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Obama Waives Child Soldier Ban in Yemen and Congo

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i'm interested in hearing arguments in support of it... i think most people i've encountered agree it's terrible... any dissenters?

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[quote name='Davidson Deac II' timestamp='1361229313' post='2138000']


Not sure about the others, but Timber and Labor from Africa are not something we really need.
[/quote]

1. Not yet.

2. China is in there... just like the middle east, this has more to do with keeping a leash on china as it does with our actual current demand.

3. Lets be serious here. NEED has never been an issue in our consumption... If we don't need them, we'll sell them to someone else at a premium... We always need money.

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Pretty disgusting.

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Are we really a proper moral barometer for the world?

We jail and murder our own civilians at one of the highest rates in the civilized world.

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[quote name='PhillyB' timestamp='1361229604' post='2138004']
i'm interested in hearing arguments in support of it... i think most people i've encountered agree it's terrible... any dissenters?
[/quote]

morally, it's reprehensible... strategically, it's quite sensible... and honestly, if we haven't been giving money to "nations" that employ child-soldiers, we've certainly been giving money to extra-national groups that employ them. So... six of one, half dozen of the other.

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[quote name='PhillyB' timestamp='1361229604' post='2138004']
i'm interested in hearing arguments in support of it... i think most people i've encountered agree it's terrible... any dissenters?
[/quote]


I would have to see their reasoning on it before passing judgement. Also, as some of the others have alluded to, different cultures have different opinions on what constitutes a child.

Regarding Yemen, they are engaged in a Civil War against extremist elements, so while giving funding to them may be distasteful, allowing the other side to win could be far worse for both the people of Yemen and for us.

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Okay, in the big scheme of things, the gov will support one side to "offset" another. I think that "strategery" is one of the main goals in foreign policy and human rights are way down the list.

Not a ringing endorsment that you were looking for, but about as close as I could get to a reason.

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Let's see how much this is covered on the news over the next day or so.

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GS? SZ? you guys are usually insightful i'd like to hear your opinions. same for CWG, rodeo, etc.

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[quote name='Panthro' timestamp='1361230044' post='2138011']
Are we really a proper moral barometer for the world?

We jail and murder our own civilians at one of the highest rates in the civilized world.
[/quote]

certainly not, but it doesn't make this any less viable a debate topic for it



[quote name='Davidson Deac II' timestamp='1361231383' post='2138023']
I would have to see their reasoning on it before passing judgement. Also, as some of the others have alluded to, different cultures have different opinions on what constitutes a child.

Regarding Yemen, they are engaged in a Civil War against extremist elements, so while giving funding to them may be distasteful, allowing the other side to win could be far worse for both the people of Yemen and for us.
[/quote]


this was my thought as well. it seems to me that many decisions like this are made in the name of a sort of utilitarian philosophy where the greatest good for the greatest number of people is how something's decided upon as a course of action. almost a "lesser of two evils" paradigm. i don't think i agree with it but i'm guessing that's where these decisions are coming from (rather than "hey lets just agree with child conscription because we're evil like that")

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Yemen :




[quote]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]The constitution made no direct reference to conscription, but stated that “[t]he law shall regulate general mobilization which shall be announced by the chairman of the Presidential Council following the approval of the House of Representatives” (Article 36). In 2001 Yemen’s National Defence Council abolished compulsory military service, relying instead on volunteers to fill posts in the military and security forces.[size=1]6[/size]Article 149 of Law No. 45 (2002) on Child Rights stated that “persons under the age of 18 cannot participate in armed conflicts or be recruited”. The law forbade all exploitation of children as child soldiers.[/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]Although Yemen’s laws specified 18 as the minimum recruitment age, under-age recruitment to the armed forces reportedly remained common. The recruitment system was disorganized and birth registration was irregular. Joining the army was highly sought after, since other employment opportunities were extremely limited. Parents sometimes agreed to the recruitment of their children into the armed forces because of their poor economic situation.[size=1]7[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]During fighting between the Yemeni armed forces and the Faithful Youth in January–March 2007, the Yemeni military reportedly used child soldiers. Children as young as 15 were allegedly given weapons by the armed forces and sent to the front with no training.[size=1]8[/size][/font][/color]

[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][b]Developments: [/b][/font][/color]


[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]In consideration of Yemen’s third periodic report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about the lack of birth registration for a significant number of children, and recommended that Yemen take appropriate measures to ensure the registration of all births.[size=1]12[/size]
[size=2][b]International standards[/b][/size]
Yemen acceded to the Optional Protocol on 2 March 2007 and declared that it was committed to retaining 18 years as the minimum age for voluntary recruitment into the Yemeni armed forces, as well as to retaining the ban on the compulsory or voluntary recruitment of any person under 18 years of age.[size=1]13[/size][/font][/color]
[/quote]

Chad:

[quote]
[b]National recruitment legislation and practice[/b]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]On ratification of the Optional Protocol in 2002 Chad declared that the minimum age for recruitment into the Chadian armed forces was 18. It stated that enlistment was voluntary, and could take place only on a fully informed basis.[size=1]18[/size] The 1996 constitution stated that the defence of the country and of national territorial integrity was the duty of every citizen, and that military service was compulsory (Article 51). A national law adopted in January 1991 on the reorganization of the armed forces stated that the minimum age of recruitment into the ANT was 18, and that the minimum age for conscription was 20.[size=1]19[/size] However, the 1992 General Statute of the Army provided that a person under the age of 18 could be enrolled with the consent of a parent or guardian.[size=1]20[/size] The Labour Code prohibited children under the age of 18 from undertaking any work which by its nature was likely to cause harm to the health, safety or morals of children.[size=1]21[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]In November 2006 the minister of defence ordered the military leadership not to recruit children, and a memorandum was issued by the ministry stating that the recruitment of children below the age of 18 was prohibited. In February 2007 the government acknowledged that children had been associated with armed groups and forces in Chad and that the ANT might have recruited and used children.[size=1]22[/size] Following the peace agreement with the FUC, the ANT stated that it would not accept under-age FUC soldiers into its ranks.[/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=2][b]Child recruitment and deployment[/b][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]Children were known to have been recruited and used in the ANT as of mid-2007. One official told Human Rights Watch that boys between the ages of 12 and 15 were deployed to make tea, find water, collect firewood and mind goats. Another senior ANT official stated that “child soldiers are ideal because they don’t complain, they don’t expect to be paid, and if you tell them to kill, they kill”. Recruitment of children between January 2006 and July 2007 into the ANT took place in the Salamat and Ouddai regions in the east, and in the Wadi Fira region in the north-east. Civilians were reportedly recruited en masse in late 2006 at a time of ANT losses, and included children as young as 14, who were rapidly organized into units to defend the capital, and issued uniforms and weapons. The ANT reportedly held captured armed opposition-group child soldiers as young as 13 in the same facilities as adult soldiers.[size=1]23[/size][/font][/color]
[...]


[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][b]Developments: [/b][/font][/color]


[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]In May 2006 the UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator expressed serious concern over recruitment in and around refugee camps and IDP sites, and the increasing militarization of refugee camps.40 In September 2007 the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict expressed grave concern over the recruitment and use of children by armed groups and local commanders of the ANT; strongly condemned the continuous recruitment and use of children by armed groups, in particular the SLA, the Sudanese rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the UFDD; and urged the government to criminalize the unlawful recruitment and use of children in armed conflict.41 Chad was listed as a situation of concern in the UN Secretary-General’s October 2006 and December 2007 Reports on Children and Armed Conflict.42
On 25 September 2007 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1778 (2007) concerning the CAR and Chad. Its provisions established the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), a “multidimensional presence” of UN and EU personnel, comprising police, military liaison officers and civilian personnel. Its mandate authorized the protection of civilians in danger, particularly refugees and internally displaced persons, and the facilitation of humanitarian aid and movement of humanitarian personnel in the north-eastern CAR and eastern Chad.43 Up to 4,000 UN-mandated EU troops were expected to be deployed to Chad by early 2008.44
At a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, Chad and 58 other states endorsed the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups. The document reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.[/font][/color]

[/quote]




Democratic Republic of Congo:

[quote]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=2][b]National recruitment legislation and practice[/b][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]The February 2006 constitution defined a child as any person below the age of 18. All forms of exploitation of children were punishable by the law (Article 41), and public authorities were under obligation to protect young people from threats to their health, education and development (Article 42). The organization of military or paramilitary formations, private militias or youth armies was prohibited (Article 190).[/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]The 2004 Defence and Armed Forces Law prohibited the individual requisition of one or more children below the age of 18 in the event of a mobilization (Article 10) and the maintenance of a youth army or youth subversive group (Article 41). Responsibility for child-soldier demobilization was held by the Minister of National Defence, Demobilization and Former Combatants (Article 25).[size=1]14[/size] A previous decree-law, of 9 June 2000, ordered the demobilization of children below the age of 18 from armed forces and groups. A May 2005 circular issued by the military prosecutor instructed regional and local military prosecutors to initiate proceedings against all those accused of child recruitment or use in military operations. The same circular instructed military prosecutors to refer illegally recruited children accused of crimes to a competent civilian court, or to the official DDR program for demobilization.[size=1]15[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]A comprehensive Child Protection Code was awaiting approval by parliament in October 2007. The code prohibited the forced recruitment of children or their use in armed conflict (Article 50a), as well as the enlistment or use of children in the national armed forces, the police and armed groups (Article 73). Prison terms of between ten and 20 years were specified for these offences (Article 193). The code criminalized rape, (Article 175) and sexual slavery (Article 189), with prison terms of 7–25 and 10–25 years respectively. A wide range of other acts of sexual violence and exploitation were criminalized by the code.[size=1]16[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=2][b]Child recruitment and deployment[/b][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]Children remained in FARDC units which had completed the army unification program (known as integrated units) and in those awaiting unification (non-integrated units). In mid-2006 more than 26 cases of child recruitment and other violations by FARDC were brought to the attention of FARDC chief of staff by MONUC. Children were seen in FARDC brigades in Kasai Occidental, Katanga and South Kivu.[size=1]17[/size] FARDC troops undergoing redeployment in Ituri and the Kivus abducted children to carry equipment and belongings.[size=1]18[/size] In mid-2007 local sources reported seeing children used as guards and “wives” in integrated and non-integrated units in the Fizi area, South Kivu. Children interviewed complained of lack of food and harsh conditions.[size=1]19[/size] Some child soldiers were abandoned by commanders en route to unification centres in several locations, including South Kivu and Katanga, possibly for fear of prosecution.[size=1]20[/size]Children captured from armed groups were detained by FARDC members in order to gather information on armed groups or to extort money from family members. Some had been beaten while in detention. Former child soldiers faced intimidation and harassment by FARDC members, including non-respect for their official demobilization certificates.[size=1]21[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=1][...][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][b]Other developments[/b][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]At a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, the DRC and 58 other states endorsed the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups. The documents reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.[/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]Mrs Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, visited the DRC in March 2007. She urged the authorities to take timely and decisive action against the violators of children’s rights, including the arrest of Laurent Nkunda, and called for measures to demobilize children still in the FARDC and armed groups. Mrs Coomaraswamy expressed concern at the extent of sexual violence in the eastern DRC and the prevailing climate of impunity for such crimes. She noted that long-term development strategies were required along with adequate donor support for the work of child-protection agencies.[size=1]81[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Verdana, sans-serif]The FARDC and numerous armed groups (including many of those named above) were repeatedly listed as parties responsible for recruiting and using children between 2002 and 2007 in the annex to the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict. Most were additionally named as responsible for killings, abductions and rape.[size=1]82[/size][/font][/color]
[/quote]

[url="http://www.childsoldiersglobalreport.org"]http://www.childsold...lobalreport.org[/url]

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[quote name='PhillyB' timestamp='1361241195' post='2138164']
GS? SZ? you guys are usually insightful i'd like to hear your opinions. same for CWG, rodeo, etc.
[/quote]

i don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, other than that this isn't the first time he's done it (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/world/africa/29soldiers.html?_r=0). it's obviously incredibly problematic, but that's hegemony

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