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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with category: Child soldiers

August 5, 2014

First Presbyterian Church Albuquerque learns about child soldiers

by Max Hill

First Presbyterian Church Albuquerque group at the Isaiah WallOn July 15, I had the pleasure of leading a discussion for our guests from First Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque. This discussion focused on the issue of the recruitment and use of children as soldiers around the world. The group’s initial thoughts on what a child soldier looked like were not unexpected. The group, for the most part, agreed that when they thought of a child being used as a soldier, they thought of a boy around fifteen or sixteen years old with a gun. This definition gave me a great jumping off point with the ...

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July 8, 2014

Progress made, work to do, on children in armed conflict

by Max Hill

No child soldiers red handsLast week the Secretary-General released the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict. This report summarized all of the progress that has been made in terms of reducing the amount of children involved in situations of armed conflict, as well as highlighted areas where work still needs to be done. UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, stated that there are 23 situations around the world in which children are being used in armed conflict in some way.

The annual report named some specific groups and areas where clear violations of children’s rights ...

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June 4, 2014

Children, Not Soldiers

by Max Hill

Ricky Velez-Negron ChildrenNotSoldiersIn March, the United Nations and UNICEF launched an initiative to end the use of children as security forces by governments. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui launched the initiative. This campaign is known as Children, Not Soldiers.

This initiative is a call to action that highlights the importance of allowing all children of the world to have the chance to grow up without being recruited and used as soldiers. In his announcement of the initiative, the Secretary-General stated, “children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns ...

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February 24, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference: two more member states ratify

On January 15, 2014, St. Lucia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Estonia ratified on February 12, 2014 It is a great start to 2014, as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises to 28 the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians became involved in the Red Hands Campaign. There are still 39 United Nations member states left to ratify.

Every effort counts. Keep your Red Hands ...

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January 27, 2014

How we can make a difference

Reprinted with permission from The Messenger of Catonsville Presbyterian Church with slight editorial changes in relation to photos that appeared in the original article

“Children are children, not soldiers!”

“I liked the UN tour, especially seeing the conference rooms, where the action really happens.”

“I was amazed by the impact that an advocate can have in influencing policy decisions.”

“The Red Cup program impressed me the most because it accomplished three purposes at once: feeding people, providing education, and promoting gender equality.”

These were some of the reflections from the group that traveled to the United Nations on Friday, October ...

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