• Child Soldiers

    The Vancouver Principles, New Steps to Help UN Peacekeepers Stop Child-Soldier Use

    by  • November 13, 2017 • Child Soldiers, UN Peacekeeping • 

    The one sure announcement to emerge from the annual United Nations peacekeeping defense ministerial conference this week will be the adoption of the Vancouver Principles, a set of rules aimed primarily at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The conference, being held Nov. 14-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, will feature more than...

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    UN Names Two Women to Highly Visible Envoy Posts

    by  • April 30, 2017 • Child Soldiers, Gender-Based Violence, UN Special Envoys, Women • 

    Two women have been named to highly visible posts at the United Nations: Pramila Patten of Mauritius is the new special envoy on sexual violence in conflict and begins in mid-June; and Virginia Gamba, an Argentine, is special envoy on children in armed conflict, beginning May 1. The latter is arguably the more controversial job because...

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    Checking on the Health of the International Criminal Court

    by  • December 8, 2016 • Africa, Child Soldiers, Gender-Based Violence, ICC, International Justice • 

    THE HAGUE — At the glassy, eco-minded new building of the International Criminal Court here in the Netherlands’ capital, people who are being tried may still be called “detainees,” but make no mistake: they remain accused of such atrocities as murder, torture and child-soldier recruitment as well as gang-raping women and girls. It’s business...

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    Advocates for Besieged Children Say Collaboration Is Essential

    by  • May 1, 2016 • Africa, Asia, Child Soldiers, Middle East • 

    Grim images from the small world of children are multiplying. Little bodies adrift in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Uncomprehending faces pressed against wire fences and barricades in Europe from the Balkans to the French port of Calais. At least 17 Syrian children and their pediatrician slaughtered by a bomb apparently targeting a hospital...

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    Despite Peace Talks, Colombians Are Still Terrified of the FARC

    by  • August 31, 2015 • Child Soldiers, Human Rights, Latin America, Women • 1 Comment

    MEDELLIN, Colombia — “There is conflict in every single country in the world,” a 16-year-old former combatant from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC, rebel group said at a rehabilitation center for demobilized child soldiers here in Colombia’s third-largest city. Yet when it was pointed out that there was no conflict in...

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    Colombia Takes a First Step to Participate in UN Peacekeeping Operations

    by  • February 1, 2015 • Caribbean, Child Soldiers, UN Peacekeeping • 

    As Colombia’s long civil war appears to be headed toward a hard-sought peaceful settlement, the government may be ready to send soldiers from its huge, well-financed military to participate in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations. Colombian forces’ work in fighting terrorism was presented as a selling point by its defense ministry, but the military’s...

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    New Protocols and Policies Tackle Sexual Violence in War

    by  • June 19, 2014 • Child Soldiers, Gender-Based Violence, ICC, International Justice, Women • 

    As Sunni Muslim extremists first seized strategic cities in Iraq last week, and a United Nations spokesman for the human-rights high commissioner, Navi Pillay, said that rapes had been part of the mayhem, leaving four female victims dead from suicide, the first global conference to end such heinous crimes took place in London. There,...

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    UN Peacekeepers Heading to the Central African Republic by the Fall

    by  • April 10, 2014 • Asia, Child Soldiers, Peace and Security, Security Council • 

    The United Nations Security Council has authorized yet another peacekeeping force for an African country, the Central African Republic, approving up to 12,000 military and police personnel who are not likely to arrive until mid-September. The goal of the force is broad, given the nation’s crippled affairs: restore law and order, protect civilians, provide...

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    Congolese Rebel Leader Faces Broad Charges of Sex Crimes

    by  • February 13, 2014 • Africa, Child Soldiers, Gender-Based Violence, ICC, International Justice, Women • 

    Bosco Ntaganda

    The first step to possibly try Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord born in Rwanda, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, began recently at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ntaganda, who turned himself in to the court last year by going to the United States Embassy in Rwanda, allegedly committed the crimes...

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    Notorious African Rebel Lands in International Court Hands

    by  • March 22, 2013 • Africa, Child Soldiers, ICC • 2 Comments

    Bosco Ntaganda

    Bosco Ntaganda, whom the United States calls “one of the most notorious and brutal rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” has arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague after being transported by court officials from Rwanda. Ntaganda is a Congolese warlord who has been operating with impunity in eastern Congo...

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    Rape in War: It’s Not a Given Any Longer

    by  • January 9, 2013 • Africa, Child Soldiers, Human Rights, ICC, International Justice, Women • 

    Women at the Stop Rape in Conflict Now campaign in Cartagena, Colombia

    One of Fatou Bensouda‘s missions as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is to make rape during conflicts a thing of the past. Until 20 years ago, she said in a speech at the United Nations recently, sexual violence and other sexual attacks were “all but ignored and dismissed as regrettable...

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    A Rerun of History in Eastern Congo Threatens Kinshasa Again

    by  • November 26, 2012 • Africa, Child Soldiers, ICC • 3 Comments

    Monusco, UN peacekeepers in Congo

    Less than two decades ago, this is what happened to a huge African country once known as Zaire: Rebels backed by Rwanda’s recently installed, ethnic Tutsi-led government moved out of their strongholds in the eastern flank of the country and advanced toward the Zairian national capital, Kinshasa, and overthrew the central government. To Rwandan...

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    Sierra Leone’s Election, Proving the Nation’s Resilience

    by  • November 23, 2012 • Africa, Child Soldiers, Peace and Security • 1 Comment

    Sierra Leone polling station on Election Day, Nov. 17, 2012

    Sierra Leone re-elected Ernest Bai Koroma president against eight other candidates in a calm, orderly vote held on Nov. 17 with results announced Nov. 23, after ballots were counted. The election marks an important step for the country to continue its healing after suffering an 11-year civil war. Koroma, who garnered 58.7 percent of the vote,...

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    Congo Miners See Hope While Rebels Sow Unrest

    by  • October 17, 2012 • Africa, Child Soldiers, ICC, Peace and Security • 3 Comments

    Congo miner

    Important progress in controlling the mining of tin, tantalum and tungsten in the troubled eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo has been achieved, says a report from the Enough Project, a Washington nonprofit group focused on Africa. Yet renewed fighting that began in the spring between regional militias and Congolese national troops, who...

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    Can Making Amends to Victims of Atrocities Actually Help?

    by  • October 16, 2012 • Child Soldiers, ICC, International Justice • 3 Comments

    Meeting with Muslim women in Bangui, CAR

    The conclusion of the International Criminal Court’s first trial this summer was duly noted in global media and political circles. Yet little attention was paid to the equally landmark move by the court mandating reparations for victims of the atrocities committed by the man who was sentenced for the war crimes case, Thomas Lubanga...

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    Protecting Children’s Rights in Troubled Landscapes

    by  • September 22, 2012 • Child Soldiers, Security Council • 7 Comments

    Special Representative Rhadika Coomaraswamy meeting with Chadian President Idriss Déby

    The Security Council has waded deeper into the tricky waters of protecting the rights of children in armed conflict despite protests of sovereignty from some countries, passing a resolution that clarifies the mandate for the UN special envoy on safeguarding children. The resolution, submitted by Canada and 30 other primarily Western countries, was adopted...

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    Top New UN Assignments, and Syria Deputy Envoy Leaving

    by  • July 18, 2012 • Child Soldiers, GOINGS-ON • 6 Comments

    Adama Dieng, the registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has been named the United Nations secretary-general’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide. Dieng, a Senegalese, replaces Francis Deng of Sudan, who has been in the post since 2007 as an under secretary-general and is a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings Institution...

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    Thomas Lubanga, Congolese Warlord, Sentenced to 14 Years

    by  • July 10, 2012 • Africa, Child Soldiers, ICC • 6 Comments

    Thomas Lubanga was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment.

        Thomas Lubanga, the 52-year-old Congolese militant convicted by the International Criminal Court in March for the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers under age 15 and using them in hostilities, was sentenced today to 14 years’ imprisonment. The children were forced to fight a conflict in northeastern Congo from Sept....

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    UN Security Council to Study Child Soldier Use in Colombia

    by  • June 28, 2012 • Child Soldiers, Human Rights, Security Council • 7 Comments

    BOGOTÁ — Two longstanding Colombian armed groups are cited in the United Nations secretary-general’s annual “list of shame” released this month, enumerating parties who use children in armed conflict, among other related human-rights abuses. The country’s two major antigovernment guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, and the National Liberation Army (Eln),...

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