Committee: Disarmament

Question of: Child Soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted by: France

Deeply concerned that there are still over 150,000 child soldiers who are being forcefully recruited to join armies in Sub-Saharan countries such as the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda,

Recognising that psychological trauma due to their experiences affects these children, especially the trauma caused to female child soldiers who are victims of sexual violence,

Alarmed by the psychological impact such troops have on the minds of victimised children so much as convincing them into killing family members, thereby making them unwelcome in their communities later,

Aware that children may enlist into such armies because they are often seeking the power that soldiers possess or are adversely affected by poverty, famine and drought conditions,

Noting further that recruited children are unable to receive valuable education and are taught to advocate violence instead,

1. Requests that the criteria needed to join the United Nations is reviewed to include the banning of rape and sexual violence which will make sure countries in which this is a problem will take government action against such brutality;
2. Recommends that a quarter of the funds that are made available by the IMF to UNIFEM are used in providing medical care for females who have been victims of sexual violence;
3. Emphasises the need for education, therefore encourages all member states to work for better education facilities in the Sub-Saharan area. This can be done by:
a. using IMF funds to increase the availability of educational facilities via the construction of newer school buildings, starting training schemes for teachers and administrative staff and encouraging farming families to send their children to school,
b. the funds must be used by charities such as Mission Direct and Support Africa in order to prevent them from being mishandled or corruptly used by government officials,
c. educating children, from an early age, about the advantages of higher education and learning, providing them with a variety of career options, thereby preventing them from adopting militant lifestyles,
4. Expresses its hope that the UN will undergo an extensive examination of all countries who have signed the Paris Principles, declaring their agreement to abolish child soldiers. This can be done by:
a. carrying out detailed investigations in countries believed to be involved in recruiting child armies,
b. strictly enforcing sanctions on foreign aid and transfer payments so that governments are forced to take action against any such troop recruitment centres,
c. establishing a UNICEF office in such countries to monitor the progress of any government projects aimed at targeting child recruitment agencies,
5 Calls upon the UN to send specialists to help with the problems that child soldiers have faced at war. This can be done by:
a. deploying fully trained doctors to these countries to set up hospitals in rural areas to treat children who have obtained fatal injuries or have suffered post-traumatic stress,
b. these specialists must also help the children integrate back into their community after leaving the armies,
6. Strongly suggests that funds from the IMF are used by charities such as Aid for Africa and Outreach. This is to:
a. begin projects aimed at improving their living conditions with regards to food, water and sanitation, so that children do not see joining the army as a necessity in order to be sure of nourishment,
b. enable children to stay at home and have an education, so more jobs will be open to them,
c. work on building stronger and more secure houses to reduce the risk of kidnapping from vulnerable villages,
7. Suggests that training schemes be introduced to train African workers to become qualified in specialist areas, so that African countries do not need to rely on foreign aid, but can recognise and solve future problems, thereby working within their countries to inhibit the number of child soldiers.

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