Printer Friendly

Child Soldiers Prevention Act list.

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) was signed into law on December 23, 2008 (Title IV of Pub. L. 110-457), and took effect on June 21, 2009. The CSPA requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report of a list of foreign governments identified during the previous year as having governmental armed forces or government-supported armed groups that recruit and use child soldiers, as defined in the act. These determinations cover the reporting period beginning April 1, 2016, and ending March 31, 2017.

For the purpose of the CSPA, and generally consistent with the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the term "child soldier" means:

(i) any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed forces;

(ii) any person under 18 years of age who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces;

(iii) any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces; or

(iv) any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state.

The term "child soldier" includes any person described in clauses (ii), (iii), or (iv) who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a "cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave."

Governments identified on the list are subject to restrictions, in the following fiscal year, on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment. The CSPA, as amended, prohibits assistance to governments that are identified in the list under the following authorities: International Military Education and Training, Foreign Military Financing, Excess Defense Articles, and Peacekeeping Operations, with exceptions for some programs undertaken pursuant to the Peacekeeping Operations authority. The CSPA also prohibits the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of military equipment to such governments. Beginning October 1, 2017, and effective throughout Fiscal Year 2018, these restrictions will apply to the listed countries, absent a presidential national interest waiver, applicable exception, or reinstatement of assistance pursuant to the terms of the CSPA. The determination to include a government in the CSPA list is informed by a range of sources, including first-hand observation by U.S. government personnel and research and credible reporting from various UN entities, international organizations, local and international NGOs, and international media outlets.

The 2017 CSPA List includes governments in the following countries:

1. Democratic Republic of Congo

2. Mali

3. Nigeria

4. Somalia

5. South Sudan

6. Sudan

7. Syria

8. Yemen


Boko Haram attacked Abdul's village and kidnapped him when he was 14 years old. They trained him to handle assault weapons such as machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, and rocket-propelled grenades. The group kept him and forced him to carry out various operations during which he was forced to kill 18 civilians. They also forced Abdul to gather intelligence on government forces, where he risked being recognized and prosecuted as a Boko Haram member. After being forced to fight for three years, Abdul decided to flee while on a spying mission, but was recognized as Boko Haram and arrested when he entered an internally displaced persons camp to look for his parents.

"I was forced literally to kill my best friend as an initiation process into the army. That's something I will never forget, and I still fight with every single day."

--Michel Chikwanine, former child soldier, DRC

Caption: Former anti-Balaka child soldiers wait to be released as part of a UN-negotiated deal in the Central African Republic. Some governments and government-supported militias in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries force children to serve as front-line soldiers or servants, and to guard checkpoints.

Caption: A child soldier trains in a Syrian training camp. Recruitment and use of children in combat in Syria continues to increase. Syrian government forces, pro-regime militias, and armed groups, including ISIS, continue to recruit and use boys and girls as soldiers, human shields, suicide bombers, and executioners, as well as to fill supporting roles.
COPYRIGHT 2017 U.S. Department of State
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Trafficking in Persons
Date:Jun 1, 2017
Previous Article:Human trafficking: a public health perspective.
Next Article:Assisting male survivors of human trafficking.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters