United Nations


Convention on the Rights of the Child

Distr.: General

16 October 2014

Original: English

Committee on the Rights of the Child

Sixty-ninth session

25 May–12 June 2015

Item 4 of the provisional agenda

Consideration of reports of States parties

List of issues in relation to the report submitted by the Netherlands under article 8, paragraph 1, of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict

The State party is requested to submit in writing additional, updated information (15 pages maximum), if possible before 15 March 2015.

The Committee may take up any aspects of children’s rights set out in the Optional Protocol , during the dialogue with the State party.

Please clarify which department or body bears primary responsibility for the coordination of activities aimed at the implementation of the Optional Protocol.

Please inform the Committee about public-awareness programmes and activities conducted by the State party to ensure that all communities, in particular children and their families, are adequately informed about the provisions of the Optional Protocol. Please also indicate whether training on the provisions of the Optional Protocol is provided to all relevant professional groups, in particular members of the armed forces at all levels, members of international peacekeeping forces, the police, immigration officials, judges, lawyers, medical and social workers and teachers.

With respect to the military courses offered by civilian institutions to students enrolled in the security and skills (Veiligheid en Vakmanschap (VeVa)) vocational programmes (formerly peace and security programmes), please provide updated information on:

(a)The minimum age of admission to such institutions;

(b)The number of students below the age of 18 enrolled;

(c)The proportions of academic and military courses in the curriculum andthe ratio of military and civilian instructors;

(d)Whether the material and manuals used for the VeVatraining that isa part of those educational programmes contain guidelines developed specifically for children and on the measures taken to ensure that all instructors/teachers are trained in and consistently use those specific guidelines when working with children;

(e)The proportion of time spent by students as interns in a defence location as part of their programme and the measures taken to ensure the monitoring of internship locations, including regular visits without prior notice to relevant military barracks;

(f)Whether students have access to independent complaint and investigation mechanisms and, if so, the number and nature of complaints registered and dealt with over the past three years.

Please clarify whether the legislation of the Kingdom fully criminalizes all the offences covered by the Optional Protocol, including the recruitment and use of children in hostilities by non-State armed groups. Please also provide recent disaggregated figures on the number of cases filed under article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Netherlands, including the number of children that have been recruited by non-State armed groups and who have been stopped at Dutch borders. Please also inform the Committee of the progress made by the Government of Aruba in its process aimed at amending the relevant provisions of its Criminal Code referred to in paragraph 78 of the State party’s report.

Please indicate the measures taken to identify children who might be targeted for recruitment by non-State armed groups to be involved in armed conflicts abroad. Please also describe any measures, such as peace education in the school curricula, which have been developed to promote awareness among children of the harmful consequences of involvement in armed conflicts.

With respect to the application of military criminal law to military trainees (CRC/C/OPAC/NLD/1, paras. 71 and 72), please provide information on the number of children under the age of 18 who have been charged in military tribunals over the past three years, the nature of the charges against them and the outcomes of those cases.

Please provide detailed information on the existence of any mechanisms for the early identification of children who are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants and who may have been or are at risk of being recruited and/or used in hostilities abroad. Please also provide precise data on the number of child victims of offences under the Optional Protocol among refugee and asylum-seeking children living within the jurisdiction of the State party. Please also provide information on the steps taken to provide for their physical and psychological recovery and rehabilitation.

Please indicate whether national legislation prohibits the trade and export of arms, including small arms and light weapons as well as military assistance to countries where children are involved or may be recruited or used in an armed conflict.

Please indicate whether the State party can establish and exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction over all offences under the Optional Protocol and, if so, under which specific legislation.

Please indicate whether the State party defines, in its domestic legislation, the recruitment of children below the age of 15 as a war crime.