18 year old dating a 16 year old legality
Refraining from recruiting children under fifteen does not exclude children who volunteer for armed service.During the negotiations over the clause "take a part in hostilities" the word "direct" was added to it, this opens up the possibility that child volunteers could be involved indirectly in hostilities, gathering and transmitting military information, helping in the transportation of arms and munitions, provision of supplies etc.In 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 38, proclaimed: "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." However, children who are over the age of 15 but under the age of 18 are still voluntarily able to take part in combat as soldiers.The Optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict to the Convention that came into force in 2002 stipulates that its State Parties – "shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons below the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities and that they are not compulsorily recruited into their armed forces".Beber & Blattman argue that raising the cost of war crimes can have a significant impact and: “foreign governments, international organizations, diasporas, and local populations can discourage child recruitment by withholding resources or punishing offenders”.Additionally they argue that here, children’s reservation utilities are crucial and that introducing real alternatives in the form of economic and educational opportunities, can help make recruitment difficult.
On surface, the logic behind using child soldiers seems puzzling.
If an adult 21 year old is compared with a 13 year old child, the adult will normally possess superior strength, greater weight bearing capability, and will generally have more sound judgment and reasoning abilities than that of a child.
In situations of rural insurgencies and sustained conflict (where physical mobility over large distances and the extensive use and movement of ammunition is required) adults would fare better than children or adolescents.
Article 4.3.c of Protocol II, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1977, states "children who have not attained the age of fifteen years shall neither be recruited in the armed forces or groups nor allowed to take part in hostilities".
Under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which was adopted and signed in 2002, National armed forces can accept volunteers into their armed forces below the age of 18, but "States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities".