Child Soldier Relief

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The mission of Child Soldier Relief Foundation (CSR), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization designated by the Internal Revenue Code, is to advocate on behalf of child soldiers by serving as a central repository of information on all topics relating to the topic of child soldiers.

Former child soldier under Charles Taylor testifies in Monrovia

On Friday at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia Thematic Hearing for Children in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Libera a former child soldier testified of his recruitment into Charles Taylor’s army in 2003.   According to his testimony from the Inquirer:

at age 9 he was recruited along with other children by former government militia commander RolandDuo around their 72nd, Somalia Drive residence to become bodyguards.  According to a TRC release, he said they were used by Duo and other commanders to execute captives and to loot stores in and around the Monrovia. 

From AllAfrica.com, here is an explanation of the TRC Hearing Process:

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005.   The TRC was established to “promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation,” and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

A key mandate of the Commission is to hear stories from all parts of the population of Liberia, including from children.  Interestingly, the hearings are public and part of the mandate of the hearings includes public discussion and debate.  It does sound like there are allowances for the children to meet privately with only the commissioners, but nevertheless, it must be ensured that the children are fully protected.  This has been an issue before in the Charles Taylor Trial, where former child soldiers were not given adequate protections due to the fact that they were now adults.

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Filed under: C. Taylor Trial, Laws, Treaties, Sierra Leone, , , , , ,

One Response

  1. brittany johnston says:

    Hi, my name is Brittany Johnston. I am currently doing some research for my grade twelve World Issues class. I chose the topic of child soldiers and the challenges and the causes and effects.

    I was needing to find a first-person piece, and was hoping you could give ten minutes of your time to do a phone or email interview. I think having a information given first hand by someone who knows what they’re talking about will help me to fully express the horrific situation that so many children are forced into.

    I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me back by June 10th.

    school email: john2994@email.adbs.on.ca
    Personal email: brittany-johnston@hotmail.com

    Thank you for your time!

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