The 49-year-old woman, whose identity is not revealed by authorities, is the first person known to have been charged in Sweden with aiding the recruitment of her own minor son as a child soldier.

Recruiting and using children as soldiers is prohibited under international humanitarian law and recognised as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.
Recruiting and using children as soldiers is prohibited under international humanitarian law and recognised as a war crime by the International Criminal Court. (Reuters)

A Swedish woman has been charged with war crimes for helping enlist her 12-year-old son to fight as a child soldier in Syria, where he was killed in the civil war.

The Swedish woman allegedly travelled to Syria in 2013, Sweden's prosecution authority said on Tuesday, a year before Daesh declared a "caliphate" in large swathes of the country and neighbouring Iraq.

The boy, born in 2001, fought beginning in 2013 for groups which include Daesh. He died in 2017.

"The woman is being charged for having made possible that he be recruited and used as a child soldier" from August 2013 to May 2016, the authority said in a statement.

Authorities released no further identifying details about the mother or her child.

The woman denies the charge, her lawyer, Mikael Westerlund, said. 

Minimum four-year sentence

If found guilty she faces a minimum prison sentence of four years, prosecutor Reena Devgun said.

According to the United Nations, recruiting and using children under the age of 15 as soldiers is prohibited under international humanitarian law and recognised as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.

Under Swedish law, courts can try people for crimes against international law committed abroad. 

The trial will start on Monday, January 10. 

READ MORE: UN: Syrian war killed or injured 12,000 children

Source: TRTWorld and agencies