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Statement – Greece with regard to the ID with the Special Representative of the Secretary General for children and armed conflict

Friday, 13 September 2013

With regard to the ID with  the Special Representative of the Secretary General for children and armed conflict, 
Mrs. Leila Zerrougui
September 9, 2013 (15 :00-18 :00)

Mr. President,

Greece aligns itself with the statement delivered by the EU.

Allow me, Mr. President, to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mrs. Leila Zerrougui, for her oral update to the Human Rights Council and we are looking forward to her next written report in March. Greece fully supports the Special Representative’s appeals to all States to sign and ratify the Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Greece signed the Optional Protocol in 2000 and ratified it in 2002 and her initial report has already been examined by the Committee on the Rights of the Child during the 60th session of the said Committee.  

Since her appointment, Mrs. Zerrougui has engaged in extensive activities and has undertaken many visits thus fulfilling, to the maximum, the requirements of her mandate.

According to the Greek Constitution, enlistment in the Armed Forces in Greece is mandatory but the provisions of the law require that only draftees in their nineteenth year are called while young people who wish to fulfil their military obligations before their call, can do so after they become 18 years old. The same applies to young people who wish to have a professional career in the army.

The Law also provides that “whoever in an international or national armed conflict enlists children, who have not attained the age of 15, or compulsory recruits them in the armed forces or armed groups, or forces them to take a direct part in hostilities, will be punished with at least 10 years of imprisonment”.

At this point, we would like to know if there were any positive results, on a global scale, relating to the Special Representative’s call on no recruitement under the age of 18. 

Finally, we would like to wish Mrs. Zerroughi all success in her difficult work.

Thank you, Mr. President

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