Ethiopia Credited For Efforts to Achieve Prohibition on Use of Children in Hostilities


ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 26 (WIC) The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers has credited several world governments including Ethiopia for their efforts to achieve a prohibition on any recruitment or use of children in hostilities. According to M2 Press Wire, a London-based worldwide news service, the other countries credited for this worthy effort are Switzerland, Belgium, Uruguay, Portugal, Sweden, Guatemala, the Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Mozambique and Finland.


According to the news service, world governments, at the end of six years of negotiations, have finally agreed to ban the use of children under the age of eighteen in armed conflicts. This treaty applies to both national armed forces and to non-governmental armed groups although it failed to establish eighteen as the minimum age for voluntary recruitment in government armed forces, the news service said.


"This is a great advance for children around the world," said Jo-Becker, steering committee chair of the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.


"Unfortunately, many governments based their positions on narrow military interests, rather than the best interests of children," he said.


The International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers is headed by a Steering Committee composed of ten regional and international NGOs: Amnesty International, African Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Defense for Children International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre des Hommes, International Service, Latin American Coalition to Stop the Use of the Child Soldiers, Quaker United National office-Geneva and World Vision International.


The Steering Committee meets four times a year to agree on Coalition policy and strategy.