January 7 - NPCA Advocacy: The tragedy of child soldiers

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By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 12:15 pm: Edit Post

The tragedy of child soldiers

Read and comment on this advocacy alert from the NPCA advocacy listserv at:

The tragedy of child soldiers*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

The tragedy of child soldiers is well known to Africa and to those of us seeking justice in Africa and with Africans. As you may recall, in May 2000 the United Nations adopted a global ban te use of children as soldiers through the Optional Protocol to the onvention on the Rights of the Child. The protocol establishes 18 as te minimum age for conscription, forced recruitment, or participation in armed conflict. By now 93 countries have signed the Optional Protocol, including the United States. Ratification, however, has been slow, and only last month did New Zealand become the tenth nation to do so, thus enabling the protocol to enter into force on February 12, 2002. Two additional countries have now ratified, bringing the number to 12. Reportedly the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee will hold ratification hearings in January or February. We urge you to contact Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), ranking minority member of the Committee, stressing the importance of US ratification of the Optional Protocol, and to call upon them to make ratification a top priority in the new session of Congress.

Other members of the Committee are as follows:
Sarbanes (MD)
Dodd (CT)
Kerry (MA)
Feingold (WI)
Wellstone (MN)
Boxer (CA)
Torricelli (NJ)
Nelson (FL)
Rockefeller (WV)
Lugar (IN)
Hagel (NE)
Smith (OR)
Frist (TN)
Chafee (RI)
Allen (VA)
Brownback (KS)
Enzi (WY)

If you are from any of the states represented by these Senators, please contact them along the lines cited above, using (if you wish) the draft letter included below.

If you are not from any of the states represented on the Foreign Relations Committee, please be sure to copy your letter to your own Senators, making clear to them that you are a constituent.

Given recent problems with mail delivery in Washington, please contact your Senator by calling 202/224-3121, or through electronic mail. You can find e-mail links by going to www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm

It is always helpful to us to know of your letter, and we are grateful when you can share any replies you receive.

Here is a sample draft letter. Please adapt it to conform to your own style and emphases:

Dear Senator:

The exploitation of children as soldiers has been and remains a tragedy in many parts of the world. I understand that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which serves to impose a global ban on child soldiers, is to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the next two months. I urge that the Senate move forward quickly to ratify the protocol, and that you will do all in your power to ensure that ratification is a top priority for the new session.

In these difficult times it is especially important for the United States to act to address concerns and needs of nations and peoples throughout the world. I look forward to hearing from you as to your views on this crucial matter.

Yours sincerely,

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By Bankass.com on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 2:00 pm: Edit Post

How about the Peace Corps Volunteers killed in service 10 Volunteers and Lloyd Pearson can't put two volunteers at every site. You should advocating for good Peace Corps policy. That's what the NPCA originally stood for. (I would say Walter Poirier, was somewhat of a child Peace Corps soldier, a good kid, good altruism, 23 Years old, (you should be fighting for him and the others)

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