Plight Of Children During War: Prosecutor V. Thomas Lubanga
Ritika Kanwar, Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. *
“Childhood free from violence is not a privilege, but natural state of things. It is a right that must be protected. Empathy is not enough, action must be taken so that unspeakable child abuses must not go unheard.”
International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law discusses heterogenous issues concerning child soldiers and children otherwise gruesomely attacked by armed forces during war (associated children). There are six kinds of grave violations against children during armed conflict, namely, recruitment and use of children, killing or maiming of children, sexual violence against children, attacks against schools or hospitals, denial of humanitarian access and abduction of children. Post war syndromes have increased the plight of children affected by war conflicts many folds, and made them prone to anarchic and violent wars, violent behaviour, use of dreadful weapons and alcohol or drug addiction.
IHRL treaties impose direct responsibility and binding effect on states, whereas, ICL treaties focus on individual criminal responsibility. Fragments of IHL, ICL, IHRL must be aligned and close coordinated in normative framework with standard differences in crimes concerning child soldiers, associated children and juveniles. The article highlights various such instances of violence against children during armed conflicts in the light of international instruments and contemporary precedents.
* She is pursuing B.Com. L.L.B. (H),from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.