The Paris Principles: Principles and Guidelines on Children Associated with Armed Forces or Armed Groups

Hundreds of thousands of children are associated with armed forces and armed groups in conflicts around the world. Girls and boys are used in a variety of ways from support roles, such as cooking or portering, to active fighting, laying mines or spying and girls are frequently used for sexual purposes. The recruitment and use of children violates their rights and causes them physical, developmental, emotional, mental, and spiritual harm. The impact on their mental and physical well-being breaches the most fundamental human rights and represents a grave threat to durable peace and sustainable development, as cycles of violence are perpetuated. The Paris Commitments adopted in Paris in February 2007 are an expression of strengthened international resolve to prevent the recruitment of children and highlight the actions governments can and should take to protect children affected by conflict. The Paris Principles are the operational guidelines related to sustainable reintegration of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups.

Published 2011-02-22