WORLD: USA leads in blocking efforts to stop use of child soldiers (fwd)

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Subject: WORLD: USA leads in blocking efforts to stop use of child soldiers (fwd)
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.org)
Date: Thu Jun 17 1999 - 18:54:16 EDT


>Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 15:29:47 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Roger Falcon <rfalcon@emerald.tufts.edu>
>Subject: WORLD: USA leads in blocking efforts to stop use of child soldiers
>
>I realize that the following does not address trafficking or smuggling
>directly. However, as there was a recent article sent out to the
>stop-traffic list putting a positive spin on the Clinton administration's
>attitude toward children's rights, the airing of a divergent view would
>seem appropriate. Moreover, the whole child soldier issue, awful as it is,
>is often directly linked to trafficking concerns. Therefore, I was hoping
>this could be forwarded to the list. Many thanks.
>
>
>* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
>International *
>News Service: 113/99
>AI INDEX: IOR 42/06/99
>10 June 1999
>
>USA leads in blocking efforts to stop use of child soldiers
>
>Geneva -- The proposed ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, which
>is close to being adopted by the International Labour Conference, fails
>to prohibit the use of children in armed conflicts.
>
>The USA, supported by the UK and the Netherlands, lobbied hard to
>prevent an outright prohibition on using child combatants. The purpose
>of the Convention is to protect children under 18 from the most
>hazardous and exploitative forms of child labour.
>
>Amnesty International welcomes the drafting of such a Convention* but is
>alarmed at its failure to prohibit the participation of all children in
>armed conflicts. [* Full title: ILO Convention Concerning the
>Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms
>of Child Labour.]
>
>More than 300,000 children under the age of 18 are currently fighting in
>conflicts around the world. Hundreds of thousands more are members of
>armed forces who could be sent into combat at any time.
>
>Participation in armed conflicts is an extremely hazardous activity. It
>is simply unacceptable to allow children to be killed, injured and
>traumatized as a result of their participation in armed combat, Amnesty
>International said.
>
>Proposals for a total ban on using child combatants came from all
>African governments as well as the governments of Canada, Denmark,
>France, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Spain and Uruguay and the Trade Unions.
>
>The USA position was also endorsed by the governments of Australia,
>Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, New
>Zealand, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden and Turkey.
>
>After closed-door negotiations, delegates could only agree to prohibit
>forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflicts.
>
>Participation in armed conflicts is hazardous regardless of whether the
>child is forcibly, compulsory or voluntarily recruited, Amnesty
>International said. A convention on the worst forms of child labour
>should protect all children from participating in armed conflicts.
>
>ENDS.../
>Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street,
>WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom
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>
>


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