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Child Soldiers: Adolescents serving in Armies

An optional protocol related to the involvement of children in armed conflicts was created on 25 May 2000 in light of the circumstance that children and adolescents are generally easier to recruit or joined armed groups on their own. Accordingly, the states that had already signed the Convention were not compelled to consent to this addition. Even though a coalition of non-governmental organisations had launched an attempt to increase the minimum age for forced recruiting and voluntary participation to eighteen (straight 18), an exception to implementation was nonetheless pushed through under pressure from several countries. The Protocol provides that states are permitted to use volunteer soldiers from age 16. German likewise adopted this Protocol. Volunteers above the age of 17 continue to be accepted by the German armed forces.

However, the Federal Republic of Germany is being confronted with this topic as a result of former child soldiers fleeing to Germany. By ratifying the Convention, as well as the first Optional Protocol, Germany has undertaken to provide protection, asylum and support to former child soldiers.