This report was in advance of the Committee on the Rights of the Child’s (‘the Committee’) consideration of Saudi Arabia’s initial report under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC). The report focuses on military recruitment; armed groups; and protection, recovery and reintegration.
Some recommendations outlined in the report that the state party should take include:
- Amend its national legislation and binding OPAC declaration to unambiguously set 18 years as the minimum age for all forms of military recruitment in law and practice without exception;
- Ensure that the minimum age for any form of participation in hostilities is explicitly set in law at 18 years or above, without exception;
- Criminalise all forms of military recruitment and use in hostilities by state armed forces in law and practice without exception, and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted;
- Review and amend its legislation to ensure that children may not be prosecuted solely for suspected association with non-state armed groups, and that they are treated primarily as victims;
- Expressly prohibit and criminalise the recruitment of children by non-state armed groups and their use in hostilities, and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted;
- Ensure that all children deprived of their liberty for suspected association with parties to conflict are detained only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, and that they are handed over to an appropriate, mandated, independent civilian-led child protection process without delay;
- Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Arms Trade Treaty, and endorse the Safe Schools Declaration
Download the report here for our full set of questions and recommendations.