London — Sierra Leone's government helped British private security service firms recruit former child soldiers to work as guards in Iraq from 2009, said a Danish academic who has spent years investigating the issue.
Thousands of children were forced to fight in Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war, which ended in 2002. More than 50,000 people were killed in the fighting and many tens of thousands more mutilated or raped by rebels.
By 2009, with Iraq in chaos, impoverished Sierra Leone was looking for a way to engage its workforce, said Maya Mynster Christensen, a researcher at the Danish Institute Against Torture who made repeated trips to the West African country.
A former senior director at a British firm says that it employed mercenaries from Sierra Leone to work in Iraq because they were cheaper than Europeans and did not check if they were former child soldiers.
Bulgaria, which abolished conscription as of January 2008, is planning legislative amendments that will enable the compilation of a register of people aged 18 to 32 eligible for military service, in a move intended to bolster the country’s military reserve, Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev confirmed on February 24 2016.
The list of young people, men and women, will be drawn from the records of the Civil Register and Administrative Services directorate, on the basis of proposed amendments to the Defence and Armed Forces Act.
This year on the 22nd of March, the Bolivian Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal (PCT) rejected the right of conscientious objection as an alternative to its obligatory military service. This has occurred in spite of the generally agreed-upon right to constitutional protection, brought to attention by 18-year-old objector Ignacio Orías Calvo, who claimed refuge under this fundamental right based on his religious beliefs.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE