§ Lord Judd
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they endorse the agreements recently negotiated in Geneva designed to help end the use of child soldiers in armed conflict; and what is now their position on ratification of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, which requires governments to take "all feasible measures" to end the deployment of under 18s in conflict situations. [HL887]
§ Baroness Scotland of Asthal
We welcome the consensus achieved by the UN Working Group on an optional protocol on the involvement of children in124WA armed conflict. This is a strong, practical text which clearly establishes that young people under 18 have a right to special safeguards.
The UK has argued that to stop children as young as 7 or 8 being used as child soldiers, we need standards that will be widely ratified and implemented. We believe that the optional protocol achieves this. We are now looking to see what measures we would need to take to allow the UK to ratify.