25. Legal protection of refugees and minorities and vulnerable groups: child soldiers

Instructions

Learning outcome

After completing this activity, the student should be familiar with particular concepts of protection of vulnerable groups in armed conflict, most sensitive to violation of fundamental human rights and most frequently victims of different violations not directly and necessary connected to armed conflict.

Activity

Consider whether the child soldier may apply for the refugee status, in relation to his/her previous social status, as detailed in the question.

Introduction

In contemporary armed conflicts, there are many child soldiers fighting, who are usually victims of human trafficking or violence, with high influence on their physical and mental development. Read carefully about the existence of child soldiers and definition as adopted within individually established UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. Apply the definition and compare it to real cases judgements of US courts and answer the quiz questions.

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Question 11 pts

Read carefully decisions of international courts in relation to child soldiers and its definitions:

Lukwago v. Ashcroft, Attorney General, No. 02-1812, 14 May 2003 (US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit)
Escobar v. Gonzales, Attorney General, No. 04-2999, 29 June 2005 (US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit)

In relation to the adopted definitions of child soldier and criteria set by US courts, consider, whether the child soldier may apply for the refugee status, in relation to his/her previous social status: