Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “Particular attention shall be paid to the protection of … children”.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides: “With concern about protection, … new-born babies … are assimilate to wounded and sick under humanitarian law.”
It further states: “The law of armed conflicts provides for special protection of the following persons: … children”.
According to a statement by the permanent representative of France before the UN in 1999, France considers that the age limit to be protected as a child (15 years) in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child is not satisfactory and that it should be raised to 18 years to ensure a better and more effective protection of children during conflicts.
According to the Report on the Practice of France, the French authorities consider the persistent closing of schools and universities in the West Bank to be a matter of serious concern.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of … children”.
In 2006, 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, France stated:
30. Compliance with the Protocol also results from close cooperation with UNICEF and other United Nations bodies.
31. In 2006 the French contribution to UNICEF was 13.8 million euros. France specifically supports the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, which works on best practices in the reintegration of children associated with armed conflict, in particular young girls, and is preparing a guide to the participation and protection of child victims or witnesses in international legal mechanisms in association with the International Criminal Court.
32. Along with UNICEF, our country is taking an active part in organizing a conference on the Cape Town Principles in Paris on 23 and 24 November 2006. These principles, adopted in 1997 by a group of experts, are still the standard in the field of child protection through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. However, they need to be brought up to date, and might be developed by broadening the scope of criteria governing planning and intervention, enhancing measures for preventing recruitment, improving activities for reintegration into the family and the community, reinforcing witness protection, as well as preventing and campaigning against gender-based violence.