Article 38

Every child has the right not to have to take part in war or join the armed forces.

Children under 15 should not be forced or recruited to take part in a war or join the armed forces. The Convention’s ‘Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict’ further develops this right, raising the age for direct participation in armed conflict to 18 and establishing a ban on compulsory recruitment for children under 18.

With tension and conflict rising in our world, Article 38 reminds us that war is no place for children.  For April, we are going to focus on the fact that all Governments, who have signed up to the convention, need to ensure that they do everything in their power to not only protect children from the effects of war, but also honour their commitment to care for them.

Governments must do everything they can to protect and care for children affected by war. Governments must not allow children under the age of 15 to take part in war or join the armed forces.