Resisting War, Promoting Children’s Rights in Africa: Getting Kids out of the Crossfire

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child SoldiersCultures of Resistance is proud of our continued partnership with the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. In 2008 and 2009 we will continue to support their life-saving work in the Great Lakes region of central Africa (D.R. Congo, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda). The coalition works to prevent the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, to secure their demobilization and to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society, which is especially crucial in this war-scarred region.

In 2008 and 2009 the Coalition will:

Ugandan child soldierImplement training for the military on international and national legal instruments protecting children in DRC and Uganda. Training will also be conducted for affected communities on international and national legal instruments as well as the risks and consequences of child recruitment in all three countries. Further, the coalition will support the launch of a national birth registration campaign in Uganda to increase the number of children with proper documentation of their age as a means to reduce illegal recruitment of under-18s in the armed forces and Local Defense Units (LDUs).

Chinese children in military trainingDisturbing new anecdotal evidence suggests that children are being recruited from Uganda into conflicts in neighboring DRC and Sudan. Little has been documented on these children, the affected communities or those perpetrating these acts. The Coalition will conduct a scoping exercise on cross-border recruitment from the West Nile region of Uganda. With the findings they will develop a strategy to provide the basis for increasing awareness of these practices to support protection and prevention efforts and identify the needs of returning children and their families. The Coalition will work with partner NGO, Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN) and UNICEF to carry out this research.

reclaimed childrenThe Coalition will work to improve the quality and scope of reintegration programs for returning child soldiers by conducting interviews with former child soldiers – both girls and boys – to document their experiences in the reintegration process, identify lessons learned and develop recommendations for reintegration programming. The recommendations and findings will provide the basis for lobbying:

  1. The Burundian, DRC and Ugandan governments;
  2. UN agencies in the region for the implementation of best practices – including gender-specific provisions – in reintegration programs;
  3. funding bodies such as the EU and World Bank to secure sustainable funding sources for effective reintegration programming.

The Coalition will conduct interviews with former child soldiers in Uganda’s Teso region. Interviews with former child soldiers in Kitgum, Uganda are planned for 2009. The Coalition will assess the status of girls formerly associated with fighting forces, with a particular focus on those who returned with children, to improve the quality of reintegration programs and supportive services for former girl soldiers.

©2011 Cultures of Resistance | Site Map