protection, on prohibitions designed to protect the right to information and to a healthy environment, prohibits the sale or facilitation to children and adolescents or the public exhibition, through any type of multimedia, books, magazines, etc., of any information that advocates violence and incites children and adolescents to participate in armed conflict.
2. Other legislative measures designed to prevent the participation of children and adolescents in hostilities
35. The Organic Act on the National Bolivarian Armed Forces stipulates, in article 52, that military service is open to all Venezuelan men and women of military age. Article 50 provides that members of combat forces must be male and female citizens who work in public or private institutions and volunteer to be registered, organized and trained by the general military command, provided they are over 18 years of age. Article 51 stipulates that the territorial militia shall be made up of male and female citizens over the age of 18 years, who voluntarily organize to perform duties relating to the comprehensive defence of the nation, in accordance with the principle of shared responsibility between the Government and society.
C. Article 3
2. State protection for children and adolescents who choose private and/or public military educational units
72. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela offers the necessary protection to children and adolescents who choose to enrol in private and public military educational units. Accordingly, the fundamental protection provided is to be found in the Constitution, the Organic Act on Child Protection and the Organic Act on Education, which safeguard the personal wellbeing of Venezuelan children by not allowing military exercises that endanger the lives of children and adolescents and not allowing them to participate in military operations during armed conflicts.
D. Article 4
1. Armed groups and legislative measures
73. Concerning the obligation of the Venezuelan State not to allow any armed group to recruit or use children and adolescents in hostilities, legislation has been passed that clearly and categorically prohibits all armed groups from enlisting or recruiting children and adolescents. Moreover, any such activity constitutes an infringement of the duty to provide protection and gives rise to punitive action.
74. There are no armed groups in the territory of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and there have been no reports of children or adolescents having participated in armed conflicts, either in the past or at present.
76. One of the main goals of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is to build a just and peace-loving society. Consequently, there are no irregular armed groups that might recruit children and adolescents for the purpose of involving them in armed conflict.
104. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela respects the rights of all children and adolescents and therefore is in full agreement with the provisions of inter-American humanitarian law, which has been the underlying premise for encouraging, promoting and respecting their fundamental guarantees. International humanitarian law provides that minors, especially those who are under 15 years of age, must not participate directly in hostilities …
F. Article 6
2. Implementation of the [2000] Optional Protocol [on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict]. Case of the Hacienda Daktary paramilitary forces
110. Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Optional Protocol provides that “States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to this Protocol are demobilized or otherwise released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to these persons all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.”
111. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was the first State party to implement the Optional Protocol, thus fulfilling its obligation to comply with international human rights instruments. It has been recognized by organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to protect children and adolescents. It has implemented its comprehensive protection systems to safeguard the human rights of children and adolescents, providing them appropriate treatment as victims at all times. This was the case in 2004, when paramilitary forces that included adolescents were discovered at a property near Caracas. 
Venezuela, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 12 September 2013, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/VEN/1, submitted 5 July 2011, §§ 6, 23–25, 27–28, 31–33, 35, 72–74, 76, 104 and 110–111.
[footnote in original omitted]