Additionally they argue that here, children’s reservation utilities are crucial and that introducing real alternatives in the form of economic and educational opportunities, can help make recruitment difficult.
In 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 38, proclaimed: "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." However, children who are over the age of 15 but under the age of 18 are still voluntarily able to take part in combat as soldiers.
Academia has offered various explanations for this puzzle from the global proliferation of light automatic weapons add to literature of child soldiers, by adapting theories of industrial organization to rebellious groups.
As a vulnerable group, children make easy targets which with low cost of war crimes, incentivizes their recruitment.
These children are detained with no real evidence, or in massive sweeps.
Some of them are captured with their families, or by the activity of one of their family members. They can be detained without sufficient food, medical care, or under other inhumane conditions.
(Art 6(3) Optional Protocol.) Under war, civil unrest, armed conflict and other emergency situations, children and youths are also offered protection under the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict.
Refraining from recruiting children under fifteen does not exclude children who volunteer for armed service.The military use of children takes three distinct forms: children can take direct part in hostilities as child soldiers; they can be used in support roles such as porters, spies, messengers, lookouts; or they can be used for political advantage as human shields or in propaganda.Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been extensively involved in military campaigns even when such practices were against cultural morals.Since the 1970s, a number of international conventions have come into effect that try to limit the participation of children in armed conflicts, nevertheless Child Soldiers International reports that the use of children in military forces, and the active participation of children in armed conflicts is widespread.According to one study, children have been used militarily across the globe.