Don’t Permit Countries That Use Child Soldiers to Escape Accountability

Target: Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State

Goal: Ensure countries which allow child soldiers are held accountable regardless of American interests.

The United States is poised to remove Burma and Iraq from the list of countries which allow child soldiers. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his own officials and long-term diplomats, in possible violation of federal law.

Passed in 2008, the Child Soldier Prevention Act requires publication of countries who use child soldiers. Those nations are ineligible to receive most types of military support from the United States. Burma has been a fixture on the list since 2008, and Human Rights organizations report that children as young as 14 are still forced to serve.

The Obama Administration granted Iraq a waiver which enabled the government to receive over $3 billion in military aid in 2016, despite its use of child soldiers to combat ISIS. This established a dangerous precedent where countries directly in service to American interests are not held accountable for putting children in combat.

Bipartisan apathy toward child soldiers weakens America’s standing in the world. Please sign the below petition calling on the Trump Administration to ensure countries which engage in this practice are both identified and declared ineligible to receive aid from the United States.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Tillerson,

I am writing to urge you to reconsider removing Burma and Iraq from the list of countries which use child soldiers. Human rights organizations have widely reported that children as young as 14 continue to be placed in combat. As you are aware, their removal would violate the Child Soldier Prevention Act.

The Obama Administration established a dangerous precedent when it allowed Iraq to continue receiving military aid despite allowing child soldiers. This would only be amplified by a complete removal from identification. We cannot continue putting our interests above basic morality.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  WatchDuck

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One Comment

  1. So America is financially supporting – with taxpayers’ money – governments that recruit and use child soldiers. How disgusting!!!

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472 Signatures

  • Ann Blank
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