Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Allies demand an end to the use of child soldiers

By Church World Service | Published on February 25, 2008

In more than 50 countries around the world children are being kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers. Child soldiers are children younger then eighteen who are directly or indirectly used as combatants, porters, human mine detectors, sex slaves, and/ or for other forms of forced labor. Child soldiers are used by both non-governmental paramilitaries and governments.

Church World Service together with several colleague organizations are working to put an end to this inhumane practice. Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Central Committee, World Vision, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are among the groups working together to end the use of child soldiers.

In 2002, the United States adopted the United Nation's Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The protocol establishes anyone under the age of 18 as a child. It calls for all governments, paramilitaries and other such groups to no longer employ those under age 18 in hostiles. Since its adoption children as young as 7 have been found to be used in armed conflict.

Assistant Majority Leader Senator Richard Durbin introduced the 'Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007 (S1175)' to move the United States into a stronger place of opposition on the use of children in armed conflict. The bill prohibits U.S. funds for military purposes from being appropriated to countries using child soldiers. Among countries using child soldiers Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivorie, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda would be most directly affected by this legislation.

Church World Service is currently working in many of these countries. In Sudan CWS is acting with Action by Churches Together to return people displaced by conflict to their homelands. Many of these returnees are children who have been participants or witnesses to armed conflict. The work CWS does with people in countries using child soldiers is why they are such a strong supportor of the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007.

United Nations 7 th Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "The question of children and armed conflict is an integral part of the United Nations' core responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, for the advancement of human rights and for sustainable human development." Rectifying the evil of children in conflicts is not just an integral part of the United Nations, but a responsibility of all nations.. Senator Durbin has provided the United States with an opportunity to be a leader in this responsibility.

@Congoplanet |

Related articles

  1. DR Congo Delays Results of December Election (January 6, 2019)
  2. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  3. Rwanda 'recruiting for M23 rebels' (July 31, 2013)
  4. DR Congo Will Not Negotiate With M23 Rebels, Government Says (November 19, 2012)
  5. M23 Rebels Committing War Crimes (September 11, 2012)
  6. Kagame Is A Problem for The U.S. and The U.K. (June 23, 2012)
  7. US blocking UN report on Ntaganda rebels, Human Rights Watch says (June 21, 2012)
  8. Congo Government Says Bosco Ntaganda Rebels Trained in Rwanda (June 10, 2012)
  9. Rwanda Should Stop Aiding War Crimes Suspect Bosco Ntaganda: Human Rights Watch (June 4, 2012)
  10. Case of UN Employee Caught Smuggling Minerals Not Unique (August 25, 2011)
  11. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  12. Germany: Groundbreaking Trial for Congo War Crimes (May 2, 2011)
  13. Action needed to investigate a decade of crimes in the DRC (October 1, 2010)
  14. UN DR Congo Report Exposes Grave Crimes (October 1, 2010)
  15. Report: Uganda LRA rebels 'on massive forced recruitment drive' (August 12, 2010)
  16. Huge DR Congo gold mine to open, displacing 15,000 (July 22, 2010)
  17. Rights Group Says Arms Transport Needs Regulation (July 19, 2010)
  18. Joint Government and UN Inquiry Needed into Death of Floribert Chebeya (June 3, 2010)
  19. Leading Human Rights Activist Found Dead in Congo (June 2, 2010)
  20. U.S. Official Sees Improvement in Africa's Great Lakes Region (May 26, 2010)
  21. Behind Human Rights Watch Report on LRA, a Plea for MONUC to Remain in the Congo (March 29, 2010)
  22. New strategy needed against LRA in DR Congo, says UN chief (March 28, 2010)
  23. Alan Doss: Human Rights Watch attack on MONUC 'shortsighted' (December 28, 2009)
  24. Blue helmets protect thousands daily, says top UN envoy (December 28, 2009)
  25. Human Rights Watch Calls on FDLR Rebels in Eastern Congo to Investigate Themselves (December 15, 2009)
  26. Activists say UN policy must change in DR Congo (November 25, 2009)
  27. Amnesty International: more prosecutions should follow for war crimes in the Kivus (November 19, 2009)
  28. Germany arrests top Rwanda rebels (November 17, 2009)
  29. Human Rights Watch Chalks New Allegations Against Congo, Rwanda Troops (November 3, 2009)
  30. Government Spokesman Blasts Human Rights Watch, NGOs, on Eastern Congo Reports (November 1, 2009)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.