|Abstract: ||This research paper examines models of engagement to address the continued recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed groups. Traditional mechanisms to institute compliance by armed groups to international humanitarian and human rights obligations have been met with minimal success. Despite a rich body of international laws and instruments condemning the use of children in armed conflict, child soldiers continue to be the weapon of choice in combat, particularly for armed groups. A series of Security Council resolutions have established a framework to prevent the use of children in conflict; however, these universally mandated
responsibilities to protect children have yet to be fully realized. According to Human Rights
Watch, “in over twenty countries around the world, children are direct participants in war.
Denied a childhood and often subjected to horrific violence, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in current armed conflicts” (HRW 2007). As a result, international law can offer no guarantee of protection, particularly for children. Armed groups have proved to be far less amenable to the pressures exacted through traditional diplomatic means. Engagement with armed group necessarily involves different models, policies, and approaches to problem-solving, including varying applications of coercive force. In analyzing the noncompliance/compliance patterns in the experiences of Sri Lanka and Myanmar(Burma), this paper argues that a framework of direct engagement, through a comprehensive
approach to protection and prevention, must be seriously considered and included as an element
to any strategy that will ultimately lead to the end of child soldiering practices by armed groups.|