Foreign Policy Blogs

UN Report Highlights Violators Using Child Soldiers

Photo: Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images

Last Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued his annual report to the UN Security Council took a historic step as for the first time it included a list of violators who use child soldiers. The countries which included Somalia’s transitional government; Congo’s armed forces; Myanmar’s army; and rebel groups in Congo; Myanmar; the Philippines, Colombia; Sudan; and Uganda, have all been under close observation for at least five years. In the report Ban also named for the first time it names seven countries or groups that commit rape and sexual violence against youngsters — six in Congo and Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which is notorious for kidnapping children and using them as fighters and sex slaves.  Added to the list for recruiting children this year were, the Afghan National Police, the Central African Republic’s rebel Committee of Patriots for Justice and Peace, and Somalia’s Hizbul Islam. Burundi’s National Liberation Force (Palipehutu-FNL), was removed from the list after verifications by the UN that all children  have now been released and reunited with their families.

“We still live in a world with those who would use children as spies, soldiers and human shields,” Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. special representative for children in armed conflict, said in a statement. “The shifting nature of conflict has put many children on the front lines. Too often children become collateral damage during military operations.” AP

The report to the  council directly asked them to seek stronger measures against those countries and groups that continue to violate children’s rights at such grave levels, urging them to see that violators face harsher punishments.



Cassandra Clifford
Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict