EU, UN to Intensify Efforts against Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Africa’s growing army of child-soldiers.

Brussels, 15 Jumadil Awwal 1438/12 February 2017 (MINA) – EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, have pledged to intensify their efforts to end the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts.

In a joint statement released on Saturday to mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers which falls on February 12, they welcomed growing global consensus among UN Member States that they should not recruit or use children in armed forces.

Since 2000, over 115,000 child soldiers were released as a result of advocacy and action plans, KUNA reported.

However, children continue to be recruited and used in large numbers in countries such as South Sudan, Iraq and Nigeria, noted the statement.

EU-funded projects are helping children impacted by armed violence in Colombia, Congo, Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen.

In 2016, the EU allocated over euro three million in humanitarian aid to activities that specifically targeted child soldiers and children associated with armed forces and armed groups.

“Continued commitment is needed to ensure that the international community remains effective and responsive to end the use of Child Soldiers worldwide and to hold to account those who continue to do so,” added the joint statement. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)