Victim or perpetrator - a critical analysis of the laws on rights of children involved in armed conflict : a case study of the Dominic Ongwen case
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This dissertation analyses the effectiveness of the laws on the protection on the rights of children taking part in armed conflicts in Uganda, putting in mind child soldiers whether they are the victims or perpetrators of armed conflicts. The research focuses on the case of Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen, which is the case study of this research. Through this analysis, this study seeks to clarify whether or not the implementation of the International Humanitarian Laws in place on the protection of children in armed conflicts especially in Northern Uganda and worldwide has been met. It has been argued that to properly implement an effective system of repression of violation of rights of children during armed conflicts, IHL confers upon States, as signatories a duty to protect its civilians which they are legally obliged to do, and whether that was the case in Northern Uganda remains an issue of debate. The research explores the analysis of the efficacy of the application of the laws on protection of children during armed conflicts in Uganda. The research alleviates the general introduction of the notion of international humanitarian law and perception of protection of children under international humanitarian law. The study gives a deeper analysis of the legal and administrative frame work on international humanitarian law in Uganda and probes the various mechanisms of the application of international humanitarian law as regards protection of children during armed conflicts and fostering their access to justice. The study analyses International law on child protection in armed conflict paying attention to International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law provisions on the protection of children (UN CRC, Additional Protocols on protection children in armed conflict) and International criminal law provisions on protection of children (Rome statute of the ICC, statutes on the establishment of ICTR, ICTY, International Court of Sierra Leone and looking at cases like, Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and the Charles Taylor before the SCSL). The study provides a case study on victim or perpetrator; A critique of the Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen case. Dealing mainly with protection of children during armed conflicts, and drawing a nexus between a child soldier as victim and perpetrator of armed conflicts, among others. The study then makes recommendations and conclusions by the researcher and how these can be undertaken to enhance application of IHL in Uganda in relation to protection of children rights during armed conflicts.