A Year of Progress for “Children, Not Soldiers”
March 6, 2015

(OSRSG) – A blog post by Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict: “One year ago, representatives of the last eight governments of the world named by the UN Secretary-General for the recruitment and use of children in their security forces gathered at the United Nations in New York to declare they were ready to take the steps necessary to make their security forces child-free.”

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Watchlist Press Release: Colombia: Child soldiers risk being left out of the peace process
February 19, 2015

(Watchlist Press Release) – Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict is concerned that the peace process between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC–EP) in Havana, still falls short of recognizing child soldiers as victims of the conflict. “Despite recent efforts to include the issue of child soldiers in the negotiation, parties to the peace process should not turn a blind eye to the thousands of child soldiers who have yet to be recognized as victims and are entitled to effective remedies for the violation of their rights.” said Gilles-Philippe Pagé, Partnerships Program Officer at Watchlist.

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New insights on Congo’s Islamist rebels
February 19, 2015

(Washington Post blog) – Recent acts of terror by Boko Haram in Nigeria have renewed interest in Islamic militancy in Africa.  Boko Haram has achieved notoriety in part because it uses videos to promote its attacks against civilians, including kidnapping and enslaving young girls. Yet one Islamist group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC or Congo) – the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) – has received very little international attention despite an atrocious, 20-year history of human rights abuses.

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In Afghanistan’s deadliest year, civilian casualties top 10,000 in 2014 – UN
February 18, 2015

(UN News) – Civilian casualties in Afghanistan topped 10,000 in 2014, a 22 per cent increase compared to the past year, reflecting increased ground battles between armed groups and the Government, and a drastic drawdown of Western troop presence in the country, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today. [..] Women and children were particularly hard hit by the armed conflict in 2014, the report found, documenting a 40 per cent increase in children casualties with 2,474 children casualties (714 killed and 1,760 injured) compared to 2013. Women casualties increased by 21 per cent with 298 women killed and 611 injured.

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Yemen’s power shift a setback for child soldier plan
February 18, 2015

(IRIN News) – The coming to power of northern rebels in Yemen could derail moves to end the use of child soldiers in the country.

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Colombia’s ex-child soldiers face their tormentors amid peace efforts
February 17, 2015

(Reuters) – When Carlos and five other teenagers arrived at a remote farm in Colombia’s eastern plains where they had been promised work as labourers, they were horrified to be met by armed men who blindfolded them and ordered them to stand in line.

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South Sudan: Government Forces Recruiting Child Soldiers Both Sides Should Stop Using Children Across Conflict Area
February 16, 2015

(HRW) – South Sudanese government forces are actively recruiting boys as young as 13, often by force, as soldiers in Malakal, Upper Nile state, Human Rights Watch said today. 

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What next for South Sudan’s 3,000 freed child soldiers?
February 13, 2015

(The Guardian) – At a ceremony on Tuesday, 280 child soldiers were released in Gumuruk, South Sudan, following a peace agreement between President Salva Kiir’s government and the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction militant group in Jonglei State.

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Dallaire & Whitman: A world without child soldiers
February 12, 2015

(National Post) – February 12 is the International Day to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. On this day, and through the creation of international legal instruments, the world recognizes the use of children as soldiers as a grave violation of human rights. We acknowledge that a child soldier cannot be held criminally accountable for their actions while in an armed group and that it is the adults who cause this abuse who must be brought to justice.

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FARC bans recruitment of child soldiers
February 12, 2015

(Colombia Reports) – Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, vowed on Thursday to immediately and indefinitely ban the recruitment of child soldiers.

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