About the Book:
Can the use of children as soldiers be effectively regulated at an international level? Child Soldiers in International Law examines how international law has developed to deal with this problematic and emotive issue.
Happold looks at the rules restricting the recruitment of children into armed forces - rules which, though important, are often flouted - but also at the wider legal issues arising from child soldiering: to what extent can child soldiers be held criminally liable for their conduct? How should they be treated when captured? How are states obliged to demobilise and reintegrate them into their societies? It also identifies a move away towards enforcement, through the prosecution of those who recruit child soldiers, and proposals for Security Council sanctions against governments and groups who breach their international obligations by using children in armed conflicts.
This study will be essential reading for those concerned with public international law, human rights, and the United Nations and peacekeeping.
1. Child soldiers in the world today
2. Children and children's rights: Changing perceptions
3. The United Nations and child soldiers
4. The legal regulation of the recruitment and use of children in hostilities: International humanitarian law
5. The legal regulation of the recruitment and use of children in hostilities: International human rights law
6. The legal regulation of the recruitment and use of children in hostilities: Customary international law and non-state actors
7. The legal treatment of child soldiers
8. The recruitment of child soldiers as a war crime
9. The responsibility of child soldiers for war crimes
10. Child soldiers as asylum seekers and refugees
11. Child soldiers in international law: Conclusion
About the Author:
Matthew Happold is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Nottingham. He is a general public international lawyer. He holds degrees from the universities of Oxford and London and the Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law. Matthew was previously a Research Officer at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and a Lecturer at the University of Sussex. Recent publications include Anderson and Happold (eds), Constitutional Human Rights in the Commonwealth (BIICL, 2003).
Praise for Child Soldiers in International Law
"It is an important reference source for anyone, whether in academia, policy or advocacy, working on the child soldier issue."
- Journal of Peace Research
Reviews for Child Soldiers in International Law
"Happold's work is a succinct and comprehensive survey of international law as it relates to the phenomenon of child soldiering. Amid the often highly emotive responses that child soldiers elicit in discourse, this volume clearly and directly addresses the major debates relating to child combatants. It is an important reference source for anyone, whether in academia, policy or advocacy, working on the child soldier issue."
- (2006) 43 Journal of Peace Research 636
"[Happold] provides a lucid examination of how perceptions of childhood and children's rights vary over space and time, and how this affects the treatment of child soldiers. He also examines the rules that govern the treatment and activities of child soldiers themselves, which has received much less attention." (p. 121)
"This is a well written book that provides not only a good general introduction to the subject of child soldiers, but also a clear account of the complexities surrounding the application of international law to the subject." (p. 123)
- Youth and Policy, No. 96, Summer 2007, 121-3
"[The book's] great strength is its detailed and rigorous analysis of the development of the law in this area.... The critical analysis of the drafting history of the major legal instruments is then a strong feature of this book, and when added to the clear chapter structure and language of the author, Child Soldiers in International Law makes for an interesting and comprehensive insight into this important issue." (p. 496)
"The book provides a solid and thorough analysis of the issue of child soldiers and presents the discussion of the law in this area in an interesting and methodical way. The book considerably expands understanding of the law in this area and will be appreciated by both experts and novices alike." (p. 499)
- (2008) 71 Modern Law Review 496-9