The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation assembled in Congress, etc. sanction with force of Law:ARTICLE 1 Apply the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 25 May 2000, which consists of TRECE (13) articles, whose authenticated photocopy is part of the present law. ARTICLE 2 Contact the national executive branch.
IN THE SESSION OF THE ARGENTINE CONGRESS, IN GOOD AIRES, 17 JUL 2002
# 25,616 EL
EDUARDO O. CHANGE. . JUAN C. MAQUEDA. . Eduardo D. Rollano. . Juan C. Oyarzún.
OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD ON THE PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT
The States Parties to this Protocol,
Encouraged by the overwhelming support deserved by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which shows that there is a general willingness to fight for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child,
Reaffirming that the rights of the child require special protection and that, to that end, it is necessary to further improve the situation of children without distinction and to ensure that they are developed and educated in conditions of peace and security,
Concerned about the pernicious and general effects of long-term armed conflict on children and their long-term consequences for durable peace, security and development,
Condemning the fact that in situations of armed conflict children become a target, as well as direct attacks on goods protected by international law, including places where there is often considerable child presence, such as schools and hospitals,
Noting the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, in particular the inclusion among war crimes in international and non-international armed conflicts of the recruitment or enlistment of children under the age of 15 or their use to participate actively in hostilities,
Considering that further promoting the realization of the rights recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is a need to increase the protection of children with a view to preventing them from participating in armed conflict,
Noting that article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that, for the purposes of that Convention, every human being under 18 years of age is understood as a child, unless, under the applicable law, he has attained the age of majority before,
Convinced that an optional protocol to the Convention that raises the minimum age for the recruitment of persons into the armed forces and their direct participation in hostilities will effectively contribute to the implementation of the principle that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in all decisions that concern it,
Noting that in December 1995 the XXVI International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent recommended that the parties to the conflict take all feasible measures to ensure that children under the age of 18 did not participate in hostilities,
Noting with satisfaction the unanimous adoption in June 1999 of the International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which prohibits, inter alia, the forced or compulsory recruitment of children to use them in loved conflicts,
Condemning with great concern the recruitment, training and use within and outside the national borders of children in hostilities by loved groups other than the forces of a State, and recognizing the responsibility of those who recruit, train and use children in this way,
Recalling that all parties to an armed conflict have an obligation to observe the provisions of international humanitarian law,
Stressing that the present Protocol shall without prejudice to the objectives and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, including its Article 51 and the relevant rules of humanitarian law,
Mindful of the fact that, in order to achieve the full protection of children, in particular during armed conflicts and foreign occupation, conditions of peace and security based on full respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations are indispensable and that existing human rights instruments be observed,
Recognizing the special needs of children who are particularly exposed to recruitment or use in hostilities, against the provisions of this Protocol, in view of their economic or social status or sex,
Mindful of the need to take into account the economic, social and political causes that motivate the participation of children in armed conflict,
Convinced of the need to strengthen international cooperation in the implementation of this Protocol, as well as the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict,
Encouraging the participation of communities and, in particular, children and child victims in the dissemination of information and education programmes on the implementation of the Protocol,
They have agreed as follows:
States Parties shall take all possible measures to ensure that no member of their armed forces under the age of 18 participates directly in hostilities.
States Parties shall ensure that no person under the age of 18 is placed in their armed forces.
1. States Parties shall raise the minimum age for the voluntary recruitment of persons into their national armed forces above that set out in article 38, paragraph 3, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, taking into account the principles set forth in that article, and recognizing that under that Convention children under the age of 18 are entitled to special protection.
2. Each State Party shall deposit, upon ratifying or acceding to this Protocol, a binding declaration establishing the minimum age for voluntary recruitment into its national armed forces and providing a description of the safeguards it has adopted to ensure that such recruitment is not carried out by force or coercion.
3. States Parties that permit the voluntary recruitment of their national armed forces under the age of 18 shall establish safeguard measures to ensure that:
(a) Such recruitment is genuinely voluntary;
(b) Such recruitment is carried out with the informed consent of the parents or persons having legal custody;
(c) These minors are fully informed of the duties of this military service;
(d) They present reliable evidence of their age before being accepted in the national military service.
4. Each State Party may extend its declaration at any time by notification to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which shall inform all States Parties. The notification shall take effect from the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General.
5. The obligation to raise the age as set out in paragraph 1 of this article does not apply to schools managed or located under the control of the armed forces of States Parties, in accordance with articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
1. Armed groups other than the armed forces of a State should in no circumstances recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18.
2. States Parties shall take all possible measures to prevent such recruitment and use, including the adoption of the necessary legal measures to prohibit and punish such practices.
3. The application of this article shall not affect the legal status of any party to an armed conflict.
No provision of this Protocol shall be construed to prevent the application of the provisions of a State party ' s or international instruments or international humanitarian law where such provisions are more conducive to the realization of the rights of the child.
1. Each State Party shall take all necessary legal, administrative and other measures to ensure the effective implementation and monitoring of the effective implementation of the provisions of this Protocol within its jurisdiction.
2. States Parties undertake to disseminate and promote by appropriate means, between adults and children equally, the principles and provisions of this Protocol.
3. States Parties shall take all possible measures to ensure that persons under their jurisdiction and who have been recruited or used in hostilities in contravention of this Protocol are demobilized or otherwise separated from service. If necessary, States Parties shall provide such persons with all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration.
1. States Parties shall cooperate in the implementation of this Protocol, in particular in the prevention of any activity contrary to it and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons who are victims of acts contrary to this Protocol, including through technical cooperation and financial assistance. Such assistance and cooperation will be carried out in consultation with affected States Parties and relevant international organizations.
2. States Parties in a position to do so shall provide such assistance through existing multilateral, bilateral or other programmes or, inter alia, through a voluntary fund established in accordance with the rules of the General Assembly.
1. No later than two years after the Protocol ' s entry into force in respect of a State party, it shall submit to the Committee on the Rights of the Child a report containing an overview of the measures it has taken to implement the provisions of the Protocol, including measures taken to implement the provisions relating to participation and recruitment.
2. After the submission of the general report, each State Party shall include in its reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in accordance with article 44 of the Convention any additional information available on the implementation of the Protocol. Other States Parties to the Protocol shall submit a report every five years.
3. The Committee on the Rights of the Child may request further information from States parties on the implementation of this Protocol.
1. This Protocol shall be open for signature by any State Party to the Convention or has signed it.
2. This Protocol is subject to ratification and open to accession by all States. Instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The Secretary-General, as the depositary of the Convention, shall inform all States parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the Convention of the deposit of each instrument of declaration under article 13.
1. This Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For States that have ratified or acceded to this Protocol after its entry into force, the Protocol shall enter into force one month after the date of deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.
1. Any State Party may denounce this Protocol at any time by notifying the Secretary-General of the United Nations in writing, who shall inform the other States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the Convention. The complaint shall take effect one year after the date on which the notification has been received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. However, if the denouncing State Party intervenes in an armed conflict at the expiration of that period, the denunciation shall not take effect until the end of the armed conflict.
2. Such a denunciation shall not exempt the State party from its obligations under this Protocol in respect of any act that has occurred prior to the date on which it takes effect. The complaint shall not in any way prejudice the Committee ' s continuing consideration of any matter initiated prior to that date.
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and deposit it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall communicate the proposed amendment to States Parties by requesting them to notify the State party whether they wish to convene a conference of States Parties to consider the proposal and to put it to the vote. If, within four months of the date of such notification, at least one third of the States Parties declare themselves in favour of such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene it with the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by the majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly for approval.
2. Any amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article shall enter into force when approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
3. The amendments, when they enter into force, shall be binding on the States Parties that have accepted them; the other States Parties shall remain bound by the provisions of this Convention and by the previous amendments they have accepted.
1. The present Protocol, whose Arabic texts in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this Protocol to all States Parties to the Convention and to all States that have signed the Convention.