Middle East

Wed
22
Oct
2014
New translation available
Submitted by hannah

Photo: YPJ soldier, Hevedar Mohammed, aged 12. Image Credit: Marie Claire.

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Sat
26
Nov

Syrian Refugees, 2014/2016

Toy children in Syrian refugee camp

Of the total 4.3 million refugees from Syria, one quarter are currently living in Lebanon, most in quasi-legal camps located within sight of the eastern border. With little-to-no government support for the refugees, NGOs like the Kayany Foundation have had to provide for basic needs. They’ve built schools within the camps to give children some sense of normalcy and a path towards a meaningful future. In late 2014 and again in early 2016, Kayany provided support for WAR-TOYS and facilitated a series of art-based interviews and group activities with children at their schools. Despite the gravity of the subject matter (and sometimes harsh weather outside), the interview sessions with the girls and boys were positive, empowering, and energetic thanks to the involvement of Lebanese Art Therapist Myra Saad.

Tue
15
Nov

Making global citizenship education possible for refugees

By Ozlem Eskiocak

Our students, learning about global values, become frustrated that they are unable to experience this world. Learning about diversity, they possess limited opportunities to interact with people from elsewhere.

All around the world we are witnessing an increased focus on global citizenship education (GCE). Fostering global citizenship was listed as one of the three priorities of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (2012). Then came the global consultations. This in turn led to the first ‘pedagogical guidance’ from UNESCO: Global Citizenship Education: Topics and Learning Objectives.

Wed
26
Oct

Webinar: Countering the Militarisation of Youth: Examples of Resistance

Young peoples' experiences of the military, and exposure to militarist values, differ around the world. In this webinar, we gathered examples of everyday militarism from two countries, Israel and Germany, and discussed with activists about their strategies and campaigns to counter it.

Webinar: Countering the Militarisation of Youth: Examples of Resistance
Fri
08
Jul

WATCH: The militarism of Israel's youth movements

Discourse on the soldiers, heroism and sacrifice increases on Memorial Day. But where these values come from? Some boys and girls who grew up to be soldiers, were educated in youth movements. What is the connection between youth movements and the army?

Source: Israel Social TV

WATCH: The militarism of Israel's youth movements
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.

Sun
31
Jan

Israel Jails Teenager for Refusing to Serve in Occupation Army

A 19-year-old Israeli woman who refused to do compulsory military service as a protest against the occupation of the Palestinian territories has been released from jail – but could return within days.

Tair Kaminer’s case has been the subject of fierce debate in Israel, driving calls for reform to laws punishing conscientious objectors, while seeing her labelled as a “traitor” by others.

Israel Jails Teenager for Refusing to Serve in Occupation Army
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

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.

Mon
11
May

Why so many children are fighting in Yemen’s civil war

By Ali al-Mujahed and Hugh Naylor, The Washington Post

SANAA, Yemen — Abdullah Ali’s 15-year-old son disappeared from home one morning three months ago. A week later, the boy called his horrified family to say he had joined the Shiite insurgents known as Houthis — becoming one of a growing number of underage soldiers fighting in Yemen’s civil war.

“He’s just a child. He’s only in the ninth grade,” Ali, 49, a civil servant who lives in the city of Taiz, said recently. “He should be at school learning, not fighting.”

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