Childrens participation at the ICC: is the Court a wolf disguised in sheeps clothes for them? : child victims and witnesses participation at the ICC seen in light of the Childrens Rights Convention
This thesis will seek an answer to the following question: are the rights of children who participate as victim or appear as witness before the newly established International Criminal Court fully protected? The thesis will first reveal in a fictional case about 17 year old Victoria how children are affected by modern wars. Then the dissertation will review the contribution of different international instruments for the protection of children during armed conflict to various concepts. Chapter 3 will provide more insight in victim’s participation and child witnesses in general. And will analyze the international legal framework protecting and supporting children who participate in international justice mechanisms, with a particular focus on the CRC and the RS. Chapter 4 will reveal six particular areas of concern with regard to children’s participation at the ICC. The author of the thesis will conclude that the rights of children who participate as victim or appear as witness before the ICC are taken into account by the ICC, but that there remains a lot to be done to enable children’s full access to the ICC in a protective and supportive way and to let them testify as witness without harming them. The author stresses that children should in particular give their views and concerns in videotaped statement taking to avoid as much as possible later testifying in the Court in The Hague.