1 Ph.D Student in Public International Law, Department of Law, Qeshm Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qeshm, Iran.

2 Department of Law, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Research Center University of Hormozgan, Hormozgan, Iran.


Children are so vulnerable in armed conflicts. They are international targets of violence, victims of indiscriminate violence, and traumatized witnesses of violence against others.  They are disproportionately affected by war, being at greater risk of malnutrition and disease and highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Despite the emerging acceptance to embrace the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine, the use and abuse of children by armed groups, State and non-State, has continued. The Responsibility to Protect claims to offer a solution to one of the gravest issues in world politics – mass atrocities. Ten years after the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) detailed the concept, and five years after it was endorsed by the United Nations, we are presented an opportune moment to critically explore fundamental questions as to whether R2P has, or is able to, deliver on its promise. The article discusses the lack of discourse associated with the child soldier problem and how this relates to responsibility to protect.