The U.S. Child Soldier Prevention Act addresses the issue of children in situations of armed conflict. The act seeks encourage governments to disarm, demobilize and rehabilitate children who have been used as soldiers by government forces and government-supported militias.
Using the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights as a barometer, this bill would place limits on the provision of U.S. International Military Education and Training, Foreign Military Financing and other defense-related assistance in our foreign operations programs for countries in violation of the bill’s standards.
However, this act has been waived in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). President Obama could take steps to prohibit military assistance to the DRC until the government meets specific benchmarks. These benchmarks should include: 1) demonstrating that it no longer recruits child soldiers; 2) showing concrete progress in demobilizing or releasing children from existing forces; and 3)engaging in credible efforts to render persons suspected of recruiting child soldiers to justice.
I did. Will you?
See you along the Trail.