FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Children's Rights Institute Celebrates the International Day of the African Child
Jun 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm
June 16, 2011 – NEW YORK – Today, we celebrate the International Day of the African Child. This day commemorates the Soweto Uprising in 1976, when hundreds of young children were shot in Soweto, South Africa while protesting the poor quality of their education and calling for their right to be taught in their own language. Additionally, the day raises awareness of the need to improve the education, well-being, and conditions of children throughout Africa.
Despite efforts to eradicate the recruitment of African children to become soldiers, the use of children in armed conflict in Africa remains prevalent.
The Children's Rights Institute calls on the governments of African nations to enact new legislation to eliminate the recruitment of children to become soldiers and the use of children in armed conflict, and to strengthen compliance with and enforcement of current legislation. Additionally, CRI calls for President Obama to properly implement the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, which restricts the United States from providing military aid to governments that employ child soldiers. In October 2010, President Obama granted waivers to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen, which allowed their governments to continue to receive U.S. military assistance despite their ongoing use of child soldiers. We urge President Obama to officially designate a date before 2012 by which time these governments must cease the use of child soldiers, and to stipulate that current waivers will expire and no future waivers will be granted to nations that fail to comply.