Posts

UN reports ‘grave violations’ against children in Chad including child soldiers and rapes

By Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 7:46 PM EST

A U.N. task force has documented “grave violations” against children in the poverty-stricken central African nation of Chad including recruitment of child soldiers, deaths and injuries, and sexual violence against girls, according to a report circulated Tuesday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the report to the Security Council that the level and extent of attacks in Chad in 2010 were not as high as 2009 but were still “unacceptable.”
The report, covering the period from July 2008 to December 2010, said boys and girls as young as 12 years old are still being recruited by the Chadian National Army and armed groups and warned that rape and sexual violence continue to be “a widespread phenomenon.”
Eastern Chad has suffered a spillover from the Darfur conflict in part because many rebels come from tribes that overlap the Chad and Sudan border. Some Darfur rebels have had bases in Chad, and the Chadian groups have had bases in Sudan, but cross-border fighting has been limited for about a year because the two governments have improved relations.

Read more

The US Blinks, and Children Will Suffer

[Blog, originally from the Huffington Post]

Jo Becker
Children’s Rights Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
Posted: November 9, 2010 10:07 AM

Until recently, the United States might have been considered a world leader in combating the use of child soldiers. But after events last month, children victimized in war may need to look elsewhere for help.
The United States has spent millions of dollars supporting the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in countries like Afghanistan, Colombia, and Sierra Leone. It enacted groundbreaking legislation enabling the United States to prosecute child soldier recruiters entering the United States, and to withhold US military assistance from governments that use child soldiers. In 2002, it joined an important international treaty that prohibits the use of children under 18 as combatants. It even changed its military deployment practices to set a good example. These actions put it on the forefront of international efforts to end one of the most heinous aspects of modern warfare.
But last month President Obama issued an order allowing US military assistance to governments that use child soldiers, undermining a law he voted for as a Senator just two years ago. Also last month, the US became the first Western nation since World War II to convict a former child soldier of war crimes.

Read more

Harvard Crimson Editorial Board: Reject Those Who Exploit Children (op-ed)

[A recent editorial regarding the Obama Administration’s military aid policies]
Reject those who exploit children
By: Harvard Editorial Board
Posted: 11/11/10
Despite its early remonstrance of perceived human-rights violations such as Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration took a step backward last week by issuing a waiver that will allow the continuation of military aid to four countries that openly employ child soldiers.

Read more

The US Blinks, and Children Will Suffer (Blog by Jo Becker from Human Rights Watch)

Check out this blog from Jo Becker, the Children’s Rights Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, on U.S. policy regarding child soldiers, here in The Huffington Post. Human Rights Watch is a member of the Child Labor Coalition.… Read the rest