In a day-long open meeting at the UN, officials discussed ways to finally end the terrible scourge of child soldiers. From the UN News Center

The Security Council must “take concrete and targeted measures” against those parties that persistently use or abuse children during armed conflicts around the world, the United Nations envoy on the issue said today, urging that well-meaning words be transformed into effective actions.

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Addressing the Council during a day-long open debate, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy noted the ongoing impunity for those persistent violators that use or abuse children during wars.

From the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Myanmar and from Sri Lanka to Uganda, parties to armed conflicts kill, maim, abduct or sexually assault children; deny humanitarian access to children in need; and recruit and use child soldiers. In total, at least 58 parties are known to be offenders.

Read more. Edith Lederer is also on the story.

(A child soldier in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern town of Malindi on December 2003. REUTERS/Finbarr O’ Reilly, courtesy www.alertnet.org)

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