Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into the national

Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of

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serious consequences. Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into the national armed forces or using them to participate in hostilities was among the war crimes listed under article 8. While there was no specific reference to the involvement of children in armed conflict in the Criminal Code, the offence was covered under the section on war crimes. 8. Mr. Madi (Country Rapporteur for the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict) said that the Committee was concerned about children aged 15 to 18, who were covered neither by the Rome Statute nor, therefore, by the Criminal Code. Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 18 should be made a specific criminal offence under domestic law. He would appreciate further details of Act Nos. 300 and 301 and how they related to the Optional Protocol. 9. Mr. Kadlečík (Slovakia) said that under pending amendments to the Criminal Code a child would be defined as any person under the age of 18, thus filling the gap left under the Rome Statute for children aged between 15 and 18. All criminal law would include a reference to the definition of the child, and that definition would apply to all criminal offences. 10. Mr. Polar asked what would happen if a Slovak citizen was involved in the recruitment of persons aged between 15 and 18 for participation in armed conflict before the new provisions took effect. 11. Mr. Kadlečík (Slovakia) said that the amendments to the Criminal Code would enter into force on 1 May 2013. 12. Ms. Sandberg asked whether the amendments referred only to the Rome Statute. If so, she wondered how children aged 15 to 18 would be covered under the new legislation. 13. Mr. Madi said that providing a definition of the child was not the same thing as making the acts covered by the Optional Protocol into criminal offences under domestic law. 14. Mr. Kadlečík (Slovakia) said that while such acts were not specifically criminalized under the Criminal Code, as amended, his Government would take into consideration the Committee’s recommendation to introduce further amendments to the law. 15. Mr. Šimoňák (Slovakia) said that any persons claiming to be minors were treated as such in facilities for minors unless there was medical evidence to the contrary. With respect to persons who claimed to have been used as child soldiers, he said that once a person made such a claim in an asylum interview he or she was automatically given access to psychological care. The authorities had not received any such claims for the past 13 years. However, his Government was aware of the problem and had taken steps to train or retrain immigration and asylum officers on the issue, including by means of a new training programme to be introduced in 2013. 16. Turning to the issue of arms export licences, he said that legislation had been adopted in 2012 that fully reflected the international commitments that had been undertaken by Slovakia, including those under the Wassenaar Arrangement. Under the new export control regime, an end-user certificate was required for a licence to be issued. The transport of arms through the territory of Slovakia could also be
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • Armed forces

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