Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Paris: New proscriptions against use of child soldiers

From the Unicef website:

"Fifty-eight countries represented at a high-level conference in Paris today committed themselves to stopping the unlawful recruitment and use of children in
armed conflicts.

[Former child soldier Ishmael Beah holds up the Paris Commitments at the end of the historic ‘Free Children from War’ conference in Paris.]

The Paris Commitments, as they are now known, lay out detailed guidelines for protecting children from recruitment and for providing assistance to those already involved with armed groups or forces. They will complement the political and legal mechanisms already in place at the UN Security Council, the International Criminal Court and other bodies trying to protect children from exploitation and violence.

The conference, which was jointly organized by the French Government and UNICEF, attracted dozens of government ministers, donors, the heads of several UN agencies – including UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman – and many non-governmental organizations."

Read more about the Paris conference here.

And read the recent NYT article on Ishmael Beah and his forthcoming memoir called “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” babout life as a child soldier here.

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