Ottawa—On February 12th— International Day against the use of Child Soldiers — the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative introduced the second edition of “Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors”. This handbook remains a first of its kind tool for security sector actors on the prevention of the use and recruitment of child soldiers.
Today over 250,000 child soldiers are used worldwide by 9 state security forces and 46 non-state armed groups. Recent conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Syria are fueled in part by the recruitment of child soldiers.
“Without the correct tactics, techniques and procedures, we will continue to address the issue of child soldiers with outdated methods” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative.
Security sector reform and training are critical to addressing the issue of childsoldiers effectively. Solutions to the issue continue to be largely humanitarian and reactive in nature. “Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors” offers a security sector perspective and practical tools, developing a holistic approach that is preventative.
“Everyday our work helps remind us that collaboration is essential if we are to ever truly stop the recruitment and use of children in war. Everyone from the soldier to the shop owner has a responsibility to protect our young – especially in conflict settings” states Tanya Zayed, Deputy Director of the Dallaire Initiative.
The Dallaire Initiative’s handbook addresses the evolving nature of conflict, providing new tools, knowledge and tactics that security sector actors need to prevent and address the issue of child soldiers in the field. Many of the participants of trainings go on to serve in peacekeeping missions where child soldiers are present. The second edition represents the first time that the Dallaire Initiative’s handbook will be available in French.
The second edition of “Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors” was made possible through the generous support from the members of Unifor and the United States Institute of Peace. IAMGOLD provided an in-kind donation for the French translation. “Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors is available for download via childsoldiers.org/handbook.