An issue that has drawn lots of attention lately is the Kony2012 video and campaign. My friend and colleague Jessica Hawkinson gathered some resources for the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations that are related to addressing the issue of Kony and the LRA and the larger issue of children in situations of armed conflict.
Millions of viewers have tuned in to the KONY2012 video and campaign, recently released by the organization Invisible Children. The campaign encourages public support for the arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted for trial by the International Criminal Court. Kony is charged for, among other things, the widespread recruitment and use of child soldiers. The campaign also seeks to build support for the disarmament of the LRA and rehabilitation of these child soldiers.
For all of the support the campaign has gained, many key stakeholders have raised questions about the video, noting its failure to adequately address the complexities of the issue. Included below are several resources about the video, the Ugandan conflict and the LRA, and ways that you can help bring an end to the use of children in armed conflict.
Learn more about the LRA and children in situations of armed conflict
- Read more about Presbyterian efforts to end the use of children in armed conflict
- Human Rights Watch – “Capturing Kony”
- Foreign Policy Post – “Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)”
- Invisible Children responds to critiques
- Watch a video on KONY2012 and seeking justice for children by Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict
- Learn about UNICEF’s Child Protection work on violence, exploitation and abuse
- International Criminal Court Prosecutor supports KONY2012 campaign
How you can help
- Support RECONCILE whose work for peace in South Sudan includes caring for children who have been exploited as soldiers
- Support UNICEF’s Child Protection Programs
- Support the Nonviolent Peaceforce whose efforts in various countries includes rehabilitating and reintegrating former child soldiers
- Call on President Obama to enforce U.S. legislation related to the use of children as soldiers
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A prayer for children in situations of armed conflict
by David Gambrell
Loving God, giver of life,
through your prophets you promised
that a little child would come to lead us
in the paths of everlasting peace.
Help us to follow where you lead
and hasten the coming of the day …
when wars throughout the earth will end …
when neighbors and nations will put down their weapons …
when all children will live in safety and freedom …
when all people will have justice and dignity …
when the wolf and lamb will dwell together
and no one will hurt or destroy in all the earth.
We ask these things through Jesus Christ,
your beloved child, our eternal peace. Amen.