Hybrid status of child soldiers. Child soldiers as legitimate military targets
Cvetkova, Annija Marta
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This paper seeks to analyse the hybrid status of child soldiers in the international legal framework governing the protection and recruitment of child soldiers. Despite the illegal nature of recruitment and use of child soldiers, the number of children directly participating in hostilities has been increasing for the past 20 years. The current international legal framework contains several shortcomings that disable to grant children the rights and protection they are entitled to. The lack of clarity, precise definitions and weak enforcement mechanisms in the current international legal framework have left child soldiers with no status and no protection. While the development of laws and regulations can be observed, especially in the past 20 years, child soldiers are still weakly protected trough framework. The feeling of impunity for the child recruiters have left children with no protection from recruitment on the ground. The high level of interconnectivity has made it very difficult to change and improve and will require not only resources but substantial international support.