The right of child victims of armed conflict to reintegration and recovery
Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (hereafter the CRC) provides as follows: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; tortur...
|Published in:||Potchefstroom electronic law journal Vol. 15; no. 1; pp. 46 - 101|
|Main Author:||Robinson, J.A|
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Article 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (hereafter the CRC) provides as follows: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child. It certainly needs no elaboration of the statement that article 39, like other provisions of the CRC, is broadly formulated. It is generally accepted that such general exposition not only provides a 'common denominator approach' which allows for more States to ratify the CRC, but also enables an accommodation of ideological divisions amongst States Parties to the CRC. The nature and effect of this article are therefore influenced by various factors, as provisions of the CRC qua international instrument are not enforceable per se. This contribution deals with the position of child victims of armed conflict. An explanation is tendered of the circumstances under which children are considered to be the victims of armed conflict. Specific reference is made to the question of whether or not a former child soldier may be viewed as a child victim. In the second place the question is addressed how a monist or dualist approach regarding the incorporation of treaty law into municipal law influences the rights of child victims in terms of article 39. Thirdly, article 39 is discussed against the background of the CRC as an international human rights instrument.