Global Policy Forum

UN Team Visits Camp for Child Soldiers

October 12, 2000

A team from the UN Security Council has visited a camp for former child soldiers in Sierra Leone, a spokesman in New York said on Wednesday. A 14-year-old former combatant made a "simple and direct plea" to the Council members to exclude children from prosecution in a special court on Sierra Leone that is to try persons for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of humanitarian law.

The teenager was one of hundreds of youngsters at at the camp for former fighters. British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, who is leading the 11-member Council team, said no child regarded as a victim of the war, even if he had been fighting, would be taken to the special court, the spokesman said. The Council mission is on a five-nation tour seeking ways to promote stability in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, said on Wednesday in New York that over the past three years progress had been made in protecting children affected by armed conflict. Otunnu said a significant development was an agreement in the Security Council to incorporate the protection of children into peacekeeping mandates. He also said a number of governments had made the protection of children affected by armed conflict a prominent feature of their domestic and international policies.

More Information on Sierra Leone
More Information on War Crimes Tribunals


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