child soldiers

Tue
18
Oct
2016
New translation available
Submitted by antimili-youth

Would you like to take action against the militarisation of youth with many others across the world?

You can join War Resisters' International's ...

Fri
06
Nov

Kurdish YPG militia recruiting child soldiers in Syria: HRW

A Kurdish youth holds a picture of a YPG (People's Protection Units) fighter killed in Kobane during a celebration in Diyarbakir on 26 January 2015 (AFP)

A Syrian Kurdish militia is using child soldiers despite international law prohibiting its practice, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The New York-based body said it documented at least 59 children under 18 recruited by the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia and the YPJ, its female branch.

Some of the children died in combat in June, it said.

“The YPG promised to stop sending children to war and it should carry out its promise," said Fred Abrahams, a special adviser at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Of course the Kurdish forces are fighting groups like ISIS that flout the laws of war, but that’s no excuse to tolerate abuses by its own forces," he added.

As the armed branch of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the YPG has a sizable presence in Syria's north and has been backed by US airstrikes in a conflict that has killed more than 230,000 people and forced almost four million to flee the country.

Thu
05
Nov

Talent show shines light on child soldiers

By Jessica Peters, Chilliwack Progress

Kids aren't ready to be soldiers.

They're ready to jump and play, to kick a ball with friends, to dance, to sing, and to learn.

But there are as many as 300,000 children used in conflicts around the world, a common practice in countries embroiled in conflict, including Sierra Leone.

Now that the African country is rebuilding itself, a new organization with Chilliwack roots is eager to help repair some of the damage done to the children there.

The Innocence Lost Foundation was founded by Fazineh Keita and Ava Vanderstarren, who met while studying at Vancouver Film School. Keita was used as a child soldier in the Sierra Leone civil war, and now is a political activist working to bring democratic change with his music.

Fri
30
Oct

Forced cannibalism, child soldiers scar South Sudan war - African Union

By Edith Honan

NAIROBI (Reuters)- Forced cannibalism, mutilation of bodies, conscription of child soldiers and other human rights abuses have marked the war in South Sudan and may amount to violations of international law, an African Union (AU) report said on Wednesday.

Fighting broke out in the world's youngest nation in December 2013, less than three years after it won independence from Sudan, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir against those allied with his former deputy Riek Machar.

The conflict in the oil-producing but severely impoverished country, which has often pitted Kiir's ethnic Dinka community against Machar's Nuer people, has killed over 10,000 people and displaced more than 2 million.

The United Nations said earlier this month that starvation conditions afflicted parts of the country, affecting some 30,000 people, and that South Sudan faced a concrete risk of famine by the end of 2015.

Wed
14
Oct

Former child soldier brings his story to kids in graphic novel

By: May Warren

Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier, has collaborated on a new graphic novel about his experiences.

Abducted at age 5 from his school’s soccer field, Michel Chikwanine was forced to do unimaginable things as a child soldier in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Now a 27-year-old African studies student at the University of Toronto, Chikwanine has co-authored a new graphic novel about his experiences called Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War, aimed at kids 10 to 14.

Chikwanine, who wrote the book with Jessica Dee Humphreys, said he hopes it will help young people understand what being a child soldier means.

Thu
03
Sep

Congolese child soldiers to give evidence against ‘warlord’ Bosco Ntaganda at The Hague

By Aislinn Laing, The Telegraph

Children allegedly co-opted to fighting over mineral wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo among witnesses lined up in bid by International Criminal Court to secure rare conviction

Scores of Congolese child soldiers are due to give evidence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the coming weeks against a man nicknamed The Terminator and held up as one of Africa's most brutal and feared warlords.

Tue
01
Sep

Central African Republic: Freed Child Soldiers to Join Their Families

By Emmanuel Kendemeh, AllAfrica

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is working to reintegrate 163 child soldiers with their families where possible, or provide job and skill training along with psychological services, Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF's representative in the Central African Republic said, Associated Press reported.

Thu
27
Aug

MPs back signing of optional protocol on child soldiers

By Ei Ei Toe Lwin, The Myanmar Times

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw has approved an optional international protocal which aims to keep children out of armed conflict.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted a proposal to proceed with the ratification of the United Nations protocol to parliament on August 20. It was approved without objection yesterday.

The optional protocol – an addition to the Convention on the Rights of the Child – requires states to “take all feasible measures” to ensure that soldiers under the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities. They are also required to raise the voluntary recruitment age above 15 years, and cannot conscript anyone under 18. Parties to the optional protocol must also take measures to stop non-state armed groups from recruiting and using children under the age of 18 in conflicts.

Fri
31
Jul

Anti-Isis summer camp: Schoolboys trained by Iraqi government-backed Shia militias

By Lizzie Dearden, The Independent

The use of teenage suicide bombers and boy soldiers by Isis is well-documented but the so-called Islamic State is not the only militant group abusing children in Iraq.

The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a coalition of Shia militias sponsored by the Iraqi government and reportedly using American weapons, has also recruited an “unknown number” of minors.

Investigators with the UN’s children and armed conflict office reported last month that the PMF was searching for child soldiers from conflict zones across Iraq, as well as in Baghdad and Basra.

Thu
16
Jul

More than 50 IS child soldiers killed in Syria in 2015

More than 50 child soldiers recruited by the Islamic State group in Syria have been killed since the beginning of this year, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented the deaths of 52 child soldiers, all under the age of 16, who had been part of IS's "Cubs of the Caliphate" program.

The programme provides intense military and religious training to children throughout IS's areas of control in Syria, the Britain-based Observatory said.

As many as 31 were killed in July alone, in explosions, clashes, and air strikes by Syria's regime and the US-led coalition.

Tue
07
Jul

Care for depression, anxiety helps war-exposed children long-term

By Anne Harding

Treating depression and anxiety in youngsters affected by war may have lasting benefits for their mental health and ability to function in society, new findings suggest.

The study, of former child soldiers and other young people affected by Sierra Leone's civil war, found that those with higher levels of anxiety and depression two years after the end of the conflict had the highest levels of these “internalizing symptoms” four years later. They also had worse post-traumatic stress symptoms and exhibited more anti-social behavior.

The findings suggest that treating anxiety and depression in war-affected youth could have multi-faceted effects on their future mental health, attitudes, and behavior, the researchers write in Pediatrics.

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