Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Human Rights Update: "For every two children released, five are abducted and forced to be child soldiers, said Amnesty International."

Image: Child Soldier in Democratic Republic of Congo, BBC

Human Rights Update: "For every two children released, five are abducted and forced to be child soldiers, said Amnesty International."

Amnesty International has issued a new report on the hell realm of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It documents that armed groups engaged in the regional conflict are continuing to rely on two of the most disgusting behaviors in human experience, i.e., the use of children as soldiers and rape as a weapon of war. What does it tell us about ourselves that our civilization prioritizes the securing of oil rigs anywhere on the planet over the protection of women and children anywhere on the planet? How can such a thing be called a civilization at all? -- Richard Power

For every two children released, five are abducted and forced to be child soldiers, said Amnesty International, in a new report released today on the ongoing conflict in the province of North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to Amnesty International, as many as half of the former child soldiers who had been reunited to their families in north Kivu may since have been re-recruited by armed groups. ... Child soldiers who attempt to escape are killed or tortured, sometimes in front of other children, to discourage further escapes. ...
The report also uncovers the extent of continuing physical and sexual abuse of women and children in the conflict, despite government and armed group commitments to bring such atrocities to an end. Thousands of women and girls have been raped and exposed to other forms of sexual violence. Some women have been abducted and held as sexual slaves. ... Complete statistics of the scale of rape in North Kivu do not exist. According to December 2007 UN figures, around 350 rape cases are reported every month in North Kivu. ...
In its report, Amnesty International issues comprehensive recommendations to the armed groups, DRC government and the international community aimed at stopping human rights abuses.
The recommendations include a call on armed groups to immediately release all children associated with their forces, and measures to end the horrors of sexual violence.

To read the full text of Amnesty International's report, NORTH KIVU: NO END TO THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN, click here.

For more on the international dimension of this problem, here are some resources:

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

Amnesty International - Child Soldiers

Human Rights Watch -- Child Soldiers

For more on the domestic US dimension of this problem (e.g., South Central), drive across town.

Some Related Posts

Human Rights Update: UN General Secretary Reports that the Number of Entities Using Child Soldiers has Increased

Child Soldiers: Planetary Problem Persists, Burma Now Worst Case; Meanwhile, in the World's Mega-Slums, Millions More Go Uncounted & Unacknowledged

Human Rights Update (6-26-07) -- A Victory for Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone, But What About the Child Soldiers in the Streets of the USA?

UN Millennium Goals Update 5-30-07: In the Struggle to Empower Women & Children -- Very Good News, Very Bad News, & A Dose of Reality

Hard Rain Journal 4-21-07: Human Rights Update -- In War and Poverty, Children Forsaken on a Planetary Scale

Hard Rain Journal 12-4-06: Human Rights Update -- Unless You Protect Women, Children and Indigenous Peoples, You Cannot Achieve Real Security

Words of Power #17: Harry Potter and the Night Commuters

Words of Power #3: Gangstas = Child Soldiers Without A Country

For a directory of Words of Power Human Rights Updates, click here.

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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