From Human Rights Watch
(New York) – The United States should suspend military assistance to countries using child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today.
On June 27, 2011, the US State Department released a list of six governments that use child soldiers in violation of US legislation adopted in 2008: Burma, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Five of the countries – excluding Burma – receive US military assistance.
“The US strategy of just telling countries to stop using child soldiers is not working,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate at Human Rights Watch. “So long as they keep getting US military assistance, these countries have little incentive to stop recruiting children.”
The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 prohibits governments using child soldiers from receiving US foreign military financing, military training, and several other categories of US military assistance. The six countries identified in the new 2011 Trafficking in Persons report for using child soldiers were all included in the first State Department list in June 2010. In October, President Barack Obama issued national interest waivers to allow Chad, Congo, Sudan, and Yemen to continue to receive military aid despite their use of child soldiers…