Contemporary International Law and the Participation of Children in Armed Conflicts

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Professor Dr. Christian N. Okeke

Second Advisor

Distinguished Professor Dr. Sompong Sucharitkul

Third Advisor

Professor Jon Sylvester


A considerable body of international law exists which aim to regulate the use of children in armed conflicts but they are not observed or implemented by states and non-state actors. This dissertation examines the contemporary international law concerning the participation of children in armed conflicts. It discusses the reasons why children participate in armed conflicts and the effect of such participation. The dissertation analyses the international laws and instruments applicable to child soldiers and their effectiveness. It discusses the United States position regarding the international efforts to stop the use of children in armed conflicts and notes the importance of United States power in enforcing international laws. The dissertation analyzes the problems of implementation, compliance, and enforcement of these international laws and makes recommendations to strengthen the impact of these legal instruments regarding the participation of children in armed conflicts.


This dissertation is available in the Golden Gate University Law Library.

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