A moral dilemma between national security and children’s rights. What to do with children recruited by terrorist or violent extremist groups? A case analysis.

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Perl, Doreen
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In the last recent years, there were more cases in non-conflict countries, such as Germany, of children, who are associated with and recruited by non-state armed groups such as terrorist or violent extremist groups and accused of terrorism-related offenses. There is little research regarding the criminal responsibility and prosecution of these children since it touches on children’s rights but also the obligations of legal instruments concerning counter-terrorism. The following thesis shows that a more child-sensitive approach regarding the cases of children accused of terrorism-related offenses and the application of alternatives to deprivation of liberty is needed. Alternatives to deprivation of liberty reduce the chances of stigmatization and focus on rehabilitation and reintegration of these children. The thesis will analyze two German cases of individuals who are accused of terrorism-related offenses when they were under the age of eighteen and show that a child-sensitive approach is for the children and also for society more beneficial.
Second semester University: Ca' Foscari University of Venice
children rights, terrorism, Germany, rehabilitation, reintegration, responsibility, security