Child Soldiers International

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Child Soldiers International
CoalitionChildSoldier-Logo.jpg
Founded May 1998
(Incorporated on April 9, 2002)
Founder Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Save the Children Alliance, Jesuit Refugee Service, Quaker United Nations Office, Terre des Hommes
Type Non-profit
Focus Human rights
Location
  • London, United Kingdom
  • London
Area served
World wide
Method Research, public education, advocacy, lobbying
Key people

Director: Victoria Forbes-Adam

Trustees: Duncan Knox Barnet, Paul Gready, Demelza Hauser
Revenue

£197,097[1]

(2009-10)
Website child-soldiers.org

Child Soldiers International, formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers[2] (CSUCS) is a UK-based non-governmental organization that was formed to prevent the recruitment and exploitation of children in warfare and to ensure their reintegration into larger society by means of research, advocacy, and capacity building. The primary function of CSUCS is to act as an informational resource center for related NGOs, child advocacy organizations, and international legislative bodies.[3]

Mission Statement[edit]

"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, research and monitoring."[4]

By acting in accordance with the above mission statement, CSUCS hopes to achieve the following charitable objectives:

  • Advocating for the establishments of durable mechanisms to prevent the military recruitment and use of children in hostilities
  • Seeking the release and reintegration of children recruited or used in hostilities
  • Contributing to obtaining redress for and relieving the needs of such children
  • Carrying out research, monitoring and publishing information on the above issues
  • Supporting local and national NGOs working with and for children in affected regions[5]

History[edit]

The coalition was founded in May 1998 by six international non-governmental organizations to promote shared human rights objectives. The six core founders (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Save the Children Alliance, Jesuit Refugee Service, Quaker United Nations Office, and Terre des Hommes)[6] were later joined by the following organizations:

In 2002, the CSUCS became a limited company and then registered as a charity on January 6, 2003.[7] Previously, the coalition was known as The Child Soldiers Coalition Educational and Research Trust and The Child Soldiers Coalition Educational and Capacity Building Trust. On March 31, 2008, the charity was renamed The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, as it is known today.[5]

Regions[edit]

The coalition is headquartered in London and operates in 26 countries on four continents, concentrated in Africa and southern Asia.[8]

Policy making[edit]

On a regular basis, the CSUCS contributes research reports to the United Nations Security Council, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and less frequently, to the European Union.[9] The coalition's contributions to UN policy-making are substantive and valued, as are those by similar NGOs. According to UN documents, in relation to the adoption and enforcement of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the CSUCS plays "a key role in ensuring implementation at every level."[10]

Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict[edit]

In 1998, the coalition played a critical role during the conception of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, an amendment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is a United Nations treaty that dictates international standards for children's rights in political, social, and cultural areas, among others. The Optional Protocol amendment called for signatories to ensure that members of their armed forces under 18 years of age were not compulsorily recruited nor made to take direct part in hostilities.[11]

Several countries in the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which had been formed to draft the treaty, were in staunch disagreement over the 18 year minimum age for participation in combat. To incite them to action, six NGOs united to form the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and together, they launched a global campaign that generated international support and put political pressure on the working group to finish drafting the protocol.[12]

The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict was enforced in February 2002 and later signed by more than 120 nations. The CSUCS has since been working closely with other human rights NGOs to convince the remaining 61 countries to ratify the treaty.[13] To do so, the coalition is employing a multifaceted strategy: encouraging people to write to the ambassadors of these countries, publishing more research and analyses on youth in armed conflict, and lobbying for the immediate demobilization of all child soldiers.[14]

Publications[edit]

In partnership with UNICEF, the coalition published the Guide to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in December 2003. The coalition's guide summarizes the process of the treaty's adoption, its fundamental provisions, and recommends that certain activities be undertaken to ensure its full enforcement. It is a practical tool written to aid other NGOs, humanitarian groups, and legislative bodies in implementing the standards of the Optional Protocol.[15]

Every three to four years, the CSUCS publishes the "Child Soldiers Global Report". The report includes information about armed forces recruitment legislation and the trends of child soldier activity in 197 countries around the world. The most recent report was published in 2008.[16]

Funding and organizational structure[edit]

The coalition is funded by grants from six national governments, various foundations and trusts, in addition to individual member contributions. Individuals can contribute by direct donation and through partnerships with online shopping outlets, who donate a percentage of each purchase to CSUCS.

For the 2009-10 fiscal year the CSUSC had an annual income of £824,887, an 80% increase from 2006.[17]

The coalition spent £627,790 during the year, as of March 2010, leaving a total of £197,097 in revenue.[18] The ratio of income to spending was 76.1% in 2010, decreased from 2006 by 15.8% when the NGO was spending 91.9% of its income. The majority of the coalition's spending was utilized for charitable activities (£553.6k), with the second-largest portion being used to obtain grants and other large donations (£53.3k).[19]

One challenge for the CSUCS is that they are heavily reliant on grants to fund their operations; many of which are attributed with time and/or purpose restrictions, and distributed on an annual basis. This process makes it difficult for the NGO to respond to immediate changes in funding needs. Should a lull in grants or donations arise, the CSUCS keeps a substantial unrestricted reserve to prevent operations from being curtailed or suspended.[3]

The structural organization of the coalition is made up of its members and a board of trustees. In 2008, two of those representatives resigned. To maintain the same level of governance, additional trustees were co-opted onto the board in July 2009.[3] A total of eight people are employed by CSUCS, supplemented by two volunteers.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237) “Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237)”. Charity Commission. 2011. Accessed April 12, 2011
  2. ^ "Child Soldiers International". Child Soldiers International. 
  3. ^ a b c "Director's Report for the Year Ending March 31, 2010". Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers Director's Report and Financial Statements. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 2010. Accessed April 5, 2011.
  4. ^ a b The Coalition "Child-Soldiers.org". Official Web site. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. March 2011. Accessed April 2, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Charity Framework "Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237)". Charity Commission. 2011. Accessed April 12, 2011
  6. ^ Worldwide Use of Child Soldiers Continues Unabated "News". Human Rights Watch. January 16, 2004. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Structure, governance and management "Director's Report for the Year Ending March 31, 2010". Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers Director's Report and Financial Statements. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 2010. p.4. Accessed April 5, 2011.
  8. ^ Regions "Child-Soldiers.org". Official Web site. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. March 2011. Accessed April 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Themed Reports "Child-Soldiers.org". Official Web site. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. March 2011. Accessed April 2, 2011.
  10. ^ 10th Anniversary Commemorative Meeting Recommendations "United Nations Human Rights". Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. September 30, 1999. p. 6. Accessed April 25, 2011
  11. ^ Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict "Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict". United Nations Human Rights. 2000. p. 237. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  12. ^ Coomaraswamy, Radhika. "Legislative history of the Optional Protocol" "The Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict - Towards Universal Ratification" International Journal of Children's Rights. 18 (2010) p. 536. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  13. ^ Coomaraswamy, Radhika. "Legislative history of the Optional Protocol" "The Optional Protocol to the CRC on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict - Towards Universal Ratification" International Journal of Children's Rights. 18 (2010) p. 537. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  14. ^ Action Appeals [1]. Official Web site. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. March 2011. Accessed April 2, 2011.
  15. ^ Introduction "Guide to the Option Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict". UNICEF. December 2003. p. 2. Accessed April 12, 2011.
  16. ^ Doek, Jaap E. "Preface." "Child Soldiers Global Report 2008". The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 2009. Accessed April 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Financial History. “Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237)”. Charity Commission. 2011. Accessed April 12, 2011
  18. ^ Financial Review. "Director's Report for the Year Ending March 31, 2010". Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers Director's Report and Financial Statements. Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. 2010. p. 15. Accessed April 5, 2011.
  19. ^ Financial History. “Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237)”. Charity Commission. 2011. Accessed April 12, 2011.
  20. ^ Charity Overview. “Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (1095237)”. Charity Commission. 2011. Accessed April 12, 2011.

External links[edit]