conscripting children

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Conscripting is the act of enlisting individuals into the armed forces. Conscripting children is a war crime punishable by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The crime has the following elements:

  • The perpetrator enlisted the victims into the national armed forces or for active participation in hostilities;
  • The victims were under the age of 15;
  • The conscription took place in the context of an armed conflict.

As result, these children who survive armed conflict usually suffer from psychiatric illness and behavioral problems due to trauma, which is often accompanied by an increased risk of suicide, mental disorders, alcohol abuse, and aggressive behavior.

[Last updated in October of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]