Singapore ratified the Optional Protocol to the UNCRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict on 11 December 08. The Optional Protocol, which calls for the protection of children from situations of armed conflict, came into force in January 2009.
The 13 articles found in the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict covers areas such as
(b) prohibition and related matters;
(d) recovery and reintegration;
(e) international assistance and cooperation.
For more information on the OPAC protocol and articles, please visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPACCRC.aspx
Illustration of Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in Simplified Language
Initial Report and Dialogue with the Committee
Singapore submitted its Initial Report to UN on Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in December 2011, and had a Dialogue with the Committee at its 67th session on 9 September 2014. Then Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, Ms Low Yen Ling, led the delegation for the Dialogue, which comprised of representatives from MINDEF, MSF, AGC and the Singapore Mission in Geneva.
Key Points from Concluding Observations
The Concluding Observations were circulated on 13 Oct 2014 and included calls on the following:
- Refrain from voluntary recruitment of persons below 18 years;
- Enhance efforts to raise awareness of OPAC among the public and children;
- Establishing a complaint mechanism for under-18 enlistees that is independent of MINDEF;
- Amend legislation to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment;
- Amend legislation to ensure that (i) extra-territorial jurisdiction be exercised regarding all offences under OPAC, (ii) extradition under the domestic extradition regime includes crimes under OPAC;
- Enact legislation to specifically prohibit firearms exports, ratifying relevant Conventions on arms;
- Establish mechanisms for the identification and full protection of asylum-seeking and refugee children.
The Inter-Ministry Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child will continue to look into these possible areas of development.