Child Soldiers: News Release on Upcoming Maputo Conference, 4/7/99

Child Soldiers: News Release on Upcoming Maputo Conference, 4/7/99


News Release

The International Save the Children Alliance and the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers are pleased to announce the convening of an African Conference on the Use of Children as Soldiers in Maputo from 19-22 April at the Hotel Rovuma in Maputo. The aim of the Conference, which is being hosted by the Government of Mozambique, is to promote concrete action to end the military recruitment and participation in armed conflict of all children under 18 years of age. This is in accordance with regional standards in Africa as well as national legislation in the overwhelming majority of Africa countries.

Among the speakers will be Ms Graca Machel, President of the Community Development Foundation in Mozambique, Mr. Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and Ms Angelina Atyam, Founder Member of Concerned Parents Association of Uganda, and winner of the UN Human Rights Prize for 1998. More than 150 participants are expected to attend the Conference, which will bring together African Governments, representatives of regional and intergovernmental organisations, including the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as African and international non-governmental organisations. Key governments from other regions of the world are also participating.

The Conference, the first of four regional gatherings to be convened by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in 1999, will reflect on newly conducted research into national recruitment legislation and practice throughout Africa, as well as child participation in both governmental and non-governmental armed forces in conflicts across the continent. The research study will be formally launched on 19 April, the first day of the Conference. Other regional conferences will take place in Latin America and the Caribbean (July), Europe (September), and Asia (October).

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 and is headed by a Steering Committee of seven international NGOs: Amnesty International, Defence for Children International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre des Hommes, the International Save the Children Alliance, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Quakers United Nations Office, Geneva. In addition, national coalitions have been set up in more than 20 countries. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and UNICEF have observer status with the Coalition.

Maputo, 1 April 1999

For further information please contact Ms Kai Crooks, Conference Coordinator or Ms Mali Nilsson, Project Coordinator, at the Conference Secretariat, c/o UNICEF, Tel: (2581) 491684/7; Fax: (2581) 491679; E-mail:

From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 17:30:50 +0300 Subject: Child Soldiers: News release on upcoming Maputo conference [19990407]

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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