In conflict zones from Somalia to South Sudan, government armies and rebel groups are using child soldiers. In a new CNN op-ed, Rachel Stohl and Jo Becker argue that the Child Soldiers Prevention Act gives the White House a powerful tool in the effort to end the recruitment and exploitation of children as soldiers. As seen in Chad and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they say, America's military assistance can be a lever to push countries to end the use of children in their national armies.
This week, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make his annual announcement about the issue, on whether he will waive sanctions on military foreign aid under U.S. law for any of the eight governments currently on the State Department's list for using child soldiers… In South Sudan, child recruitment spiked sharply last year, with estimates that 12,000 children were fighting with both government and non-state armed groups. In Yemen, where UNICEF has estimated that one-third of all fighters are under 18, all sides to the ongoing conflict, including the government, use child soldiers. Yet both governments have received millions of dollars in U.S. military assistance…
Read the entire op-ed on CNN.