Date of Award

Summer 6-3-2015

Document Type



History & Political Science

First Advisor

Gary Wood, Ph.D.


Despite the efforts of the United Nations and other international organizations, more than 300,000 children worldwide are currently forced into active combat roles and encouraged to commit crimes against humanity. This paper explores principles of natural justice, human rights, and human dignity through classical political rationalism as it relates to the issue of children in armed conflict. In doing so, this paper aims to provide a rational and objective standard to counter the practice of destroying childhood innocence through forced participation in war crimes and thus encourage the world to no longer turn a blind eye to this human rights dilemma.