Protecting Children Rights under International Criminal Justice

AuthorErinda Duraj (Male)
PositionBozo & Associates Law Firm
Pages92-99
ISSN 2410-3918 Academic Journal of Business, Administration, Law and Social Sciences Vol 1 No 1
Acces online at www.iipccl.org IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania March 2015
92
Protecting Children Rights under International Criminal Justice
Av. LLM Erinda Duraj (Male)
Bozo & Associates Law Firm
Abstract
Children are a central concern of international criminal justice. International crimes and other
forms of violence and the abuse of children are disturbing daily realities in today’s world. Children
and young persons are increasingly being targeted for the purposes of murder, rape, abduction,
mutilation, recruitment as child soldiers, tracking, sexual exploitation and other abuses. Sierra
Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Colombia, and many others illustrate this. e
participation of children in international criminal justice and other accountability mechanisms
is now one of the major issues facing criminal justice today. In this sense, this paper presents a
short overview on the issue of children and their participation in international criminal justice.
e paper thus focuses on giving a denition of “child/children” according to international norms,
which are the key principles of children’s rights, their participation in the criminal justice system,
the dierent international crimes committed by them or against them etc. Also, this paper briey
addresses the main contours of the normative framework regarding the criminal responsibility
of children for their alleged participation in international crimes. It reviews international norms
regarding children who may be accused of having participated in the commission of such crimes
themselves (as child soldiers) and identies their criminal responsibility for such acts. Finally,
this paper acknowledges the obligations of states under international law to prosecute persons
accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and enforced disappearances,
specically focusing on crimes against children.
Keywords: Children, International crimes against children, Criminal responsibility; Child soldiers,
International Criminal Cour t.
Introduction
We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and
f e a r.”
Nelson Mandela
Children are among the principal victims of war. During the 20th century, children have
gured prominently among the victims of systematic acts of violence. An estimated 2
million children have died and 6 million have been wounded as a direct result of armed
conict. At any one time over 300,000 child soldiers, some as young as eight, are exploited
in armed conicts in over 30 countries around the world.(UNICEF, Innocenti Research
Centre, 2010, 12) ey are targets of the worst possible violence and abuse; enslaved,
murdered, raped, forcibly recruited as child soldiers and forced to participate in atrocities.
ey have also witnessed crimes committed against family members and friends. Yet the
perpetrators of these crimes have rarely been held to account. Impunity for these crimes

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