A quick thought on the whole 'child soldier' meme being tossed about by so many lately.
Personally I believe that Omar K does not fit the established definition of a child soldier for a couple of reasons. First he was 15 which in some UN conventions (article 38) is the cut-off age for a CS, he did this with permission from his parents, factor in the age of majority in Afghanistan, and the little issue that he was not serving in what could be called a 'regular army'. IMHO all of this combined precludes him from the definition of a child soldier. (A following UN convention, that Canada signed, sort of raises that age to 18.)
But none of that really matters because, in international law and in every one of these UN conventions, the rules were written for the recruiters of child soldiers and not those that these child soldiers were shooting at and trying to kill.
In war the age of someone trying to kill you does not matter and it would be totally asinine for our soldiers to respond in combat, to child soldiers who are trying to kill them, any differently than they would towards anyone else doing the same. Not only would it be impractical to ask for ID on a battlefield before you return fire, it would also more than likely get you killed.
All of these conventions were intended for those that recruit children into combat ( and that includes parents who allow this type of thing), not those he was trying to kill.
Why are those that recruited /enabled Omar to enter the fight not the ones on the receiving end of all this outrage? I guess it is easier to send them a cheque every month than it is deal with the real problem.
A must read on the trial facts from the CBC.
Why Omar was NOT a child soldier.