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(Jan 03, 2008) China's National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) adopted a decision on December 29, 2007, to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts. China signed the Protocol on March 15, 2001. The Optional Protocol entered into force on February 22, 2002; the United States ratified it on December 23, 2002. (Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts, Office of the [U.N.] High Commissioner for Human Rights Web site, http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/crc/treaties/crc.htm (last visited Jan. 8, 2007).) The Optional Protocol states in its article 3 that States Parties are to raise the minimum age for voluntary recruitment into their national armed forces from that set out in the provision above and that each State Party is to deposit 1) a binding declaration upon ratification of or accession to the Protocol on the minimum age at which it will permit voluntary recruitment and 2) a description of the safeguards it has adopted to ensure that such recruitment is not forced or coerced. It further prescribes that the States Parties are to maintain certain minimum safeguards to ensure, for example, that the recruitment is "genuinely voluntary" and carried out with the informed consent of parents or legal guardians.

The NPCSC ratification decision addresses some of the above issues. It states that the minimum age of voluntary recruitment of citizens into China's armed forces is 17 years and lists various legal measures that have been adopted to ensure implementation of that age limit. ((Shouquan fabu) Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui Changwu Weiyuanhui guanyu pizhun <Ertong quanli gongyue guanyu ertong juanru wuzhuang chongtu wenti de renze yiding shu> de jueding [(Authorized for Issuance) Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to Ratify the <Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts>], X INHUANET, Dec. 29, 2007.)

Author: Wendy Zeldin More by this author
Topic: Children More on this topic
Jurisdiction: China More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 01/03/2008