Matthew Happold
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Child soldiers as asylum seekers and refugees
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Children often wish to avoid recruitment into armed forces and groups, and child soldiers often face harsh treatment from their commanders and comrades. Recruiting children under the age of 15 years is viewed as a sufficiently serious breach of international law so as to give rise to individual criminal responsibility. In recent years, there has been a tendency to subject asylum seekers to closer scrutiny to determine whether, by reason of their previous conduct, they are undeserving of refugee status. It has been argued that children should never be subject to exclusion from refugee status under Article 1F. Such a view, however, is contrary to both the wording and the drafting history of the provision. In practice, children have been excluded from refugee status as a result of the application of Article 1F.

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