It finds that between January 2010 and June 2012, children (under-18s) had been deployed in hostilities by 10 states’ national armies (Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, the UK and Yemen); in terms of the wider spectrum of forces for which states are responsible (e.g. other official elements of state armed forces and allied armed groups) 17 states have used child soldiers (the aforementioned plus Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Iraq, the Philippines, Rwanda and Thailand); and in a further three states children were not formally recruited but were used for military purposes including as human shields (Colombia, Israel and Syria).
The report illustrates that whilst international commitment to ensuring the protection of children is high (over three quarters of the world’s
states are party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict),
in practice a significant number of states have yet to translate their words into action.
The report also contains a 10-point checklist designed to prevent the involvement of children in hostilities and identify those situations
where children are at risk of recruitment or use. Louder than words: An agenda to end state use of child soldiers’ is now available to download on our website: http://www.child-soldiers.org/global_report_reader.php?id=562