Child Soldier Relief is creating a three part series on the ; the first explores the summary of charges against Charles Taylor concerning child soldiers.
Charles Taylor is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. According to Count 9 of the Indictment, Taylor is charged with conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 in Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996 through January 18, 2002.
Specifically, the prosecution accuses Taylor of assisting, encouraging and directing the RUF, AFRC, AFRC/RUF Junta and/or Liberian fighters to conscript and enlist children under the age of 15 “to participate in active hostilities.”
These actions are punishable under Article 4 (c) of the Special Court Statute for Sierra Leone.
Under this Article the Special Court has the power to prosecute those that violate international humanitarian law including, “Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in hostilities.”
According to CharlesTaylor.org, which has been covering the trial from the beginning and provides daily, weekly and monthly summaries on the trial, Charles Taylor was leader of the from 1989 to 1997 and from 1997 to 2003, he was the democratic president of Liberia.
As ChildSoldierRelief.com wrote in February 2009, the Special Court for Sierra Leone is a collaboration between international and national justice, set up to try those accused of committing war crimes in the .