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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.
 
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
23
Nov

Tel Aviv-Ramallah-Kigali: a peace-building journey

"Forgiving is not forgetting, but moving forward and being stronger."

Tel Aviv-Ramallah-Kigali: a peace-building journey
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.

Thu
25
Jun

UN peacekeepers face new sex abuse claims in CAR

Street children said to be among those abused in third case of alleged sex abuse involving peacekeepers deployed in CAR.

The United Nations peacekeeping contingent serving in the Central African Republic are accused of sexually abusing street children in Bangui, a UN spokesman has said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said the latest incident was the third case of alleged child sexual abuse involving peacekeepers in the CAR to have surfaced in recent months. 

"If the allegations are substantiated, this would constitute a grave violation of UN principles and of the code of conduct of peacekeepers," Dujarric said on Tuesday.

The UN mission in Bangui has notified the troop-contributing country of the new allegations and has opened an investigation, Dujarric said.

The country of origin was not identified, but a UN official said it was an African contingent.

Tue
24
Feb

Local-born doctor: Military structures young lives

Asia Burns, left, and Arlonzo Chism stand in formation during ROTC at Woodlawn High School. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)

A former Shreveporter who left a troubled family here to serve as a combat medic in Iraq, and who later served as a new doctor combating Ebola in west Africa, will speak in his home town later this week and sign copies of his new book.

"My mom was in prison most of my life, and my sister did time," says Antonio Webb, 32, who now is in his residency as an orthopedic surgeon in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up in the Allendale, Queensborough and Meadows neighborhood off Jewella Avenue.

"My dad did the best he could as a single parent to keep us isolated from what was going on. I was lucky in that I left Shreveport at an early age, 17, after I graduated from high school. If I'd have stayed in Shreveport there would have been a different outcome."

Fri
19
Dec

Save the Children Calculate Number of Child Soliders in the Central African Republic Has Doubled

The number of child soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) has more than doubled – and possibly quadrupled – since sectarian conflict erupted last year, putting them at risk of long-term psychological damage, Save the Children warns.

An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 boys and girls are currently members of armed groups, compared with around 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis, according to the charity.

Wed
17
Dec

Documentary: Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army

Trigger warning: this video includes footage of people talking about abuse against children, murder and abduction.

Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army is an intimate and honest documentary on what it means for children and youth to be forced into cruel situations. The documentary demonstrates the need for children to process their experiences, to find a way of living and their deep wish to contribute to a better society and future for all.

Annette Giertsen - Monday 2 June 2014

Documentary: Moving on – Surviving Lord Resistance Army
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.

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