child soldiers

Mon
29
Feb
2016
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ElPais.com.co

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

Fri
18
Dec

British Army urged to stop using armed teenagers to guard barracks

By Shiv Malik, The Guardian

ForcesWatch report calls on UK military to stop recruiting minors altogether, as armed forces bill due for third reading

Britain’s military should stop using armed under-18s to guard soldiers’ barracks, a report into Ministry of Defence recruitment practices is set to say.

Tue
15
Dec

As Civil War Rages in South Sudan, Kids Struggle to Hold On to Their Youth

Nonviolent Peaceforce staff members gather with a group of children in Ulang.  (Photo: Fellipe Abreu)

By Fellipe Abreu, TakePart

At least 16,000 children have been recruited into the military since the conflict began in 2013.

As herds of cattle come and go on a narrow trail across a row of huts made from straw, mud, and wood, they pass a boy of about 15 sleeping in a chair near the main entrance. He is wearing black pants, rubber sandals, and an Ethiopian soccer team shirt. In his lap: an AK-47 rifle folding stock.

Fri
04
Dec

Myanmar army releases 53 more child soldiers: UN

By Joshua Carroll, Anadolu Agency

(YANGON) Myanmar released another 53 child soldiers from its notorious armed forces Monday, according to the United Nations' children's agency.

The 53 are the latest to be discharged under a deal signed in 2012 between the former pariah state and the UN to end the recruitment and use of children by the military.

Renata Lok-Dessallien, UN resident coordinator, said in a statement that Monday's release "is the result of continued efforts of the Government of Myanmar and the Tatmadaw [army] to put an end to the harmful practice of recruiting and using children."

Lok-Dessallien, who also serves as co-chair of the UN task force for monitoring and reporting violations against children, said she was "delighted to see these children and young people returning to their homes and families," The Irrawaddy news service reported.

Fri
06
Nov

How many child soldiers are there in Africa?

By Shirley de Villiers

The year 2014 was a “devastating” one for children in armed conflicts, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Worldwide, 230 million children lived in countries affected by armed conflicts; 15 million were caught up in violent conflicts in countries such as the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan; hundreds were kidnapped; and tens of thousands were recruited or used by government forces and armed groups.

The recruitment and use of children by armed groups is one of “six grave violations” against children identified by the United Nations Security Council. Yet the practice is pervasive, despite various legal instruments that aim to protect the rights of children in conflict.

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.

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