Canada pledges millions to end use of child soldiers in Sudan

A child soldier attends a release ceremony in South Sudan on Feb. 7, 2018. He was one of more than 300 released by armed groups that day. (Sam Mednick/AP Photo)

Canada pledges millions to end use of child soldiers in Sudan

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The Canadian government has pledged $3.1million for a project to help end the recruitment of child soldiers in South Sudan. The money will be used by the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

Former child soldiers attended a release ceremony before returning to normal life in Yambio, South Sudan on Feb. 7, 2018. (Sam Mednick/AP Photo)

Efforts made through the security sector

The organization was founded by Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Romeo Dallaire in 2007. His first experience with this issue occurred when he was force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. The initiative’s goal is “to progressively eradicate the use and recruitment of child soldiers through a security sector approach.”

The initiative seeks to equip security forces with training and tools to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers worldwide.

Lieutenant-General (Ret’d) Romeo Dallaire has spearheaded Canadian efforts to end the use of child soldiers. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/file photo)

Canada renews leadership commitment

In making the funding announcement, the government noted today is the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers and said it “reaffirms its commitment to stand as a leader and work with the United Nations and others in the international community to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.”

A news release noted the government has “taken strong actions to demonstrate this commitment” by developing a Child Soldier Doctrine to ensure Canadian armed forces are prepared to face and prevent the use of child soldiers, and it signed the Safe Schools Declaration which aims to protect schools, teachers and students during armed conflict.

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