Charter to protect millions of children in war

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The Independent US

Government representatives from 130 nations were yesterday finalising a charter to protect millions of children devastated by war and civil conflict, despite some countries' fears of loss of sovereignty.

Government representatives from 130 nations were yesterday finalising a charter to protect millions of children devastated by war and civil conflict, despite some countries' fears of loss of sovereignty.

The agenda, adopted by a conference in Canada, will go before a UN session next autumn but is likely to do very little to change the brutality of war.

But there is growing acceptance that national sovereignty has limits, that intervention can be justified on humanitarian grounds and that perpetrators of war crimes should be sent before an International Criminal Court (ICC).

The agenda highlights the spread of small arms used by children and the ability of rebel groups to raise money and weapons in other countries with impunity.

In the last decade, two million children have died in conflict and 300,000 child soldiers are fighting in some 30 wars, UN figures say.

But its language on the ICC has been watered down as some countries, including the US, refuse to recognise the court.

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