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5 Hum. Rts. & Int'l Legal Discourse 2 (2011)

handle is hein.journals/hurandi5 and id is 1 raw text is: EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION
In recent decades, the issue of child soldiering, and by extension of Children Affected
by Armed Conflict (CAAC),' has been high on the international children's rights and
humanitarian agenda. Tens of thousands of children are said to have been recruited as
child soldiers,2 and many more are affected by armed conflict in one way or another.3
While child soldiers tend to be considered predominantly as victims, and child
soldiering tends to be seen as a violation of children's rights, ethnographic studies,
among others, have revealed the tension between these qualifications on the one hand,
and local understandings and children's perceptions on the other.4
In parallel with the humanitarian and children's rights concern, legal standards on
child soldiering and CAACs have been elaborated in international law. The involvement
Wouter Vandenhole, UNICEF Chair in Children's Rights, Law and Development Research Group,
University of Antwerp Law Research School; Stephan Parmentier, Leuven Institute of Criminology,
Faculty of Law, K.U.Leuven; Ilse Derluyn, Department of Orthopedagogics, Ghent University and
Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations.
The abbreviation is sometimes also used to refer to Children and Armed Conflict, see www.un.org/
childiren/conflict/english!glossary.html (last visited 12 April 2011).
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008, www.
childsoldiersglobalreport.org (last visited 12 April 2011).
See inter alia the Machel Report, Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (A/51/306) (2006), with
two reviews, one in 2001 (A/55/749) and the ten-year strategic review in 2007 (A/62,/228); see also
UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report, The Hidden Crisis: Armed Conflict and Education
(Paris: UNESCO, 2011), about the effect of armed conflict on education.
4    See e.g. A. Lee, Understanding and Addressing the Phenomenon of Child Soldiers: The Gap
between the Global Humanitarian Discourse and the Local Understandings and Experiences of
Young People's Military Recruitment, Working Paper Series No. 52, Refugee Studies Centre Oxford,
Department of International Development, January 2009, www.rsc.ox.ac.uk (last visited 12 April


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