News article from Rwandan’s Leading Daily, The New Times, about our exciting collaboration with the Giants of Africa.
A statement from the the Dallaire Initiative on keeping children at the forefront of Canada’s response to COVID-19 | March 2020
We are reaching out today to communicate with our friends, supporters, partners, and community with a plea to keep children front and centre during this unprecedented and troubling time.
Many messages have been sent in the past few weeks helping us understand what we as individuals must do to protect ourselves and our families from the spread COVID-19. As an organization, we have adhered to and aligned with global and local guidance to protect our staff and their families. However, our collective responsibility toward the vulnerable children around the world remains critical, especially at times like these.
We continue to think of the children – many of whom are facing new challenges. The implications of these challenges should not be overlooked: potential for increased exposure to domestic abuse; children being orphaned by parents who succumb to COVID-19; increased instances of teen pregnancy and school drop-outs; and, less obvious, increased screen time and the risk of exploitation for online recruitment into violence, just to name a few. As PM Trudeau stated yesterday, “For far too many people, home is not a safe place to be and some have no place to go. Tough times fall the hardest on the most vulnerable”. Other more localized crises have shown how children’s vulnerabilities increase in times of emergency, and we anticipate that will apply on a larger scale in this pandemic.
So we ask today, how do children fit into our planning for a public health crisis? How are we preparing for the unique vulnerabilities of children and youth? How are Canadian law enforcement officers preparing to protect children and youth? Even for those children where home is a safe place to be, the Dallaire Initiative understands that children and youth have an underdeveloped sense of risk and long- term consequences until they reach their early 20s and may not truly understand all the risks of the pandemic. We believe this is the moment to start broadening the conversation, and to consider the wider societal impacts that need our attention in order to reduce the long-term effects of COVID-19.
At this time, based on years of working with children and the security sector in complex contexts, the Dallaire Initiative continues to provide guidance and scenarios that may help. We are continuing our important research work, planning for our operations post COVID-19, analyzing the impact of our training and programming to date in our countries of focus, and refining our pedagogical tools and processes. We hope to use this opportunity to augment our Building Connections Project in Canada and distance learning offerings that both can assist communities and those in law enforcement to enhance their understanding of children and at-risk youth during this time. Moreover, we believe that understanding the mental health considerations of these front-line personnel is also critical to the protection of children’s rights and our ability to thrive post-COVID-19.
Now is not the time for us to lose focus on the prioritization of children’s rights and their protection. In this globalized world, we will see the impacts of deep economic strain for years to come due to COVID- 19, which will serve to increase the vulnerability of children on numerous fronts. Children are too often burdened by these impacts yet are rarely considered in the solutions. The Dallaire Initiative understands that your support for our work will be even more crucial to building a world where the recruitment and use of children into violence becomes “unthinkable” if we are to achieve global peace and security.
We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and encouragement of the Dallaire Initiative – with your help we will progressively end the recruitment and use of children into violence.
We wish you continued health and peace.
Allons-y: Journal of Children Peace and Security volume 5 (2021) will focus on gender and the implementation of the Vancouver Principles. The coming year will see events, reflections, and new research on the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Building on these events, the next volume of Allons-y is calling for policy-oriented papers from academics and practitioners on how consideration of gender is important for the successful implementation of the Vancouver Principles.
Suggested topics include:
Allons-y: Journal of Children, Peace and Security publishes three types of articles: commentaries, policy articles, and research articles, and proposed articles should conform to one of these categories. Commentaries provide reflections and analysis by experienced practitioners, academics, and policy makers on issues relevant to the Vancouver Principles. Policy articles form the core of Allons-y and focus on evaluating, sharing, and recommending good practices for policies related to implementation of the Vancouver Principles globally. Research articles provide synthesis of existing research or novel empirical and theoretical findings of relevance to the implementation of the Vancouver Principles.
Interested authors should provide an abstract of 100 words, a short bio, their affiliation, and indicate whether they are proposing a commentary or policy or research article by 1 June 2020 to both [email protected] and [email protected].
Authors of accepted abstracts will be informed by 15 June 2020, and asked to submit their article by 1 October 2020. Peer review and revisions will occur between then and 31 January 2021, and the issue will be published at the end of March 2021.
TORONTO (MARCH 3, 2020) – To mark International Women’s Day, The Slaight Family Foundation is donating $15 million to 15 international organizations working to improve human rights and opportunities for women and girls.
The recipient organizations – working mainly in impoverished, fragile or conflict-affected areas – each focus on different issues facing women and girls, including human rights abuses, child marriages, sex trafficking, legal support, HIV and AIDS and education.
“The aim of this gift is to improve conditions for women and girls living in difficult circumstances, who represent some of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Gary Slaight of The Slaight Family Foundation. “The projects we are funding will leverage the expertise of these vital organizations to protect women and girls in the most fragile countries from direct harm, rebuild the lives of those who have been unjustly affected by conflict, deprivation and disease and give them the tools and support they need to survive and thrive.”
“This investment in international NGOs is unprecedented and the projects being supported will directly assist more than one million women and girls in some of the world’s most fragile regions,” said Dr. Samantha Nutt, President of War Child Canada. “It’s such an important time to be highlighting this issue. For The Slaight Family Foundation to recognize the threats faced by women and girls, and acknowledge that their concerns matter with such an historic gift, is a profound message to send. On behalf of the entire group we extend our sincerest gratitude to The Slaight Family Foundation for their incredible support of our collective work.”
Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives to multiple organizations. These initiatives started with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs to address global humanitarianism, healthy development of children and youth across Canada, support for Indigenous issues and, last year, a seniors’ initiative to help keep seniors in their homes and communities, including the Allan Slaight Seniors’ Fund at the United Way Greater Toronto.
Sub-Saharan African countries with UN peacekeeping missions and high rates of HIV in women
Develop and roll out a smartphone app to tap young women’s unique knowledge of and solutions to living under the threat of sexual violence. Women in remote areas who answer open-ended, recorded questions orally, in private, as easily as leaving a voicemail message, will be transformed from victims with lived experiences to experts helping to end sexual violence against women.
Canadian Feed the Children
Creation of a new ‘Livelihood & Gender Equality Fund’ championing the human rights of girls and women in Ethiopia. We will focus on reducing the forced migration of girls and women by helping them finish their education and improve future prospects including starting new, sustainable businesses through an agribusiness hub to develop female entrepreneurship. The initiative includes a sexual and reproductive health and rights campaign, strengthening community police, legal and healthcare systems, and a new research study on child migration.
Canadian Red Cross
South Sudan/Central Africa Republic
The Canadian Red Cross is launching an innovative program that brings health solutions directly into crisis and conflict areas, reaching women and girls who are cut off from health facilities due to violence. Essential health care and supplies delivered by local Red Cross responders will increase safe pregnancies, improve nutrition, and provide access to clean water and lifesaving treatments for disease.
Innovate and improve menstrual hygiene management for school-age girls with female genital mutilation – develop and test new solutions with established women and girls’ groups, train women to produce hygiene products locally, improve school sanitation facilities and increase community awareness.
The program will increase access to gender-responsive heath services and launch a youth-led awareness campaign for sexual and reproductive health rights among adolescent girls and boys at risk of child trafficking, forced prostitution, child labour and sexual violence in Kedougou, Senegal.
Human Rights Watch
Middle East/N Africa
End discrimination of women and girls by documenting the abuses of male guardianship system in the Middle East and North Africa. Year 1 will focus on documenting male guardianship in Qatar; how lack of domestic violence legislation and discriminatory laws leaves women exposed to domestic violence in Kuwait; and the start of mapping how and where male guardianship exists in the region.
Partners In Health Canada
Malawi & Sierra Leone
Improved access to sexual and reproductive health services especially for adolescents, strengthened care for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and increased availability of high-quality obstetric care. Activities include health worker training, resourcing and delivery of clinical care, educational initiatives for young people, and community-based work to raise awareness about women’s and girls’ rights and promote health seeking behaviour.
Right To Play
Transform the lives of more than 50,000 girls across Mozambique through a gender-responsive education program that removes barriers to access, builds teacher capacity, and positively impacts national programs and policies. The result will be higher literacy rates, lower drop-out rates, and a generation of girls who are better supported to succeed.
Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Helping reduce child soldier recruitment and conflict-based sexual violence through capacity building of national military and police forces, with a focus on female force members; enhance the Dallaire Initiative’s cadre of female international trainers and global champions; raise awareness amongst the global community on the critical role of women in preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Save the Children
Improve knowledge and skills of adolescent girls and boys to be aware of and exercise their rights around sexual and reproductive health and gender equality, to be able to make their own informed decisions related to marriage and pregnancy. This action will transform harmful practices and attitudes that reinforce gender inequalities and gender-based violence and strengthen the institutional and policy environment to prevent child early and forced marriage.
Stephen Lewis Foundation
Expand holistic programmes that address gender inequalities to improve access to HIV prevention services, and support treatment adherence for women and girls living with HIV. Expand the global grandmothers movement through Grandmother Gatherings. Empower grandmothers caring for children orphaned by AIDS to claim their human rights and lead their communities, through peer support, healthcare, skills training, economic empowerment and advocacy.
In Somalia, only 30 per cent of children attend primary school with girls accounting for less than half of the total enrollment. This project will focus on girls and children with disabilities to improve their access to early childhood education (ECE) services. Community based and alternative ECE programs will be established in rural areas and provide appropriate curriculum that caters to the children’s different needs. It will also include education for parents and communities so that they can better support their children’s education.
Empower women and girls to seek justice and tackle impunity within their communities by providing critical legal support for those affected by or at risk of gender-based violence; through targeted educational programming, ensure that girls can uphold their rights, have greater self-determination, and move out of poverty over the long-term.
Sierra Leone (Kono District)
Focus on advancing the rights of vulnerable women and girls by empowering them with the tools, support and skills to bring an end to inter-generational cycles of poverty and injustice. The three-part program will implement training to address human rights abuses and threats affecting them. Part one will deliver community-wide training to create greater awareness about women’s rights and human rights abuses. Part two will provide vulnerable women and girls education on their rights, referral support and life skills to increase their opportunities. Part three will offer the highest-risk women and girls vocational training and accelerated learning opportunities.
Implement the DREAM program – Dedicated to Reducing Early Marriage in Mali – to address the root cause of child marriage; will include sexual and reproductive health services, education and economic livelihood training; upgrading schools with girls washrooms, training parents, teachers, and faith leaders on the consequences of child marriage; train mothers and girls in financial literacy, life skills and income generating activities to increase household income.
HALIFAX, NS – On February 10th, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), in partnership with Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue Series, is hosting a public discourse to mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers.
The discussion will be moderated by award-winning CBC journalist, Nahlah Ayed, and feature two speakers who experienced and understand the impacts of war on children, Omar Khadr and celebrated author and human rights activist Ishmael Beah. The event will also feature the organization’s Founder, LGen the Hon. Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) and Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Whitman.
The event aims to nurture improved understanding of how children around the world are recruited and used by adults into conflict and violence. By examining the issue from multiple perspectives, the Dallaire Initiative hopes to provide deep and meaningful insights into how children are vulnerable to being recruited and used in violence, that takes many different forms, but ultimately have the same long-term and psycho-social impacts on the children and their communities.
“As the global organization at the forefront of preventing children from being recruited and used in conflict, we have an obligation to foster public dialogue on this issue, with the aim to break cycles of endemic violence around the world, and even here in Canada,” says Dr. Whitman. “We understand this is a highly complex issue, but one that deserves serious attention if we are to achieve peace and security. The Dallaire Initiative is proud to be able to continue to convene timely and critical discussions that bring together diverse groups here at our institutional home in Halifax – Dalhousie University.”
The discussion is part of Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue series which brings the community together for thought-provoking conversations focused on timely and relevant topics. The series also supports the university’s vital role in sparking dialogue around important issues.
The event will also mark the Dallaire Initiative’s 10th anniversary at Dalhousie University. It will be hosted at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and recorded for possible use in an episode of CBC Ideas.
What: The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative in partnership with Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue Series, public discourse with Omar Khadr, Ishmael Beah, and LGen the Hon. Roméo Dallaire
When: Monday, February 10, 2020. Registration starts at 5:30, doors open at 6, event 7-9
Where: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Ave, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Note: For security reasons, all coats will need to be checked and no large bags will be allowed into the auditorium.
We anticipate a high level of media interest in this event. There will be limited space for media.
All media-related inquiries in advance of this event will be solely handled by the Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative, Dr. Shelly Whitman. Omar Khadr will not be speaking to the media.
Aimee White, Chief of Staff
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Founded by retired Lieutenant-General and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 5, 2019/CNW/
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) and Child Soldiers International (CSI) announced today that the Dallaire Initiative is taking over the international programs from CSI, which is officially closing its operations on June 7, 2019. The Dallaire Initiative is honoured to carry forward CSI’s valuable contributions to the cause, and CSI is confident and proud to hand over its work to them.
Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative, said: “We place immense value on the work CSI has undertaken as the founders of the global movement to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as well as the relationships and collaboration we have enjoyed over the years. Although we are sad to lose them as collaborators and colleagues, we wanted to ensure that the important work started by CSI lives on through the handover of key existing programs and resources. CSI’s legacy and work, particularly on global advocacy and community-based prevention and reintegration, will continue to advance the body of knowledge pertaining to understanding and preventing the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. We are also confident that it will better inform our activities, optimize our impact globally and ensure the world understands the need to continue to put resources towards ending this tragedy.”
Isabelle Guitard, Director of Child Soldiers International, said: “We are thrilled that our global work to prevent the military recruitment and use of children will be taken forward by the Dallaire Initiative. Like us, they believe that prevention is better than cure. They are renowned and respected advocates of children’s rights in conflict, with whom we have worked closely for years in our mutual efforts to prevent the involvement of children in armed conflict. We know that our work and legacy will continue through their hard-working and passionate team.”
The Dallaire Initiative is taking over the DRC and South Sudan community led prevention and reintegration programs. Both programs compliment the already existing programs the Dallaire Initiative is conducting in South Sudan and the DRC. In addition, the Dallaire Initiative will host and continue the Child Soldiers World Index, and its global research, policy and advocacy work. The World Index is an important resource for child protection actors and the Dallaire Initiative is eager to not only take it on, but combine it with their exciting new Knowledge for Prevention research that aims to create a better global estimate on the numbers of children recruited and used as soldiers. A statistically informed global estimate, combined with the World Index platform, has the power to demonstrate progress on the issue as well as to continue to galvanize support to continue the fight to improve efforts to end this crime against humanity.
The Dallaire Initiative will not be taking on CSI’s UK program campaign. This will be taken over by the London-based Child Rights International Network (CRIN).
Both CSI and the Dallaire Initiative have championed the belief that it is immoral for adults to use children in war. Collaboration on international advocacy and implementation by both organizations on the OPAC, the Safe Schools Declaration, the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles demonstrated this common aim. Children should not fight wars and one day we will make their recruitment and use “unthinkable”.
About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Founded by retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) believes that in order to progressively end the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, the world must focus on effective prevention. It is the Dallaire Initiative’s unique approach to affecting beliefs, attitudes and behavior change through our pedagogical approaches that leverage our relationship to work with the security sector through a prevention-oriented lens, that defines our organizational imperative and creates lasting impacts well beyond the immediate interventions. The Dallaire Initiative co-authored the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in 2017 with the Government of Canada.
About Child Soldiers International
Child Soldiers International (CSI) was formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. Established in 1998 by a group of leading human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, its original purpose was to campaign for a human rights treaty to prevent the military recruitment of children and their use in conflict. This treaty, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), entered into force in 2002. In 2011 it became an independent UK registered charity, connected with a network of local and national child rights and child protection organisations across the world. CSI will close its doors on 7 June 2019, due to an increasingly challenging operating and funding environment for small NGOs.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Sr. Communications Officer
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
+1 (902) 494-7853 (office)
Isabelle Guitard (until 7 June)
Child Soldiers International
Halifax, Nova Scotia May 29th
Today, on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) honours all peacekeepers around the world who have sacrificed their lives to help bring peace to conflict-affected countries.
UN peacekeepers continue to play a crucial role in helping these countries and their people find peace and stability. The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is therefore observed annually on May 29th, and this year’s theme “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” also marks the upcoming 20th anniversary of the first ever Security Council mandated peacekeeping mission designed explicitly to protect civilians in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in 1999.
Sierra Leone today is a peaceful country on Africa’s West Coast, but the anniversary reminds us of the challenges to protect peace. During its decade-long civil war, 10,000 child soldiers were recruited and used as soldiers by all parties to the conflict. Today, however, the country is one of the first African countries to endorse the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers. It has also undergone significant security sector reforms and is now contributing troops to the UN and African Union peacekeeping missions in various conflict zones.
“We are extremely proud of how Sierra Leone has emerged as strong advocate for the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers across the globe,” says Dallaire Initiative Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Whitman.
The Dallaire Initiative has been working with the security sector in Sierra Leone since 2012. This week, our team of expert trainers are in the country to continue the collaborative development of an integrated training program. Together with our partners, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Sierra Leone Police, and the Sierra Leone Correctional Services, we are supporting the world’s first integrated security sector curriculum focused on the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The Dallaire Initiative believes that if we are to collectively “protect civilians as a means to protect the peace”, we must empower security sector actors with the appropriate training, tools, and resources to protect children. This also requires us to understand that the realities of conflict demand new approaches and practical strategies to better protect both children and soldiers from physical and psychological harm. We believe that by taking a Children’s Rights Upfront approach – which means placing children at the top of the international peace and security agenda – it will,in turn, contribute to improving overall peace and security globally and ultimately, the mandate of UN peacekeepers to better protect civilians.
About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Founded by retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) believes that in order to progressively end the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, the world must focus on effective prevention. It is the Dallaire Initiative’s unique approach to affecting beliefs, attitudes and behavior change through our pedagogical approaches that leverage our relationship to work with the security sector through a prevention-oriented lens, that defines our organizational imperative and creates lasting impacts well beyond the immediate interventions.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Sr. Communications Officer
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
+1 (902) 494-7853 (office)
The Dallaire Initiative
Pour diffusion immédiate
Lundi 12 février 2018
Halifax (N.-É.) — Grâce à une subvention de 3 millions de dollars d’Affaires mondiales Canada, la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative apporte au Soudan du Sud son approche mondialement reconnue axée sur la prévention en vue de mettre un terme à l’utilisation et au recrutement d’enfants soldats.
« Notre expérience et notre approche visant à protéger les enfants de leur recrutement et leur utilisation comme enfants soldats à l’échelle du continent africain et au-delà font de l’Initiative Dallaire l’entité la mieux à même de proposer une approche d’élimination progressive du phénomène d’enfants soldats dans l’environnement difficile que constitue le Soudan du Sud », déclare Shelly Whitman, directrice générale de la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
La crise en cours au Soudan du Sud a donné lieu à une utilisation massive et généralisée d’enfants soldats par toutes les parties au conflit, une situation qui a valu à ce pays d’être accusé de violations graves commises à l’encontre d’enfants dans le rapport de 2016 du secrétaire général de l’ONU sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé.
Ce projet vise à protéger des garçons et des filles du Soudan du Sud de leur recrutement et leur utilisation comme enfants soldats en œuvrant avec des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité (en particulier les forces nationales, les Casques bleus et des acteurs de la sociétés civiles) afin de renforcer les stratégies destinées à prévenir l’utilisation des enfants comme armes de guerre. Pour ce faire, l’Initiative Dallaire, de concert avec des partenaires locaux, entend offrir des formations et mener des activités de sensibilisation dans le but de changer les attitudes et les comportements concernant l’utilisation des enfants comme armes de guerre.
L’engagement du gouvernement du Canada à l’égard de ce projet et la priorité accordée à la protection des enfants traduisent l’engagement pris lors de la Réunion des ministres de la Défense sur le maintien de la paix des Nations Unies organisée à Vancouver en novembre 2017. Au cours de cette conférence, l’Initiative Dallaire et le gouvernement du Canada ont lancé un nouvel ensemble de normes mondiales appelé Les principes de Vancouver sur le maintien de la paix et la prévention du recrutement et de l’utilisation d’enfants soldats.
Le projet au Soudan du Sud s’appuiera sur le modèle innovant à l’échelle nationale de l’Initiative Dallaire relatif à la protection des enfants de la guerre. Grâce à une formation des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité fondée sur une approche descendante et des initiatives de sensibilisation et d’éducation communautaires axées sur une démarche ascendante, l’Initiative Dallaire propose une approche globale destinée à protéger les enfants de la violence, des conflits et de la guerre, un modèle élaboré et mis à l’essai en Sierra Leone et qui, et ce moment, fait l’objet d’une mise en œuvre en Somalie.
L’Initiative Dallaire s’efforcera de favoriser l’apprentissage et les échanges, tout en fournissant de la formation et de l’assistance technique, selon que de besoin, afin d’élaborer des stratégies de protection de l’enfance et des mécanismes communautaires pratiques de consolidation de la paix au Soudan du Sud au lendemain du lancement officiel des activités le 1er avril 2018. Ce projet, qui durera trois années, s’achèvera officiellement en 2021.
Pour toute demande presse, merci de communiquer avec :
Directeur des communications, La Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
1 902 494 2392 (bureau)
1 902 489. 6767 (cellulaire)
À propos de la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Basée à l’Université Dalhousie à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse, au Canada, l’Initiative Dallaire est reconnue comme étant le seul organisme au monde qui s’appuie sur une approche axée à la fois sur la prévention et le secteur de la sécurité pour s’attaquer au crime contre l’humanité que constitue le phénomène d’utilisation d’enfants soldats. Fondée par le lieutenant-général à la retraite et célèbre humanitaire Roméo Dallaire, la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative est un chef de file qui s’engage à éliminer l’utilisation et le recrutement d’enfants soldats partout dans le monde, à travers des recherches révolutionnaires, des activités de plaidoyer et la formation des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité.
Au sujet du projet
La crise en cours au Soudan du Sud a donné lieu à une utilisation massive et généralisée d’enfants soldats par toutes les parties au conflit, une situation qui a valu à ce pays d’être accusé de violations graves commises à l’encontre d’enfants dans le rapport de 2016 du secrétaire général de l’ONU sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé. En 2016, les Nations Unies ont confirmé 169 cas de recrutement et d’utilisation qui ont touché au moins 1 022 enfants, 61 % ayant été attribués à l’APLS (574) et aux autres forces de sécurité gouvernementales (50). Des enfants ont également été recrutés et utilisés par l’Armée populaire de libération du Soudan dans l’opposition (115), l’Armée populaire de libération du Soudan dans l’opposition alliée à Taban Deng Gai (207), et plusieurs autres groupes d’opposition.
En posant le problème comme étant une priorité particulière pour les intervenants du secteur de la sécurité, l’Initiative Dallaire entend renforcer les capacités des personnes engagées dans les opérations de paix au Soudan du Sud en vue d’améliorer les politiques et les stratégies destinées à prévenir le recrutement et l’utilisation d’enfants soldats.
Dans l’ensemble, le projet vise à protéger des garçons et des filles du Soudan du Sud par le biais de l’élimination progressive du recrutement et de l’utilisation d’enfants soldats en soutenant l’APLS, la MINUSS, ainsi que des organismes internationaux et communautaires à travers les axes ci-dessous :
The Dallaire Initiative
Halifax NS—The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is bringing its world-leading prevention oriented approach to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers to South Sudan with the awarding of a 3 million dollar grant from Global Affairs Canada.
“Our experience and approach to protecting children from their recruitment and use as soldiers across the African continent and beyond make the Dallaire Initiative uniquely equipped to bring a progressive elimination approach to the challenging environment that is South Sudan” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
The current crisis in South Sudan has seen massive and widespread use of child soldiers by all parties to the conflict resulting in the country being listed as a state violator on the 2016 UN SRSG’s report on Children and Armed Conflict.
The project will seek to protect girls and boys in South Sudan from recruitment and use as child soldiers by working with security actors—such as the national forces, UN peacekeepers – as well as civil society actors— to strengthen strategies to protect children becoming weapons of war. This will be accomplished through training and sensitization activities undertaken by Dallaire Initiative staff with local partners that aims to change attitudes and behaviours with respect to the use of children as weapons of war.
The Government of Canada’s commitment to this project and the prioritization of the protection of children are reflective of the commitment made at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver in November 2017. At this conference, the Dallaire Initiative and the Government of Canada launched a new set of global standards called the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.
Work undertaken in South Sudan will be based on the Dallaire Initiative’s pioneer national level model of protecting children from war. Through top down security sector training and bottom up community sensitization and education initiatives, the Dallaire Initiative builds a holistic approach to protecting children from violence, conflict and war—a model that has been developed and trialed in Sierra Leone and now is being implemented in Somalia.
The Dallaire Initiative will seek to facilitate learning and exchanges, and provide training and technical assistance as-needed to develop practical child protection strategies and community-based peacebuilding mechanisms within South Sudan upon the formal launch of activities on April 1st. The project will run for a total of three years and be officially completed in 2021.
For Press Inquires
Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
1 902 494 2392 (office)
1 902 489. 6767 (cell)
About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.
About the Project
The current crisis in South Sudan has seen massive and widespread use of child soldiers by all parties to the conflict resulting in the country being listed as a state violator on the 2016 UN SRSG’s report on Children and Armed Conflict. In 2016, the United Nations verified 169 incidents of child soldier recruitment and use affecting at least 1,022 children, 61 per cent of which were attributed to SPLA (574) and other government security forces (50). Children were also recruited and used by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (115), the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition allied with Taban Deng Gai (207), and several other opposition groups.
By framing the issue as a specific priority concern for security sector actors, the Dallaire Initiative will empower those engaged in peace operations in South Sudan to improve policies and strategies to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Overall, the project’s goal is to protect girls and boys in South Sudan through the progressive elimination of the recruitment and use of child soldiers by supporting the SPLA, UNMISS, international and community based organizations in the following areas:
For Immediate Release
November 8th , 2017
Halifax NS—Today, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative launches its latest call for applications for the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) Program. For the first time, the program will be open to federal, provincial and municipal Police Veterans who will join their Canadian Armed Forces Veterans counterparts in building their capacity to end the use of children as weapons of war.
“The inclusion of police will bring a unique domestic perspective to the VTECS program and build upon the innovative approach of equipping those who served to protect with the tools and knowledge needed to help us end the use of children being used and recruited as soldiers, both domestically and internationally” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “We are proud of what VTECS has been able to accomplish over the last two years. The program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skill set of our highly trained Veterans while providing access to an academic environment, credits/accreditation possibilities, and employment opportunities. The inclusion of police Veterans will only strengthen the program’s ability to make a significant impact both domestically and internationally, enhancing our shared mission to end the use of children as weapons of war.”
The VTECS program delivers education and skills transition training for Canadian military and police veterans by combining academic, fully-credited university classes with specialized training on the skills, knowledge and attitudes required of security sector actors to legally, humanely and effectively interact with child soldiers in domestic or foreign operational areas.
“The Dallaire Initiative has provided me with the tools to be a better advocate, researcher, and trainer in a community of practice that is working to progressively eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers through a security sector approach. I am proud to be a ‘VTECS grad’” states Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Ian MacVicar.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 VTECS program. Interested Canadian Veterans can apply online between November 8, 2017 and January 10, 2018. The program is open to any Canadian Armed Forces Veteran and any federal, provincial and municipal police force Veteran with a good conduct release who can meet the program requirements. Program requirements and application information are available online at childsoldiers.org/vtecs