Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Pressure the South Sudan government to stop using child soldiers.
The government of South Sudan is recruiting boys as young as thirteen to participate in the ongoing conflict in the country, according to Human Rights Watch. This war is ruining the lives of young boys, who should be going to school and preparing for successful lives ahead. Daniel Bekele, the African director at Human Rights Watch, says that although the government and opposition forces have promised to stop using child soldiers, they have yet to follow through with this promise.
Human Rights Watch reports that, in many cases, the boys are taken by force. One young man told of how he was taken and thrown into a truck with six other children. When they got to the battlefield, they were given uniforms and weapons, and were forced to fight. Authorities on both sides of the fight are using child soldiers, and they need to be brought to justice. The situation could be improved if the government of South Sudan ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets a minimum age of eighteen for recruitment into the military.
Sign this petition to ask President Obama to call out Sudanese authorities on these atrocious war crimes, and ask him to put pressure on the government of South Sudan to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Dear President Obama,
Terrible war crimes are taking place in South Sudan; young boys on both sides of the conflict are being recruited into the military to fight. Sometimes their recruitment is voluntary, but Human Rights Watch reports instances of children being taken by force. This is a supreme act of cowardice on the part of the Sudanese authorities. There is no good reason why children should have their lives ruined over some petty conflict. These boys are being deprived of their most fundamental and sacred right, the right to enjoy their childhood years while pursuing their education.
Please use your power as a world leader to pressure the government of South Sudan to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is a protocol that would keep children under eighteen from participating in armed conflict. I also ask that you do not allow these crimes to go unpunished. Please do everything in your power to make sure that the Sudanese authorities are brought to justice for war crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Moyan Brenn via Flickr