The system of protection of children in situations of armed conflict, as established by international humanitarian law and supplemented by international human rights law and international criminal law, remains subject to numerous pitfalls. These pitfalls are closely intertwined with the definition of the obligations of the parties to the conflict and the mechanisms that ensure the implementation of the aforementioned obligations. Using the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a case study, a country that is estimated to have more than 30,000 child soldiers (with approximately 15% of the child soldiers being girls) and whose children remain victims of the unspeakable atrocities of armed forces and groups, this doctoral dissertation aims to question the content and effectiveness of the special protection of children, civilian or soldier, in situations of armed con ict. The overall purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of my doctoral thesis.
Key words : international humanitarian law, international human rights law, children, civilian child, child soldier, special protection, general protection, armed conflict, Democratic Republic of Congo