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Cambridge University Press India
Published in Bina D’Costa, ed., Children and Violence: Politics of Conflict in South Asia, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India, 2016, pp. 200-19.
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has long made special provisions for the protection of children in armed conflicts, and legal and normative developments have come a long way in regulating the protection of children in today’s unconventional armed conflicts. However, there are many children in India that are directly impacted by one-sided, targeted violence outside international and non-international armed conflicts as defined by IHL. One of the contentions in this chapter is to argue that the vocabulary, and the legal and institutional framework for addressing children’s protection issues arising from political violence continue to reside outside either the domain of armed conflict, or social welfare-oriented responses by the Indian state. Accordingly, this chapter argues that there is a need to reconceptualise the issue of children affected by political violence in India as a civilian protection issue. Viewing this issue through a human security lens as opposed to seeing it as a social welfare issue that is accorded low priority and inaction by the state is necessary before legal standards and normative commitments of the government can be translated into the effective protection of children.
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