Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the child on theinvolvement of children in armed conflic

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) is an international treaty that aims to protect children from being recruited or used in hostilities. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on May 25, 2000, and entered into force on February 12, 2002.

OPAC builds upon the principles outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is a widely ratified human rights treaty. The Optional Protocol focuses specifically on protecting children from recruitment or involvement in armed conflicts. It sets the minimum age for recruitment and participation in hostilities at 18 years, emphasizing the need to ensure that children are not directly involved in armed conflict.

Key provisions of the Optional Protocol include:

  1. Minimum age for recruitment: The protocol prohibits the recruitment or use of children under the age of 18 by armed groups or national armed forces. States are encouraged to raise the minimum age for voluntary recruitment to 18.
  2. Prohibition of compulsory recruitment: The protocol prohibits the compulsory recruitment of children under the age of 18 by armed forces. States are encouraged to take measures to prevent such recruitment and to ensure that voluntary recruitment is genuinely voluntary.
  3. Non-state armed groups: The protocol calls upon states to take all feasible measures to prevent the recruitment and use of children by non-state armed groups. It also urges states to criminalize these practices and prosecute individuals responsible for recruiting or using children in armed conflicts.
  4. Rehabilitation and reintegration: The protocol emphasizes the importance of providing appropriate assistance for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children affected by armed conflict. States are encouraged to support demobilization and rehabilitation programs for children who have been involved in armed conflict.
  5. Reporting and monitoring: States parties are required to submit reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, an independent body of experts, on the measures they have taken to implement the protocol. The Committee monitors the implementation of OPAC and provides guidance and recommendations to states.

It is worth noting that as an AI language model, my responses are based on information available up until September 2021, and there may have been updates or developments regarding the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict since then.

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