The current situation of children used in armed conflicts is extremely serious. Nearly 300 000 children are engaged as soldiers in more than 30 countries worldwide. It is a fact that many of these states are located in Africa. Hence, it is particularly in interest of the Republic of Zimbabwe that this problem is solved. In 1998, the International Crime Court categorized the conscripting of children under the age of 15 into national armed forces, or the active using of the latter in hostilities, as a war crime. Despite the United Nations Security Council condemning by the Resolution 1261 (1999) the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict as well as their recruitment and use during wars the Situation changed unsubstantial. For that reason, the United Nations General Assembly adopted on February 12, 2002 the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. 72 countries signed the Convention and agreed to the fact, that they will uphold the minimum age of 18 years for military recruitment. 18 years is regarded as minimum age, because as defined in article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every human below the age of 18 years is considered as a child.
The Republic of Zimbabwe considers the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC-OP-AC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict as a wise step to abolish the problem of child soldiers. It is planed, that Zimbabwe, as soon as possible, will sign this Protocol. Important to mention, in regard to this matter is the fact, that Zimbabwe introduced itself the National Service Act in 1979, which sets the age of 18 as the lowest age limit for recruitment into national armed Forces. The Republic is proud to state, that it has never used any child soldiers in its troops.
Although the use of child soldiers was condemned nearly worldwide, there is still an acute deficit in the will to achieve...
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