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(1) the Congress joins the international community in

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(A) condemning the use of children as sol

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diers by governmental and nongovernmental armed forces worldwide;

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(B) welcoming the optional protocol as a critical first step in ending the use of children

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as soldiers; and

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that once it is signed, the Senate should ratify the protocol as quickly as possible;

(B) the President and the Congress should work together to enact a law that establishes a fund for the rehabilitation and reintegration into society of child soldiers; and

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(C) the Departments of State and Defense

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should undertake all possible efforts to per

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suade and encourage other governments to ratify and endorse the new optional protocol on the

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(COMMITTEE PRINT]

JUNE 28, 1999

[Showing H. Con. Res. 348 As Reported by the Subcommittee

on International Operations and Human Rights)

106TH CONGRESS

2D SESSION

H. CON. RES. 348

Expressing condemnation of the use of children as soldiers and expressing

the belief that the United States should support and, where possible, lead etforts to end this abuse of human rights.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

JUNE 7, 2000
Mr. LEWIS of Georgia (for himself, Mr. PORTER, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. PAYNE,

Mr. LAHOOD, Mr. ENGLISH, Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania, Mrs.
CHRISTENSEN, Mr. GILLMOR, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. MoGOVERN, Ms. NOR-
TON, Mr. CAPUANO, Ms. LOFGREN, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. BERMAN, Mr.
SANDERS, Mr. CROWLEY, Mr. McDERMOTT, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. STARK,
Mr. OWENS, MA. SLAUGHTER, Mr. ALLEN, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Is-
land, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mrs. MORELLA, Mr. MOAKLEY, MB. RIVERS, Mrs.
MEEK of Florida, Ms. PELOSI, Ms. Lee, and Mr. GONZALEZ) submitted
the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee
on International Relations

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Expressing condemnation of the use of children as soldiers

and expressing the belief that the United States should

Jun 23, 2000 (3:18 PM)

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support and, where possible, lead efforts to end this abuse of human rights.

Whereas in the year 2000 approximately 300,000 individuals

under the age of 18 are participating in armed conflict

in more than 30 countries worldwide; Whereas many of these children are forcibly conscripted

through kidnapping or coercion, while others join military units due to economic necessity, to avenge the loss of a

family member, or for their own personal safety; Whereas many military commanders frequently force child

soldiers to commit gruesome acts of ritual killings or torture against their enemies, including against other chil

dren; Whereas many military commanders separate children from

their families in order to foster dependence on military units and leaders, leaving children vulnerable to manipulation, deep traumatization, and in need of psychological

counseling and rehabilitation; Whereas child soldiers are exposed to hazardous conditions

and risk physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, malnutrition, deformed backs and shoulders from carrying overweight loads, and respiratory and skin infec

tions; Whereas many young female soldiers face the additional psy

chological and physical horrors of rape and sexual abuse, being enslaved for sexual purposes by militia commanders, and forced to endure severe social stigma

should they return home; Whereas children in northern Uganda contime to be kid

napped by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which is supported and funded by the Government of Sudan and

June 28, 2000 (3:16 PM)

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which has committed and continues to commit gross human rights violations in Uganda;

Whereas children in Sri Lanka have been forcibly recruited

by the opposition Tamil Tigers movement and forced to

kill or be killed in the armed conflict in that country, Whereas an estimated 7,000 child soldiers have been involved

in the conflict in Sierra Leone, some as young as age 10, with many being forced to commit extrajudicial executions, torture, rape, and amputations for the rebel Revo

lutionary United Front; Whereas on January 21, 2000, in Geneva, a United Nations

Working Group, including representatives from more than eighty governments including the United States, reached consensus on an optional protocol on the use of

child soldiers; Whereas this optional protcol will raise the international min

imum age for conscription to age eighteen and will require governments to take all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces under the age of eighteen do not participate directly in combat, prohibit the recruitment and use in armed conflict of persons under the age of eighteen by non-governmental armed forces, encourage governments to raise the minimum legal age for voluntary recruits above the current standard of 15 and, commits governments to support the demobilization and rehabilitation of child soldiers, and when

possible, to allocate resources to this purpose; Whereas on October 29, 1998, United Nations Secretary

General Kofi Annan set minimum age requirements for United Nations peacekeeping personnel that are made available by member nations of the United Nations;

June 23, 2000 13:16 PM)

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Whereas the participating States of the Organization for Se

curity and Cooperation in Europe, in the 1999 Charter for European Security signed in Istanbul, Turkey, committed themselves to “develop and implement measures to promote the rights and interests of children in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including refugees and internally displaced children” and to "look at ways of preventing forced or compulsory recruitment for use in

armed conflict of persons under 18 years of age"; Whereas United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peace

keeping, Bernard Miyet, announced in the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly that contributing governments of member nations were asked not to send civilian police and military observers under the age of 25, and that troops in national contingents should preferably be at least 21 years of age but in no case should they be

younger than 18 years of age; Whereas on Angast 25, 1999, the United Nations Security

Council unanimously passed Resolution 1261 (1999) con

demning the use of children in armed conflicts; Whereas in addressing the Security Council, the Special Rep

resentative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, urged the adoption of a global three-pronged approach to combat the use of chil. dren in armed conflict, first to raise the age limit for recruitment and participation in armed conflict from the present age of 15 to the age of 18, second, to increase international pressure on armed groups which currently abuse children, and third to address the political, social, and economic factors which create an environment where children are induced by appeal of ideology or by socioeconomic collapse to become child soldiers;

June 28, 2000 13:16 PM)

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