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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

October 26, 2015

Red hands at work: the consensus grows

by Robert Arrington

Red hands from First Chinese PresbyterianSince September 1, 2015, two member states, Kiribati and the Bahamas, ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Kiribati ratified on September 16, declaring, “… the Republic of Kiribati has no national armed forces, and a declaration as to the minimum age of recruitment is therefore not applicable in the case of the Republic of Kiribati.” The Bahamas ratified on September 28, declaring, “The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas declares that the State will permit voluntary recruitment into its national armed forces ...

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July 14, 2015

Presbytery of Eastern Virginia says "No child soldiers"

photo by Willa Van Camp

A youth group from the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia participated in a seminar on July 7 and 8, 2015.

The group explored why followers of Jesus and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) engage in the public arena and have a presence at the United Nations.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the forced displacement of children, the work of UNICEF, human trafficking, and child soldiers were among the topics the group considered.

Group members made Red Hands to join the campaign to end the use of children as soldiers.

 Group members with their Red Hands

The Red Hands ...

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June 30, 2015

Protecting children in armed conflict

by Madeline Bacchus, Sarah Hoyle, and Willa Van Camp

The 7466th Security Council Meeting focused on children and armed conflict. The primary goal of the meeting was to vote on Resolution 2225 which would recognize child abduction, one of the six grave violations of children's rights, as a criteria for inclusion in  the annex of the Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict. The report discusses grave violations that are being committed against children in various parts of the world and includes a list of all the parties cited for committing violations against children in the ...

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December 4, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference

by Richard Aylor

Red HandsSince April, 3 member states and 1 non-member state have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Ethiopia ratified on May 14, Guinea-Bissau ratified on September 24, and the Dominican Republic ratified on October 14.  The State of Palestine, a non-member state, ratified on April 7.   It has been a great 2014 as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol ...

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September 29, 2014

Hudson River Presbytery says "children should carry toys!"

At the Hudson River Presbytery's "Changing the Conversation Conference", participants traced our hands to raise awareness and send the message that it's not okay to use children under the age of 18 for soldiers. In doing so, the participants joined other Presbyterians who support the Red Hand Campaign that calls for universal ratification and enforcement of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Follow Presbyterian efforts to end the use of child soldiers. Like the Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers Facebook page. Learn more about ...

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