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Dismantling the Notion of “Participate Actively in Hostilities” - A Gender Analysis of the Crime of Using Child Soldiers

Sturesson, Kajsa LU (2017) LAGM01 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Children used by military groups in armed conflicts are assigned to different roles and activities depending on their gender identities. In this thesis, therefore, the hypothesis put forward is that application and interpretation of the war crime of “using [children under the age of fifteen years] to participate actively in hostilities” (Articles 8(2)(b)(xxvi) and 8(2)(e)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and Article 4(c) of the Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone) require a gender perspective to make effective the protection of all children in armed conflicts.
During negotiations prior to the conclusion of the Rome Statute, recognition of female child soldiers’ particular experiences in armed... (More)
Children used by military groups in armed conflicts are assigned to different roles and activities depending on their gender identities. In this thesis, therefore, the hypothesis put forward is that application and interpretation of the war crime of “using [children under the age of fifteen years] to participate actively in hostilities” (Articles 8(2)(b)(xxvi) and 8(2)(e)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and Article 4(c) of the Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone) require a gender perspective to make effective the protection of all children in armed conflicts.
During negotiations prior to the conclusion of the Rome Statute, recognition of female child soldiers’ particular experiences in armed conflicts (e.g., domestic and sexual exploitation) was stressed; this, in relation to the rationale of the crime of using children to participate in hostilities. The present thesis examines caselaw from the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, respectively, concerning the notion of “participate actively in hostilities”. Is this legal concept applied and interpreted with due gender sensitiveness?
In this thesis, it is argued that jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone reveals that the level of protection stemming from international criminal law is lower for female child soldiers than it is for male child soldiers. Certain “female” activities performed by children used in armed groups are excluded from the notion of “participate actively in hostilities”. Thus, they do not fall within the scope of the crime of using child soldiers. While activities connected to combat situations, espionage and guarding of military objects have been covered by the notion, cooking, nursing, and performance of other household chores have not.
Offering a gender analysis of the application and interpretation of the crime of using children to participate actively in hostilities, this thesis suggests a gender-sensitive way of reading international criminal law. With respect to international human rights law, international humanitarian law and Article 21(3) of the Rome Statute, which articulates the importance of internationally recognized human rights as well as the principle of non-discrimination in relation to application and interpretation of the Statute, inclusion of typically “female” activities within the legal notion of “participate actively in hostilities” is advocated for. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Children used by military groups in armed conflicts are assigned to different roles and activities depending on their gender identities. In this thesis, therefore, the hypothesis put forward is that application and interpretation of the war crime of using children to participate actively in hostilities require a gender perspective to make effective the protection of all children in armed conflicts. Is this legal concept defined with due gender sensitiveness in caselaw originating from international criminal courts?
With respect to international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the principle of non-discrimination, inclusion of typically “female” activities within the legal notion of “participate actively in hostilities”... (More)
Children used by military groups in armed conflicts are assigned to different roles and activities depending on their gender identities. In this thesis, therefore, the hypothesis put forward is that application and interpretation of the war crime of using children to participate actively in hostilities require a gender perspective to make effective the protection of all children in armed conflicts. Is this legal concept defined with due gender sensitiveness in caselaw originating from international criminal courts?
With respect to international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the principle of non-discrimination, inclusion of typically “female” activities within the legal notion of “participate actively in hostilities” is advocated for in this thesis. (Less)
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author
Sturesson, Kajsa LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGM01 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8954059
date added to LUP
2018-07-10 14:34:01
date last changed
2018-07-10 14:34:01
@misc{8954059,
  abstract     = {Children used by military groups in armed conflicts are assigned to different roles and activities depending on their gender identities. In this thesis, therefore, the hypothesis put forward is that application and interpretation of the war crime of “using [children under the age of fifteen years] to participate actively in hostilities” (Articles 8(2)(b)(xxvi) and 8(2)(e)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and Article 4(c) of the Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone) require a gender perspective to make effective the protection of all children in armed conflicts. 
During negotiations prior to the conclusion of the Rome Statute, recognition of female child soldiers’ particular experiences in armed conflicts (e.g., domestic and sexual exploitation) was stressed; this, in relation to the rationale of the crime of using children to participate in hostilities. The present thesis examines caselaw from the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, respectively, concerning the notion of “participate actively in hostilities”. Is this legal concept applied and interpreted with due gender sensitiveness?
In this thesis, it is argued that jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone reveals that the level of protection stemming from international criminal law is lower for female child soldiers than it is for male child soldiers. Certain “female” activities performed by children used in armed groups are excluded from the notion of “participate actively in hostilities”. Thus, they do not fall within the scope of the crime of using child soldiers. While activities connected to combat situations, espionage and guarding of military objects have been covered by the notion, cooking, nursing, and performance of other household chores have not. 
Offering a gender analysis of the application and interpretation of the crime of using children to participate actively in hostilities, this thesis suggests a gender-sensitive way of reading international criminal law. With respect to international human rights law, international humanitarian law and Article 21(3) of the Rome Statute, which articulates the importance of internationally recognized human rights as well as the principle of non-discrimination in relation to application and interpretation of the Statute, inclusion of typically “female” activities within the legal notion of “participate actively in hostilities” is advocated for.},
  author       = {Sturesson, Kajsa},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Dismantling the Notion of “Participate Actively in Hostilities” - A Gender Analysis of the Crime of Using Child Soldiers},
  year         = {2017},
}