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Military Use of Children: Lord's Resistance Army Watch

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    (Original post by taigan)
    The Republic of Turkey thanks Liberia for bringing these significant issues forward.

    Regarding the delegate of Liberia's first question, I believe that to prevent these crimes occurring, all governments globally need to take action. Firstly, the governments need to recognize what their objectives are. By giving priority to children under 18, the government can begin to slowly demobilize armed groups. To do this effectively, a number of measures must be taken:

    1) Staff that will be involved in the process need to be trained. This involves police forces, therapists etc.
    2) Staff need to be equipped thoroughly.
    3) Ensure that the demobilization package is of a long-term, sustaining nature rather than in the form of an immediate “reward”.

    Once these steps have been taken, the children associated with military action will be re-integrated into their communities. This is the answer to Liberia's second question, however, is the more difficult one to carry out.

    Firstly, the child's family will need to be traced. To do this, the child will have to be interviewed. Interviewing the child will be a sensitive issue. To ease tension, the child will be interviewed individually and in his/her mother's tongue.

    Following a health check on the children, they will be integrated into their communities. To ensure that they are fully accepted and not looked down upon, the Republic of Turkey suggests the following steps:
    1) Re-Establishing the emotional link between child and family is very significant. If not done, the community will stigmatize these children.
    2) Programmes responding to the needs of the children should be developed. They should seek to enhance the self-esteem of children, promote their capacity to protect their own integrity and to construct a positive life.
    3) The families accepting these children back cannot be expected to do so without some kind of economic aid
    4) Institutionalization should be used as a last resort.

    The Republic of Turkey would once again like to thank Liberia for raising these points. Any feedback would be appreciated by other nations. Hopefully, a Plan of Action can be drawn up soon.

    (OOC) wow... my fingers hurt now... (/OOC)
    The Republic of Liberia would like to thank the Republic of Turkey for answering the questions posed.

    You touch upon a very important process called DDRR. It is a process that came out of UNMIL - disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation, and reintegration of those who fought in the civil war. It came after many years and many (failed) UN missions. Emphasizing the rehabilitation and reintegration of children, they are taken from demobilisation sites to safe camps where sensitization messages are used to promote the rights of both children and women. Following that, children were then reunited with their families (if they were still alive), both in Liberia and neighbouring countries where others were taken from. By all accounts it was very successful, and the Republic of Liberia would support the use of this process in other conflict zones.

    I would like to pose a couple of questions regarding your response.

    You mention that some sort of economic aid or reward should be given to families who are willing to accept the children back into their lives. Upon disarmament/demobilisation, all rebels (in Liberia) were given a financial reward for surrendering their weapons. Are you suggesting that more money be given to families of child soldiers? Please consider that during UN missions we not only work to create peace, but we also help to rebuild the nation.

    You also mentioned that institutionalization be used as a last resort. Can you please expand on what you mean by that? Should this be considered if no family can be found? Or if the crimes committed by these children are so horrendous?

    Finally, you have great demobilisation strategies the revolve around re-establishing a rule of law during conflict. However, the question was rather is there any way that we can prevent the use of child soldiers? Those groups that tend to use child soldiers are armed rebels, and therefore do not fall under international laws.

    [ooc] hmmm have I strayed at all? I hope my questions make sense/are alright? On the last point I don't think there is really any way to prevent the use of child soldiers, but rather ways to protect them after conflict - as I have shown above. If anyone has any ideas on how to prevent it however, I would like to hear them. [/ooc]
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    The Republic of Turkey would like to thank Liberia for its input. These questions ask show that Liberia has a great understanding of the processes needed to resolve the issue of child soldiers.

    The reason I stated that some economic aid should be given to the families of child soldiers is because they may be reluctant to accept their children back into the society at first. They have lived without these children for such a long time that they may feel that they are better off and have moved on. However, this delegate understands The Republic of Liberia's worries and so encourages that this is not overly-done. Also, the re-integration of the children into the communities can create jobs and wealth.

    The Republic of Liberia was right to ask about the institutionalization process. This delegate realizes now that the statement was rather vague. It should have been:
    "4) Institutionalization should be used as a last resort and for a minimum amount of time. It should only be practiced if the children have been irrevocably influenced or traumatized. It should not be used if the families cannot be found. In this case, the child should still be integrated back into their communities".

    The Republic of Turkey thanks Liberia for raising this point. The Republic of Turkey also shares Liberia's opinion that there really isn't any method of preventing the use of child soldiers. However, if the rebels are caught soon and demobilized early, this crime should not escalate into something permanent.

    (OOC) Actually, I found your enquiries to be spot on. I don't think you strayed at all from the main issue. If anything, you helped clarify what the actual problem was. (/OOC)
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    (Original post by taigan)
    The Republic of Turkey would like to thank Liberia for its input. These questions ask show that Liberia has a great understanding of the processes needed to resolve the issue of child soldiers.

    The reason I stated that some economic aid should be given to the families of child soldiers is because they may be reluctant to accept their children back into the society at first. They have lived without these children for such a long time that they may feel that they are better off and have moved on. However, this delegate understands The Republic of Liberia's worries and so encourages that this is not overly-done. Also, the re-integration of the children into the communities can create jobs and wealth.

    The Republic of Liberia was right to ask about the institutionalization process. This delegate realizes now that the statement was rather vague. It should have been:
    "4) Institutionalization should be used as a last resort and for a minimum amount of time. It should only be practiced if the children have been irrevocably influenced or traumatized. It should not be used if the families cannot be found. In this case, the child should still be integrated back into their communities".

    The Republic of Turkey thanks Liberia for raising this point. The Republic of Turkey also shares Liberia's opinion that there really isn't any method of preventing the use of child soldiers. However, if the rebels are caught soon and demobilized early, this crime should not escalate into something permanent.

    (OOC) Actually, I found your enquiries to be spot on. I don't think you strayed at all from the main issue. If anything, you helped clarify what the actual problem was. (/OOC)

    The Republic of Liberia would like to thank the Republic of Turkey for answering my enquiries so thoroughly. The Secretary General has suggested a resolution be drawn up on this issue. The representative of Liberia would be grateful if the representative of Turkey would aid in the writing up of this resolution?
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    In response to the questions raised by the republic of Turkey, Colombia feels that it is necessary at this point and time to deploy peacekeeping troops into the Sudanese region.

    However, Colombia urges all UN member states to take on board that this is a rather a volatile situation that can easily be inflamed further. Rather than opposing the rebel groups in Sudan, the UN could perhaps work the Sudanese groups to try to establish what exactly these rebel groups are seeking. If it is independence that both rebel groups and seeking, then perhaps Sudan could be split up into two separate nations, with a view to ending this civil war once and for all.

    The courses of actions that we have described are only ideas, and Colombia would like to hear what other UN member states think of the situation. Also, perhaps this is a matter that is now of out of our hands.

    On a different, but related note, it is somewhat remarkable that the USA spent billions of dollars funding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but, largely failed to take note of the atrocious situation in Sudan.
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    (Original post by KiraMayz)
    In response to the questions raised by the republic of Turkey, Colombia feels that it is necessary at this point and time to deploy peacekeeping troops into the Sudanese region.

    However, Colombia urges all UN member states to take on board that this is a rather a volatile situation that can easily be inflamed further. Rather than opposing the rebel groups in Sudan, the UN could perhaps work the Sudanese groups to try to establish what exactly these rebel groups are seeking. If it is independence that both rebel groups and seeking, then perhaps Sudan could be split up into two separate nations, with a view to ending this civil war once and for all.

    The courses of actions that we have described are only ideas, and Colombia would like to hear what other UN member states think of the situation. Also, perhaps this is a matter that is now of out of our hands.

    On a different, but related note, it is somewhat remarkable that the USA spent billions of dollars funding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but, largely failed to take note of the atrocious situation in Sudan.

    Ms. Colombia do you really think sending peacekeepers to Sudan will work? The UN have been sending peacekeepers for a long time.
    Do you really want to keep sending more when the ones that have been sent have not really done anything?
    The federal republic of Nigeria feels that the peacekeepers are useless and believes that more harsher measures should be used against the rebels.

    Also, why should Sudan be split? Look at the rebels in your country Ms. Colombia. If they wanted a split, would you give it to them? Giving it to the rebels/terrorists would give the victory to them.
    If Sudan was split that would cause more problems than there already are. African countries are not like western countries, we have different tribes in every country, therefore the Federal Republic of Nigeria is against this idea.
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    Ms. Colombia do you really think sending peacekeepers to Sudan will work? The UN have been sending peacekeepers for a long time.
    Do you really want to keep sending more when the ones that have been sent have not really done anything?

    The federal republic of Nigeria feels that the peacekeepers are useless and believes that more harsher measures should be used against the rebels.

    Also, why should Sudan be split? Look at the rebels in your country Ms. Colombia. If they wanted a split, would you give it to them? Giving it to the rebels/terrorists would give the victory to them.

    If Sudan was split that would cause more problems than there already are. African countries are not like western countries, we have different tribes in every country, therefore the Federal Republic of Nigeria is against this idea.
    Does the delegate from Nigeria not agree that doing something about the situation is better than doing absolutely nothing?

    Furthermore, the situation in Colombia is none of your concern.

    Nigeria has made a rather vague and flowery speech about this particular issue in which Nigeria criticized UN peacekeeping operations. You say that "harsher measures" should be taken. What exactly is Nigeria proposing?
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    (Original post by KiraMayz)
    Does the delegate from Nigeria not agree that doing something about the situation is better than doing absolutely nothing?

    Furthermore, the situation in Colombia is none of your concern.

    Nigeria has made a rather vague and flowery speech about this particular issue in which Nigeria criticized UN peacekeeping operations. You say that "harsher measures" should be taken. What exactly is Nigeria proposing?
    The Federal Republic of Nigeria believes that something should be done. Actually it believes that something should have been done a long time ago. The problem is that the government of Sudan do not seem interested in solving their problem, there were even reports of the Sudanese government buying weapons/military vehicles from China.

    The situation in Colombia is just as much as my concern as the situation in Dafur is your concern. Or will you back off and say that the situation in Colombia with the rebels doesn't have an international bearing? But I digress, I was only using the situation in Colombia to make a point.

    The Federal Republic of Nigeria believes that the person/persons responsible for causing the situation to should held accountable, and not with flowery peacekeepers but with force. Then the leader of the group should be taken to face trial at the International Criminal Court. Then there should be an investigation into the government. Does this satisfy you Ms. Colombia?
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    Taking various individuals to the ICC, and initiating an investigation would take months, or even years, by which time, thousands of innocent citizens will die.

    The situation in Colombia is just as much as my concern as the situation in Dafur is your concern. Or will you back off and say that the situation in Colombia with the rebels doesn't have an international bearing? But I digress, I was only using the situation in Colombia to make a point.
    The Colombian government feels that it is in control of any hostile situations in our nation. We do not wish to discuss further the situation in Colombia.

    The situation in Colombia is just as much as my concern as the situation in Dafur is your concern.
    We would like to remind the honorable delegate from Nigeria that it is not in order to voice your own personal opinion on the matter.
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    (Original post by KiraMayz)
    Taking various individuals to the ICC, and initiating an investigation would take months, or even years, by which time, thousands of innocent citizens will die.



    The Colombian government feels that it is in control of any hostile situations in our nation. We do not wish to discuss further the situation in Colombia.



    We would like to remind the honorable delegate from Nigeria that it is not in order to voice your own personal opinion on the matter.
    [ooc] I didnt notice that..sorry![/ooc]

    It may take months for the investigation. However, the Federal Republic of Nigeria feels that this method is better than deploying peacekeepers
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    (Original post by jakemittle)
    The Federal Republic of Nigeria believes that the person/persons responsible for causing the situation to should held accountable, and not with flowery peacekeepers but with force. Then the leader of the group should be taken to face trial at the International Criminal Court. Then there should be an investigation into the government. Does this satisfy you Ms. Colombia?

    The Republic of Liberia does not share the same view as the Republic of Nigeria regarding 'flowery peacekeepers'. Is the Republic of Nigeria so quick to forget the peace and rebuilding in Liberia, due to the United Nations Mission in Liberia? Of course, UN missions in the past have failed, but the UN has learned from their mistakes and continues to build upon the lessons learned from each mission. The UN is needed to re-establish a Rule of Law. Without it, it is irresponsible to even think that the situation can be rectified.
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    Colombia backs Liberia's opinions in this matter.
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    (Original post by rinascimento)
    The Republic of Liberia does not share the same view as the Republic of Nigeria regarding 'flowery peacekeepers'. Is the Republic of Nigeria so quick to forget the peace and rebuilding in Liberia, due to the United Nations Mission in Liberia? Of course, UN missions in the past have failed, but the UN has learned from their mistakes and continues to build upon the lessons learned from each mission. The UN is needed to re-establish a Rule of Law. Without it, it is irresponsible to even think that the situation can be rectified.
    We have not forgotten it. However, the situation in Liberia was different to the situation in Sudan. Peacekeepers have already been sent to the country and it has not worked. So then, why send more peacekeepers? The ICC have already named who they want, enough investigation would reveal the culprits. Is it not easier to do this and then take these people rather than sending in peacekeepers?
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    (Original post by jakemittle)
    We have not forgotten it. However, the situation in Liberia was different to the situation in Sudan. Peacekeepers have already been sent to the country and it has not worked. So then, why send more peacekeepers? The ICC have already named who they want, enough investigation would reveal the culprits. Is it not easier to do this and then take these people rather than sending in peacekeepers?
    So then maybe we need to re-examine our plan for UNAMID? If I'm not mistaken, the ICC can only arrest people under certain circumstances. If that is the case, how on earth do you expect to capture them? No, we must re-establish peace .
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    [ooc] i may be mistaken on the ICC point, so please correct me if I'm wrong. [/ooc]
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    TOP UN OFFICIAL DETAILS ‘TERRIBLE’ YEAR FOR CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT

    It has been a terrible year for children living in situations of armed conflict around the world, the top United Nations official dealing with the issue said today, stressing the need for the international community to address impunity and hold perpetrators accountable.

    “The nature of conflict is changing and civilians are increasingly on the frontline. The toll on children is more brutal than ever,” stated Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

    “Ferocious conflicts in Gaza, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Iraq and Afghanistan have led to high casualty rates and the displacement of a large number of people, especially children,” she reported to the UN Human Rights Council, which is holding its 12th session in Geneva.

    Ms. Coomaraswamy stressed that addressing impunity and holding perpetrators accountable must remain a priority of the international community to halt grave violations against children.

    On the positive side, she drew attention to progress made in some situations of concern where child soldiers were freed.

    She also commended the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1882, which expanded the list of criteria of violations to include those who kill, maim, rape or commit other forms of sexual violence against children in wartime.

    “Action at the international level must, however, also be underpinned by accountability at the national level,” she urged.

    “That includes rigorous investigation and prosecution of those responsible for grave violations against children as well as reforms of national legislation for the protection of children in order to ensure compliance with international norms and standards.”

    Ms. Coomaraswamy called on all parties to conflict to make every effort to better protect children and to make protection of civilians an integral part of military planning.

    She also stressed the need to address protection concerns for children displaced as a result of conflict, including according them the right to education, the liberty of movement, the right to protection against sexual and gender-based violence and the right to basic services.
    A copy of the latest news about children in armed conflict.
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    The Republic of Turkey hopes to draft a Plan of Action to solve the problem of Child Soldiers, and would like to request help drafting this treaty form another delegate. Anyone interested?
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    (Original post by taigan)
    The Republic of Turkey hopes to draft a Plan of Action to solve the problem of Child Soldiers, and would like to request help drafting this treaty form another delegate. Anyone interested?

    The Representative of Liberia would be happy to help. [ooc I've just moved to the UK and am waiting to move into residence, but I would love to work on this with you. Message me and we can work something out? /ooc]
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    I think you two could work fantastically well on this, provided rinascimento isn't too busy with moving. If you two want to draftsomething together, you can always message me with it for review

    Since veggie4life posted a news topic on children in prisons, perhaps you could ask him if he'd be interested?
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    OK, definitely. I'll get to sending round some PMs then...
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    (Original post by UN News)
    BAN URGES IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF CHILDREN ASSOCIATED WITH UGANDAN REBELS

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to work with the United Nations for the immediate release of all children associated with the Ugandan rebel group that is notorious for its abduction and use of child soldiers.

    In his latest report on children and armed conflict in Uganda, Mr. Ban noted that the LRA has not knowingly operated in Ugandan territory since the cessation of hostilities in August 2006.

    However, over the past four years, the group – including “a substantial but unknown” number of Ugandan children associated with its forces – has increasingly moved into neighbouring countries to establish additional bases.

    “Children and their communities in the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic have been victims of attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives and resulted in the disappearance of hundreds of children,” Mr. Ban wrote.

    The Secretary-General encouraged the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict to consider visiting Uganda and the region to assess the impact of its work in the country, as well as to review the regional impact of the LRA’s activities on children.

    “I strongly urge the Lord’s Resistance Army to engage with United Nations country teams in the region for the immediate release of all children associated with its forces,” he added.

    In this connection, he called on his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, to create an advocacy and contact group to help bring about this release as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Ban highlighted that the cooperation with the Ugandan Government has been “very effective” and has allowed the UN and its partners to successfully verify that no more children are present in the ranks of Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) or its auxiliary forces and that no cases of recruitment or use of children have been reported since August 2007.

    Nevertheless, he notes that a number of challenges remain to be addressed to protect children. “I strongly urge the Government of Uganda to prioritize the protection of children in its military actions against LRA elements, either on Ugandan territory or in joint operations in neighbouring countries,” Mr. Ban said.

    The LRA has waged war in northern Uganda against Government forces since the mid-1980s. Both sides have signed several peace agreements, raising hopes of a comprehensive accord to formally end the entire conflict being signed eventually.
    Latest UN opinion on the matter. Anything happening with this?
 
 
 
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