Why 18 Matters: A Rights-Based Analysis of Child Recruitment

Contributed by a member of the RISE Community • September 9th, 2019

As of April 2018, more than four fifths (167) of states worldwide have now committed in law to ‘take all feasible measures’ not to use children under the age of 18 in armed conflict or any other hostilities. Two-thirds of states with armed forces have further committed to the so called ‘straight-18’ standard: no recruitment of children for any military purpose. The remainder have yet to reach this standard, continuing to capitalise on the failure of international law to forbid recruiting children from age 16.

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