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UN Passes Resolution Against Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Agence France-Presse

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Tuesday a resolution against recruitment of child soldiers, pressing nations to halt the abuse of children including rape and attacks on schools.

In its report on child soldiers last year, the United Nations for the first time named military forces and rebel groups that persistently used children in armed conflict.

The groups included Myanmar’s national army and two rebel militant groups in the country; three insurgent groups in the Philippines; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; armies and militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and pro-government militias in Sudan as well as the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

The signatories “call upon member states concerned to take decisive and immediate action against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and further call upon them to bring to justice those responsible for such violations.”

The resolution highlighted actions prohibited under international law, including “recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, attacks on schools and/or hospitals.”

It also cited “the primary role of governments in providing protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts,” and said it was “the responsibility of states to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the resolution — an initiative by current Security Council president Germany — is the eighth since 1998 to condemn nations and militaries which use children to wage war and subject them to brutal violence like rape and maimings.… Read the rest

UN Says Reports of Child Soldiers Being Recruited in Libya

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION

By: The Associated Press

GENEVA – U.N. officials say they are getting reports that child soldiers are being recruited to fight for Moammar Gadhafi loyalists in Libya — which would be a war crime.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told The Associated Press on Friday there is “a serious concern” that child soldiers are among the mercenaries that Gadhafi is hiring to attack rebel forces.

The spokeswoman for the U.N. children’s agency said the mercenaries come from Chad, Niger, Central African Republic and Sudan’s Darfur region, which are all places “with known child soldiers.”

The U.N. special envoy for children in armed conflicts, Radhika Coomaraswamy, also says human rights groups and local civilians are providing unconfirmed reports that children are being killed and injured by taking up arms in Libya.… Read the rest

The U.S., Somalia, and Child Soldiers

Viewpoint/Elizabeth Gardner

I’ve been going through a mental checklist of some of the 12-year-olds that I’ve known. The list includes some extremely rambunctious boys and some spirited girls—my little sister’s friends, an old coach’s son, a family friend, girls that I coached at volleyball camp. It’s these kids that I’ve been thinking back to as I’ve read the recent press that’s come out regarding child soldiers in Somalia.

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