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Measures to Counteract Use of Child Soldiers

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Since her independence in 1958, the republic of Niger is a country that has had four military regimes amidst her struggles for democracy. This has led to several changes in the structure of the army while leaving a more malleable framework in terms of specific laws against child soldiers. However, Niger strictly condemns use of child soldiers and has partaken in several treaties to take action and eliminate the very real issue of child soldiers despite its minimal threat to the nation; regardless of whether it served under military rule or was a democracy.

In the past, Niger has signed and ratified the CRC-OP-AC treaty on 19th October 2007 which enforces laws to ensure that the legal minimum age requirement to be recruited by armed forces is 18. Niger has taken a voluntary approach in applying this treaty, having almost negligible number of child soldiers thus not requiring a national legislation with recruitment requirements. However, an increasing concern has been a surge in numbers of child soldiers due to the involvement of terrorist groups. One such group formed by the Tuaregs attacked Niger in prompting them to immediately sign The Paris principles and Paris commitments in February 2007. This not only prevented future child soldiers but also gave the Nigerien government a clear protocol to deal with current child soldiers.

However, the Nigerien government still worries because rebel groups recruit thousands of child soldiers each year with Boko Haram recruiting 2,000 child soldiers in 2016. Niger is severely threatened by these organisations due to the extensive border that it shares with Nigeria; the location of the organization’s headquarters. In addition to this, Niger is also part of West Africa which includes several nations with large number of child soldiers including Sierra-Leone, Nigeria and others. The delegate of Niger worries that there may be an influx of child soldiers from these fellow nations which may lead to a potential rise in child soldiers that The republic of Niger has tried so hard to keep under control.

However, Niger is also part of the ECOWAS which allows it to help several member nations who it shares close borders with. However, our nation and members of the AU also require the help of countries such as Senegal and Guinea Bissau owing to their strict anti child soldier policy and more importantly its effective implementation of these policies as this will help other members of the AU and ECOWAS.

The delegation of Niger believes that implementing a stringent procedure in terms of present child soldiers will be cornerstone to solving this problem. The main way this can be done is through education and incentivising children to forgo their current path or not go down the path at all (if they have not been recruited yet). The delegate of Niger believes that it is essential for the various blocs forming the African union to unite under one umbrella and seek for help from various UN organisations such as the UNSC for groundwork and rescuing of children and the UNICEF for providing shelter to affected children as well as a better lifestyle so that they do not delve into this dangerous pit of no return.

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Measures to counteract use of child soldiers. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 26, 2021, from
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