COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Charities lobby UK government to end use of child soldiers

A coalition of human rights charities is lobbying the Government to accept international laws that prevent under-18s from being recruited into the armed forces.

The UK is the only European country to recruit 16- and 17-year-old soldiers.

Although the Government last week ratified an optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that pledges not to send people aged below 18 into conflict, it included a get-out clause stating it would do so in an emergency.

The UK Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, which includes Amnesty International UK, Anti-Slavery International and Quaker Peace, is angered by the move and intends to keep up the pressure for the protocol to be accepted fully.

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