This chapter takes the perspective of immigration and refugee law. It examines the situation of children caught in the predicament of involuntary departure from their homes due to turmoil caused by war, precarious human rights situations or natural disasters. After an overview of the general precepts of immigration and refugee law in respect of adults and children, the chapter then focuses on the approach taken with regard to children who have been involved in armed conflict. While these constitute a very small number of the total cases processed, they are often high-profile, as well as exceedingly thorny from a humanitarian perspective, as they present the same dilemma as remarked upon in other chapters of this book, namely, the duality inherent in children involved in armed conflict who are at the same time a victim of crimes and inhumane circumstances while also a conveyer of the same type of misery upon others. The chapter provides a comparative analysis of the practice in a number of countries which have addressed this duality. It ends by offering some overarching conclusions in this complex area of law.
This chapter considers ‘exclusion clauses’ contained in Article 1F of the Refugee Convention. The chapter demonstrates that for Article 1F(a) the interaction between exclusion law and ICL has followed a different course in the area of crimes compared to that of extended liability. The chapter goes on to examine Article 1F (b), the elements of what is a crime, what is a serious crime, what law should apply for the determination of what is a crime, the meaning of outside the country, the concept of political crime and the issue of expiation all have been, and are still, in a considerable amount of flux at the international level with only the parameters of political crimes having been resolved in a consistent and satisfactory manner. For Article 1F(c), the main issue is not as much the fact there has been disagreement among the various judicial decision-makers, but whether there is an independent meaning of 1F(c) as all forms of criminality used under this heading can also fall easily within the parameters of 1F(a) and 1F(c).