Committee Reports

Letter Regarding Waivers to the Child Soldiers Prevention Act


Three committees wrote to President Obama urging him to reverse his decision to continue providing military assistance to governments that recruit and use child soldiers in contravention of the purposes of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (“CSPA”). The letter, prepared by the Committees on African AffairsMilitary Affairs and Justice, and Children and the Law, noted that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (the Optional Protocol), which the United States ratified, prohibits the compulsory recruitment and direct use in hostilities of persons under the age of 18. The committees analyzed the status of the use of child soldiers in six African nations that have received full or partial waivers from the restrictions of the CSPA and concluded that in several instances the U.S. continues to provide military aid to nations which have not made satisfactory progress toward eradicating the use of children as soldiers.