This report was prepared in advance of the Committee on the Rights of the Child's 77th Pre-Session Working Group where it will review Seychelles' implementation of its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC).
Our recommendations to Seychelles are to:
- Submit its initial OPAC report to the Committee without further delay.
- In order to best ensure the welfare and best interests of the child, revise the Defence Act to explicitly prohibit the enlistment of any person under the age of 18 years, in any circumstance.
- For as long as it continues to permit voluntary enlistment of children, revise the Defence Act to ensure that:
- the minimum age for voluntary enlistment is specified as less than 16 years;
- the child’s parents or legal guardians are the only persons who can provide consent for enlistment;
- reliable proof of age is a pre-requisite for enlistment;
- recruits under the age of 18 years have an ongoing and unconditional right of discharge on request up until at least the date of their 18th birthday.
- Take immediate steps to amend its binding declaration on OPAC to clarify the minimum age for voluntary enlistment and the safeguards in place to ensure that persons under the age of 18 are not forced or coerced into enlistment.
- Amend relevant legislation and regulations to ensure that:
- Students in military schools who are under the age of 18 years should be regarded as civilians and their rights as children respected. The civilian status of students in military schools should be established in law.
- Students in military schools who are under the age of 18 years should not receive weapons training and in no circumstances should they be used in hostilities in any role.
Download the report here for our full list of questions and recommendations.