Children’s Rights: The Potential Impact of Private Military and Security Companies
Title: Children’s Rights: The Potential Impact of Private Military and Security Companies
Series/Number: EUI AEL; 2009/23; PRIV-WAR project
This paper examines the potential risks that the use of PMSCs in a conflict or post-conflict situation poses for children, considering the existing norms for the protection of children’s rights at the international and EU levels. It first analyses which children’s rights protected by international and regional human rights instruments and IHL are at risk through the intervention of PMSCs, also providing examples of violations that have occurred in practice. It specifically considers whether PMSCs may be held accountable for recruiting children or for using them to actively participate in hostilities; and examines which measures PMSCs are required to take if they find themselves confronted with children participating in armed hostilities. In the second part, the paper examines the specific instruments for children’s rights adopted by the EU, and discusses their strengths and limits in terms of protecting the child, especially in view of an increasing PMSC activity. In the prospective of a more active role of the EU in establishing common standards for Member States with regard to PMSCs, it suggests that a specific clause be adopted for the rights and protection of the child, which covers PMSC activity when there is a link between such activity and an EU Member State. The authors conclude that states should ensure full compliance with the existing international rules protecting the rights of children, including by PMSCs. The provision of adequate training for PMSC personnel on these rules and the accountability for violations of children’s rights are essential in this regard.
Type of Access: openAccess