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Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers
History and Background

Mission Statement

We are a coalition to stop the use of child soldiers, both girls and boys - to prevent their recruitment and use; to secure their demobilization; and to promote their rehabilitation and reintegration. We work to achieve this through advocacy and public education; research and monitoring; and network development and capacity building.

The Coalition''s goal is to promote the adoption and adherence to national, regional and international legal standards (including the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict) prohibiting the military recruitment and use in hostilities of any person younger than eighteen years of age; and the recognition and enforcement of this standard by all armed groups, both governmental and non-governmental.

History and Structure

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers was formed in May 1998 by leading international human rights and humanitarian organizations. It has regional and national networks in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The International Coalition has its headquarters in London.
The Coalition''s International Steering Committee member organizations are: Amnesty International, Defence for Children International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre des Hommes, International Save the Children Alliance, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Quaker United Nations Office-Geneva. It maintains active links with UNICEF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International labour Organization.

Over the last nine years the International Coalition has worked in collaboration with partner organizations to establish national coalitions in many regions of the world.

The national coalitions are made up of local and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with or on behalf of child soldiers. There are national coalitions in over 35 countries in the Great Lakes region of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East.

Regional Coalitions, which unite national coalitions to campaign on child soldier issues specific to their regions, have been formed in the Great Lakes region of Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers works to prevent the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, to secure their demobilisation and to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

The majority of child soldiers are associated with government-backed paramilitaries, armed opposition groups, factional groups and groups based on ethnic or religious identity

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