Quick5-min

Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

By: Dustin Johnson

Read some of the top stories we are following around the world this week.

What should Europe do with the children of ISIS?

The 9-year-old boy didn’t like school. He didn’t like the other children, because he knew what they really were: evil unbelievers who deserved to die. So he did what he was trained to do — he attacked them. He was removed from the building on his first day back.

Source:
New York Times, July 23rd

Freed from ISIS, Yazidi women return in ‘severe shock’

The 16-year-old lies on her side on a mattress on the floor, unable to hold up her head. Her uncle props her up to drink water, but she can barely swallow. Her voice is so weak, he places his ear directly over her mouth to hear her.

Source:
The New York Times, July 27th

‘If you are old enough to carry a gun, you are old enough to be a soldier’

David Zelu, not yet 16 years old, looks up, smiles, and stretches his arms to the sky where the sun is finally breaking through the clouds.

Source:
The Guardian, July 24th

Escaping Boko Haram: The mother who hid her child in a ditch for nine months

When she heard reports that Boko Haram was approaching her home town three years ago, Zainabeu Hamayaji had to think quickly.

Source:
The Irish Times, July 22nd

Children pay high price in fight to take Raqqa from ISIS

Seven weeks into US-backed operations to capture Raqqa from so-called Islamic State (ISIS), more than 100 children are among the many civilians reported killed by heavy Coalition airstrikes and artillery fire targeting the city – as well as in actions by proxy SDF forces on the ground, and from attacks by ISIS itself.

Source:
Airwars, July 28th

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Quick5-min

Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

By: Dustin Johnson

Read some of the top stories we are following around the world this week.

As CAR peace deal unravels, uncertainty looms for thousands of child soldiers

The ancient gilded room of a Catholic community group in Rome was perhaps an unlikely setting for a crucial meeting on the Central African Republic (CAR). But this June, representatives from the Central African government and 13 armed groups gathered in the headquarters of the Saint’ Egidio peace group where they signed a peace accord.

Source:
African Arguments, July 13th

Orphans of Isis emerge from rubble of battle to face angry, vengeful troops

Caked in dust, dazed and emaciated, the two young sons of an Isis foreign fighter squatted in the rubble beside their injured father, silent, staring listlessly into the middle distance as they waited to learn their fate.

Source:
The Times, July 19th

In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

She had no body to bury, so the grieving mother kneeled in the dirt outside her small hut, recited psalms and simply traced her finger over the uneven earth.

Source:
AP, July 21st

Lord’s Resistance Army increasingly active, UN warns

The United Nations is warning of increasing activity by an African rebel group led by one of the world’s most wanted men after the United States and Uganda recently gave up their pursuit.

Source:
Bloomberg, July 13th

UN warned not to whitewash ‘grave violations against children’ in Yemen

Charities have urged the UN to name and shame the Saudi-led coalition over child rights violations in Yemen after research showed more than 120 children were killed or maimed in airstrikes by the alliance last year.

Source:
The Guardian, July 20th

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Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

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Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

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Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

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Quick 5: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in the News

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Apply Now: Development Officer

Position: Development Officer

Organization: The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative at Dalhousie University

Position Summary:

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is seeking a passionate and high-performing fundraising professional to join as their Development Officer. This professional will lead the philanthropic outreach to donors in support of the Dallaire Initiative’s strategic priorities. Working closely with leadership, the Development Officer will formulate and implement a comprehensive fundraising program designed to engage and steward donors. Core to the Development Officer’s role is to identify, qualify, and solicit prospective major gift donors on behalf of the Dallaire Initiative in coordination with Dalhousie University.

The Development Officer will work in concert with Dallaire Initiative and Dalhousie’s leaders to achieve ambitious fundraising goals. The new Development Officer will be a member of a professional team that is supported by and works closely with Dallaire Initiative leaders and program staff, and research, communications and administrative specialists in the University’s central Office of Advancement.

Requirements:

  • Working with the Executive Director and Advancement senior leadership, to identify fundraising priorities and set an achievable annual fundraising goal for the Dallaire Initiative.
  • Designing, implementing, managing and soliciting specific major gifts.
  • Identifying, researching and developing grant proposals for funders (private or public sector).
  • Communicating and facilitating the processing of gifts and grants with internal departments and stakeholders.
  • Stewarding and cultivating 100 – 150 major gift prospects annually. The Development Officer will be in regular contact with these prospects.
  • Developing an event planning component of the overall fundraising strategy that raises the Dallaire Initiative profile and supports fundraising locally, nationally, and/or internationally.

Qualifications:

  • Significant progressive experience in a fundraising, business development, or international development, preferably in a post-secondary education setting.
  • A bachelor or master’s degree in a relevant field (international development, political science, communications, management).
  • Proven communication skills (written, oral) in English required, and French skills are a strong asset.
  • Previous work with government or large foundation grants an asset.
  • Must have the ability to travel within North America and internationally.

Status: 37.5 hours/week

Pay Scale: $60,000- $70,000

Start Date: ASAP

This is a 1 year term position with possibility of renewal depending on funding availability.

Deadline for application: Please apply by June 14, 2017.

Interested parties should forward a cover letter, current CV and contact information of 2-3 references to: Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, care of [email protected]

We thank all applicants; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Aboriginal people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit www.dal.ca/respect.

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Sierra Leone Education Project

Dustin Johnson

Students doing a story mapping exercise in Makeni. Photo by Dustin Johnson

By: Dustin Johnson

During the first week of April, our research officer Dustin Johnson visited Sierra Leone to conduct an initial round of monitoring and evaluation of the Dallaire Initiative’s education project. Along with staff from our in-country partner, Pikin-to-Pikin Movement, he visited the three primary schools in Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts where the project is being piloted.

At each school, 48 students from grades 3 to 5 are members of a Dallaire Initiative Peace Club. Through drama, songs, and discussions, the students learn about peace, child protection, and preventing interpersonal violence, and then spread these messages among the other students, to other schools, at home, and in the community. At each school, Dustin and Pikin-to-Pikin staff conducted mapping exercises, group interviews with the students, and one-on-one interviews with the teachers who coordinate the clubs and local Pikin-to-Pikin staff to gather information on the project from a different perspective.

From the responses provided by the students, staff, and teachers, it is clear that the project is already beginning to have an impact on the students, the school, and their communities. The messages disseminated in the clubs appears to be causing behaviour change among the students, including reducing bullying and fighting, and encouraging them to talk to their friends and intervene to prevent this kind of behaviour. Many of the students also reported talking to their parents about peace and what they learned in the clubs, encouraging them to reduce conflict and abuse in the home.

The clubs also undertake activities like visiting other schools to spread their message, tackling fighting that occurs at sporting matches and other events between schools, and visiting local courts and chiefs to learn more about conflict resolution institutions and encourage their use.

Overall, the project so far is a success and appears to already be having an impact. As time goes on, further assessments will better reveal the impact on the wider community and demonstrate the importance of this approach of working directly with children to build peace in the community and the country.

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Cover-photo-small-arms

The Arms Trade and Child Soldiering

Dustin Johnson

By: Dustin Johnson

Header photo credit: UN Photo/Patricia Esteve

The image most commonly brought to mind by the phrase child soldier is that of a boy holding an AK-47 assault rifle. While not every child soldiers carry a gun, the availability of small arms and light weapons has helped precipitate the security concern child soldiers pose.

The importance of small arms to the use of child soldiers has always been acknowledged by campaigners and the UN, who point out that modern assault rifles are simple, cheap, and relatively light. A child can learn to operate and maintain them in under an hour proficiently. Consequently, a child can quickly mobilise into a capable fighter. However, small arms have traditionally been ignored by the international arms control regime, with its focus on heavy weaponry, aircraft, missiles, and weapons of mass destruction.

A recent report from Terre Des Hommes Germany and three other German NGOs highlights how small arms and light weapons produced by German companies end up in the hands of child soldiers in multiple countries. Pathways include the supply of arms to unstable countries where they are later diverted to paramilitary groups, or looted by armed groups, using child soldiers. German guns, built under license in secondary states, can be exported to third countries where they fall into the hands of child soldiers. Loopholes in arms control legislation and the government placing other factors ahead of child soldiers in the decision to grant export licenses. While the longevity of firearms, with German-made guns from as early as the Second World War still being used in conflicts worldwide.

The issue of small arms and light weapons are certainly not a purely German problem though. Many countries make and export small arms around the world, and some governments directly supply foreign armed groups despite the use of child soldiers. Weapons from countries such as the USChina, Iran, and Sudan end up in the hands of armed groups that use child soldiers around the world, whether as the result of intentionally supplying them, or their diversion by corrupt officials or their looting from government caches. The complex interaction of the legal arms trade, illegal arms trafficking, and insecurity and corruption too often leads to weapons intended for legitimate state security forces ending up in the hands of children.

The report puts forwards three key recommendations, which are relevant to all countries engaged in the manufacture and trade of small arms, light weapons, their components and ammunition:

  • Make national arms export requirements more restrictive, and not let strategic or economic interests override child protection when it comes to their implementation;
  • Restrict military training and aid for armed forces that use child soldiers; and
  • Push for the implementation of better international treaties and safeguards on the arms trade, such as the Arms Trade Treaty.

Preventing the use of child soldiers requires a multifaceted approach, and this report highlights important steps that national governments can take to reduce the access to weapons for armed groups and forces that use child soldiers.

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