…which was signed last week by the United States Congress, restricting funding on forces that use child soldiers. The act is part of the larger human trafficking bill, and will enable the United States to identify and possibly cut funding to governments that recruit or use child soldiers.
The process will be as follows:
Each year, the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights identify government forces that recruit or use children in violation of existing international standards.
Countries listed in each year’s report will be given two years to release the children within their ranks. During that time, the only military assistance the U.S. will provide will be specifically to help in that process.
If, after that two-year period, there is evidence that child soldiers are still being used or recruited, all key forms of U.S. military assistance will be cut.
Countries that could be impacted by new bill include: Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda.
In the past year, American tax dollars funded military assistance to six governments who use children to fight in their armed forces.