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Regional conference on ending recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups: contributing to peace, justice, & development

WHO: 
His Excellency Idriss Deby Itno, President of Chad,

Minister of Social Affairs,Chad, Madame Ngarmbatina Odjimbeye Soukate  

UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War, former child soldier in Sierra Leone and best-selling author, Ishmael Beah,

Emmanuel Jal, International Rap Artist and former child soldier in Sudan

WHAT: 
Conference jointly organized by the Government of Chad and UNICEF to obtain further commitment from countries to end recruitment of child soldiers and engage in social reinsertion programmes contributing to stability and peace in Central Africa. The main participating countries at the conference are: Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria and Niger. There will also be testimonies from former child soldiers from Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The conference will conclude with the N’Djamena Declaration.
The Declaration will seek to bind governments to stop recruitment of children in armed forces and groups and will ensure commitment to create better opportunities for former child soldiers in their education and employment.

WHERE:

  1. Conference Opening Ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N’Djamena June 7, 2010 - 10am-12:00pm
  2. Advocacy Event: Live music concert featuring local and regional artists, N’Djamena, 8 June, 2010 – 17:00:21:00
  3. Closing Ceremony, Hotel Kempinski, N’Djamena, 9 June, 2010 – 11:00am - 12:00 pm
  4. Joint Press conference, Hotel Kempinski, N’Djamena, 9 June, 2010 – 15:00:16:00

WHEN:
 Conference dates June 7-9, 2010

WHY:
Chad, The Central African Republic, Nigeria and Sudan have been experiencing internal armed conflicts with cross border repercussions. Manipulation, abuse and exploitation of children by armed groups and networks has been reported in all of these countries. This situation is further aggravated by poverty.

UN Security Council Resolutions 1612 and 1882 call for an end to the recruitment and use of children in armed forces and groups.  The conflict in Darfur region of Sudan and unrest in the other countries have also resulted in the proliferation of small arms, light weapons, organized crime and unexploded ordnances. Nigeria periodically faces sectarian violence with serious consequences on children’s rights.  The influx of refugees from neighbouring countries and movements of people uprooted due to conflict also lead to serious child protection challenges. All these countries share vast and porous borders that are difficult to monitor and conducive to forced or negotiated recruitment, exploitation and abuse of vulnerable children. A lack of educational and livelihood opportunities increases the risks for children in border areas.

The Conference follows the announcement on 25 May 2010 of a two year campaign calling for the universal ratification of the Optional Protocol  to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on protection for children in armed conflict. 

Attn:Broadcasters: Video packages, B-roll and high resolution photographs will be available on: www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef

For further information and interviews, please contact:
Marie Claire Yaya, UNICEF Media, Chad,
Tel +235 66 23481

Hector Calderon, UNICEF Media, Chad,
Tel +235 634 12 450

Salma Zulfiqar, UNICEF Media, Chad,
Tel +235 6620 2957

Gaelle Bausson, UNICEF Media, West and Central Africa,
Tel + 221 338 69 56 42


 

 

 

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