Sierra Leone

Tue
2
Sep
2014
New translation available
Submitted by hannah

A report from 2004: This publication seeks to better understand the realities facing boys and girls who “volunteer” for participation in armed conflict, highlighting personal, socio-economic and political factors that motivate their decisions to...

Mon
24
Oct

Girl Soldiers: Forgotten Casualties of War

 

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was visibly shaken by sexual crimes against women and girls when she visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009. Sexual crimes in this central African country, known as the “rape capital of the world,” include the sexual exploitation of tens of thousands of girls abducted and trapped as child soldiers. Nonetheless, since 2010, President Obama has waived a congressionally mandated ban on military aid to countries known to exploit child soldiers, among them the DRC.

Mon
24
Oct

Canada: Child soldier survivor creates foundation for change in Sierra Leone

CBC News

Fazineh Keita trying to build a community centre to help prevent kids from facing the same reality he did.

At eight years old, kids are usually thinking about what mom is making for dinner and how long they can get away with playing video games. 

Fazineh Keita's reality was much different growing up during the civil war in Sierra Leone.

Now living in Vancouver, Keita is reflecting on his past while trying to change the future for children in his native land. 

His charity, Innocence Lost Foundation, aims to help provide resources and rehabilitation services to former child soldiers and give kids a chance to be kids.

Read more here.

Thu
21
Apr

Sierra Leone 'Helped Deploy Ex-Child Soldiers to Iraq', Academic Says

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.

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.

Mon
20
Oct

Studies explore effects of war on former child soldiers

Young soldiers from a Ugandan supported Congolese rebel movement group, sing liberation songs waving their rifles in this photo in the north eastern Congolese town of Bunia. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

Society for Research in Child Development

Despite international bans, more than 250,000 children fight as soldiers in 86 countries across the globe, almost half of them in Africa. Two new studies explored how these children adjust after they return to their homes. Key to successful adaptation, the studies found, was the characteristics of the communities to which the children returned.

Subscribe to Sierra Leone