What’s wrong with children joining armed forces? Military recruitment of children, whether or not they are recruited willingly, subjects them to severe risks, jeopardises their education and long-term well-being, and violates many of their fundamental rights, not least the right to life. When children are recruited but not sent to fight, they remain under the control of a military regime, which conditions them to shed their civilian identities and serve a fighting force, and suspends or ignores many fundamental rights. Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to the maximum possible development (art. 6), the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24), protection from violence (art. 19), access to education (art.28) and protection in armed conflict (art. 38). A military environment undermines all of these.