by Diana Quick
ChildFund Alliance, together with 23 other civil society organizations, wrote an open letter regarding the situation of children in Yemen to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, ahead of the publication of this year’s Children and Armed Conflict Annual Report.
An Open Letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres
As organizations working to protect the rights of children in armed conflict, we are dismayed by your reported decision to “freeze” any new additions of parties to conflict that commit grave violations of children’s rights to the annexes to your 2017 annual report to the United Nations Security Council on children and armed conflict. We urge you to reconsider, and issue an updated list with your report, including all perpetrators responsible for patterns of grave violations against children in 2016.
Secretary-General’s De-Listing Opens Door to Political Manipulation
(New York) – The United Nations secretary-general should immediately return the Saudi-led coalition to his “list of shame” for violations against children in Yemen, Human Rights Watch and 19 other organizations said today in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
We are living in an era in which the level of human suffering as a result of intra-state conflict seems to be escalating exponentially. The essential challenge remains, how to create the political impetus for timely, nonselective responses to human suffering (MacFarlane and Weiss, 2000). In 2014, the international community struggled to react and respond to many violent conflicts from Syria, to Israel, to South Sudan, to Central African Republic and the Ukraine.
HALIFAX, N.S. (February 12, 2015)– On Red Hand Day, the international day against the use of child soldiers, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) at Dalhousie University will launch its #weaponsofwar social media campaign to raise awareness about the roles child soldiers carry out in conflicts and wars across the globe.
New York—The Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations, formally launches Train, Act, Protect: A new standard in child protection training for peacekeepers. The launch at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations marks new training that is the product of collaboration between international actors and organizations, including the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
KINSHASA, 13 March, 2014 – With Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) still a grave threat to civilians, a letter from 59 civil society groups released today calls on the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to improve efforts to protect civilians from the rebel group. The LRA has abducted over 3,400 Congolese civilians and killed over 2,400 others since 2008, making it one of the most violent armed groups in DRC over the past six years.
Freetown, Sierra Leone— From November 11 th to November 22 nd , in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative will conduct its second set of training of security sector actors in the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
(FREETOWN) — Once a recruiter of child soldiers, Sierra Leone is now poised to become a leader in preventing the use of children in armed conflict, as officers from the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and Sierra Leone Prison Services (SLPS) prepare to take part in the country's first ever training programme for security sector actors on how to prevent the use of child soldiers.
February 11, 2012, (FREETOWN) — The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative will mark February 12, the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, in Freetown on Tuesday as it begins a new project in Sierra Leone.
The project, which launches this month, aims to establish new training and education programs in an effort to directly prevent the future military use of children in the region by working with youth and the security sector.
A Unique Approach
2.1 Children in Armed Conflict – A Military Priority
In focusing solely upon disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and not upon the complete eradication of the use of child soldiers as a phenomenon, the international community has merely attempted to fix the broken, rather than to protect the whole. Until this issue is elevated within the security agenda, the international community will continue to squander excellent opportunities to prevent the recruitment of children into armed forces and armed groups.
In May 2012, a workshop entitled “Living Within Armed Groups: A Gendered Perspective” was held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. The event was facilitated by the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, with generous financial assistance from Lush Cosmetics and the Harold Crabtree Foundation, and logistical support from Dalhousie’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies.
Trainings will contribute to protecting women and children from sexual violence and child soldiering
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (July 26, 2011)—World Vision, the Child Soldiers Initiative and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre have launched training programs in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to aid in the protection of children and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. The training of DRC’s national army and the United Nations staff is generously funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT).
In the summer of 2010, the Child Soldiers Initiative (CSI) embarked on a short field mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including field stops in Kigali (Rwanda), Goma (North Kivu) and Bukavu (South Kivu). This mission was successful thanks to a grant provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the support provided by UNICEF (DRC), MONUC/MUNUSCO, the International Medical Corps and Search for Common Ground’s DRC office.