child soldiers

Mon
29
Feb
2016
New translation available
Submitted by hannah

ElPais.com.co

On Wednesday the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas...

Sat
27
Aug

Call for Articles: Examples of Youth Militarisation in Different Countries/Regions

War Resisters' International is organising the third International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth this year. The week is going to take place between November 14-20 with the participation of groups and individuals from different countries. See our call out here.

Alongside events and actions, this year we are also planning to share examples of youth militarisation, and resistance to it, from different countries via a series of articles. The articles will be published on our website www.antimili-youth.net. If you'd like to write to us about your country and/or community please contact us via cmoy@wri-irg.org.

Wed
29
Jun

Five countries where child soldiers are still recruited

By Jared Ferrie, Irin News

Colombia’s largest guerrilla group has agreed to release all of its soldiers under age 15. It is a move welcomed by child rights groups but it also highlights the continued use of child soldiers in conflicts around the world.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) made the pledge during talks in Cuba aimed at ending its five-decade war against successive governments. The administration of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC now need to decide upon the terms under which the child soldiers will be reintegrated into civilian life.

Thu
23
Jun

Poverty, Militarism and the Public Schools

Why does the U.S. Army maintain a gamer website? It's for the sake of war, not for the good of children. (Image: U.S. Army)

by Robert C. Koehler

What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment.

The Pentagon has been eyeing these schools — broken and gang-ridden — for a decade now, and seeing its future there. It comes in like a cammy-clad Santa, bringing money and discipline. In return it gets young minds to shape, to (I fear) possess: to turn into the next generation of soldiers, available for the coming wars.

Sun
12
Jun

Hillary Clinton’s State Department Let South Sudan Use Child Soldiers

 Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2011. (United States Mission Geneva / CC BY-ND 2.0)
Hillary Clinton spent years vowing to defend the rights of children worldwide, but under her leadership the State Department played a central role in allowing rebel forces in southern Sudan to use child soldiers in defiance of a 2008 law forbidding it, reports Nick Turse at The Intercept.
 
The law is called the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, or CSPA, and after South Sudan’s independence, in 2011 the White House issued annual waivers that kept taxpayer dollars flowing its way despite its use of child soldiers.
 
Thu
19
May

This Former Colombian Child Soldier Was Forced to Kill Eight of His Friends

By Joe Parkin Daniels, Vice News

When Nicolás was 17 he was forced to kill eight of his friends.

"It hurt to kill them, obviously," Nicolás said, bowing his head as his voice started to tremble. "But an order is an order. I couldn't think about that."

Nicolás had been with Colombia's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, since he was 12. Some of his condemned brothers in arms were as young as 14. Their crimes included trying to desert, and falling asleep during lookout. One had ruined the camp's food. Burning rice is an executable offence in the jungle. Refusing to carry out the executions would have got Nicolás killed himself.

Nicolás is able to tell the tale because, a year later in April 2015, he deserted himself.

Fri
06
May

Soldiers at 16: Sifting fact from fiction

Fewer than 20 countries worldwide still allow their armed forces to recruit young people from age 16. The UK is among them; it is the only major military power and the only European state to recruit from such a young age.

Across British society – from children’s organisations to veterans to parliamentary committees – this policy is now being challenged. Most of the public agree that change is due – only one in seven thinks that 16 is an acceptable age to train as a soldier.

Despite this widespread unease, a number of common misconceptions still lead many 16 and 17 year olds to leave their education early and enlist. Here, we examine these ‘myths’ in light of the evidence available (click the link below to see the full report).

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.

Tue
19
Apr

UK firm 'employed former child soldiers' as mercenaries in Iraq

By Alice Ross, The Guardian

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.

Sun
17
Apr

UK firm 'employed former child soldiers' as mercenaries in Iraq

 A 2000 image of a 14-year-old soldier in Sierra Leone Photograph: Adam Butler/AP

Alice Ross -

Former director acknowledges Aegis Defence Services may have recruited former child fighters in Sierra Leone

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.

James Ellery, who was a director of Aegis Defence Services between 2005 and 2015, said that contractors had a “duty” to recruit from countries such as Sierra Leone, “where there’s high unemployment and a decent workforce”, in order to reduce costs for the US presence in Iraq.

Mon
21
Dec

Uganda: Visiting the rehabilitation centre using art as therapy for children freed from a brutal militia

By Jacqui Thornton, The Independent 

The pictures are drawn in a childish hand, but they are visions that no child should have to witness: militia shooting captives tied to trees; army helicopters above firing on their enemy; the central African bush in flames.

These are all artworks produced by children held in captivity after they, or their parents, were abducted by the feared Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda. Many of those taken spent years in the bush, constantly on the move to evade capture, walking barefoot carrying heavy loads for the commanders and even fighting for the militia.

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