"The debate over the effectiveness of the laws to address the situation of children in armed conflict, the political will of the international community to alleviate the plight of children in such situations, as well as the search for effective strategies to address the issue of children affected by war, remains lively and unsettled. This study aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion with a focus on northern Uganda where, for the last 19 years, children have been suffering as a result of armed conflict with no response from the international community. It appears that the government, the armed forces and the international community have simply ignored their plight. ... The study is divided into four chapters; chapter one discusses the internal and international armed conflict dichotomy. It further discusses legal protection that exists under international law for children. An overview of the current standard-setting efforts, enforcement and implementation of these laws is also considered in the chapter. Chapter two considers particular risks faced by children in armed conflict including the child soldier phenomenon; refugee and internally displaced persons (IDPs); sexual abuse and exploitation of children; and the impact of landmines and unexploded ornances on children. The chapter finally looks at actions the international community can take to protect children in compliance with international law. Chapter three gives a background to the conflict in northern Uganda; it discusses the groups of children at risk and the failure to prioritise the protection of children by all actors at the local and international level. Chapter four draws a conclusion and gives recommendations to the ongoing search for effective strategies to address the plight of children affected by war with focus on northern Uganda. These recommendations are addressed to the government, the armed group and the international community." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa))--University of Pretoria, 2005.