A little light reading

As a general rule, English majors probably shouldn’t be wading through international law and war crimes legislation without adult supervision.

Nonetheless, here is Article 4 of the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, signed and ratified by Canada in 2000.

Armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of a State should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18 years.

States Parties shall take all feasible measures to prevent such recruitment and use, including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.

In our more immediate realm there is our own Parliament’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, which includes the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which includes among its definitions of war crimes the “conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities.”