Statement to mark International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers

Statement

February 12, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement to mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers:

“Recruiting children into conflict and using them as instruments of war is a grave violation of human rights. Whether they are forced to act as messengers, porters or spies, or made to carry a weapon, involving children and youth in conflict needlessly exposes them to danger, puts their lives at immediate risk and imposes on them a psychological burden that may last forever.

“Canada is proud to have introduced 17 principles focusing on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed forces and armed groups, known as the Vancouver Principles, in 2017. Since then, 94 countries have joined Canada to address the issue of child soldiers in the context of United Nations peacekeeping operations. We are thankful to the United Nations and many member states that are working to implement the Vancouver Principles.

“In June 2019, the Canadian Armed Forces established the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security as a demonstration of Canada’s continued commitment to the Vancouver Principles. Named after Lieutenant-General (Retired) Roméo Dallaire, a vocal advocate against the use of child soldiers, the core mandate of the centre is to support research, drawing on a diversity of expertise and perspectives from across academia and civil society to fulfill its mandate.

“The International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers is an important time to restate our commitment to keeping all children out of conflict and calling for an end to all grave violations against them during armed conflict, including recruitment and sexual violence.

“Canada will work with its partners all over the world to put an end to the endangerment of children.”

Contacts

Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Syrine.Khoury@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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Floriane Bonneville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100
Floriane.Bonneville@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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