Article 38

You have the right to protection in times of war. If under 15, you should never have to be in the army or a battle.

Article 38 covers how the rights of children relate to the armed forces.

When people between 15 and 18 sign up to the armed forces, priority should be given to the oldest among them.

Children and young people should never be forced to fight in the armed forces or go to war. This right covers all jobs in a war, so doesn't just apply to soldiers.

Related articles

Article 19

Children and young people should be protected from violence.

Article 22

Children and young people who are refugees have rights.

Article 39

Children and young people who are survivors of armed conflict have the right to care that helps them recover.

Full text

This article is a simplified version of Article 37 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:

1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.
2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.
4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.