THE GO-TO PLATFORM WHERE PUBLIC, NON-PROFIT AND PRIVATE SECTOR LEADERS CONVENE, DISCUSS AND COOPERATE TO DEVELOP SOLUTIONS IN RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN RECRUITED AND USED BY TERRORIST AND VIOLENT EXTREMIST ACTORS
WORDS FROM OUR
PRESIDENT, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
While it exists a depth of shared international commitment towards the protection of children against serious forms of violence, protecting children affected by terrorism requires sustained, inclusive and multilateral responses, globally.
It would be an understatement to say that we commence our work at a challenging time. The recruitment of children by terrorist groups has been characterized by extreme brutality and violence. Children are actively and systematically used in military operations as human shields, executioners, carriers of person-borne improvised explosive devices or as suicide bombers. Recruited children are indoctrinated to perpetrate acts of violence, acts of terrorism, war crimes and crimes against the humanity. Recruitment does not only satisfy military necessity as when it is connected to religious or political ideology, it has a long-term purpose of engineering new societies founded either, on the rhetoric of the purification of faith or on the perpetual continuation of hostilities and adds a multigenerational dimension to contemporary conflict complex legacies.
The recruitment of children is a major contributor to the extreme violence that we see in the world. It has become a primary source of outrage as it was displayed by the Islamic State propagandistic methods, featuring in its media broadcast, the mobilisation of children as executioners and eulogized martyrs. However, there are others, Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Taliban, al-Qaeda, just to name a few, who are equally responsible and accountable for the perpetration of these crimes. Every situation is different, every child is different, but the principle is the same. To fight against the recruitment and use of children we have to act globally and locally and each one of us has a responsibility to do everything that we can.