Consequences of cluster munitions on the rights of the child : a child rights-based approach to the implementation of the Convention on cluster munitions
This thesis aims at illustrating the impacts of Cluster Munitions on the rights of the child and at developing a new approach based on the full enjoyment of children’s rights when implementing the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Due to their natural curiosity, their small bodies and the proximity of the vital organs to the blast of explosive weapons, children account for 46% of all Mine and Explosive Remnants of War casualties, including Cluster Munitions. Despite their specific vulnerabilities and changing needs, the rights of the child are too often disregarded by states and other relevant stakeholders. Before providing an overview on the relevant international legal and institutional framework in the area of humanitarian law, human rights law and the United Nations normative and policy framework, this paper analyses the impacts of Cluster Munitions on children, not only regarding physical and psychologic implications but also concerning the access of victimised children to healthcare, education and humanitarian assistance as well as social, economic and environmental consequences, diseases and displacement. The core of the thesis is constituted by the fourth chapter, dealing with the application of the Convention in theory and the elaboration of a child rights-based approach putting children at the centre of all considerations when implementing the legally binding obligations deriving from the Cluster Munition Convention, humanitarian and human rights law. In addition, recommendations and measures to be taken in key areas of action relevant for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child complement the paper.