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Earlier this year, the Taliban gunned down a former fighter named Wasil Ahmad outside his home in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province. The killers apparently targeted Wasil because he fought with a government-supported militia, the Afghan Local Police. Wasil’s…
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President Barack Obama announced on Friday that, for the second year in a row, it was withholding portions of U.S. military assistance from the Democratic Republic of Congo because of its continued use of child soldiers. The U.S. also said it wouldn't…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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10 years after UN treaty against child soldiers, much work needed to end practice.

When Aruna was a young teenager in Sri Lanka, members of the rebel Tamil Tigers repeatedly came to her home, telling her parents that it was their duty to give a child “for the cause.” During the war, the Tamil Tigers routinely recruited children as young…
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Until recently, the United States might have been considered a world leader in combating the use of child soldiers. But after events last month, children victimized in war may need to look elsewhere for help. The United States has spent millions of…
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Questions Never to be Answered

The Military Commissions Act of 2009, though an improvement over the Bush-era law governing military commission proceedings at Guantanamo, has a number of problematic provisions. A particularly important area is the rules it establishes regarding evidence…
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A layer of mold covered my tent in "Camp Justice" at Guantanamo last week. It was on the walls, on the thick yellow cables that bring in power from the noisy generators, and even on my pillow. As I left the isolated military base Monday afternoon after…
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As I sat watching the sentencing hearing at Guantanamo Bay of Omar Khadr, a former child soldier, I wondered how his being detained here for eight years without trial could actually be used against him. But that was the thrust of the testimony on Tuesday…
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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base -- After seven and a half years locked up at Guantanamo, this week Omar Khadr finally met the seven US military officers who will decide his fate. Five men and two women were selected Wednesday to determine whether Khadr, accused…
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The Trial of Charles ‘Chuckie’ Taylor, Jr.

On December 6, 2006, the United States Department of Justice indicted Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, Jr., son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, for committing torture in Liberia. The case, which is scheduled to go to trial in September 2008, is…
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Was one of the youngest prisoners at Guantánamo rushed to court by the Bush administration for political reasons?

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba -- One of the youngest detainees at Guantánamo Bay, a 23-year-old Afghan named Mohammed Jawad , spent two days in a courtroom here last week as his defense lawyer argued that his case should never go to trial. The attorney, Maj. David…
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We sat for almost four hours under the tents erected outside the Military Commissions building at Guantanamo Bay, waiting to hear whether the arraignment of Mohammad Jawad, a young Afghan man, would take place. Jawad was 16 or 17 when he was picked up in…
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Nothing quite prepares you for the reality of justice, Guantanamo style. It's not the endless security checks, the first sight of a Guantanamo detainee or that a military prosecutor begins his legal argument by describing how he salutes the flag during…
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November 9, 2007 When Omar Khadr, the 21-year-old Canadian walked into the Guantanamo courtroom escorted by three military police on Thursday he seemed calm. His boyish but bearded face was free of obvious emotion. This, after all, was the third time…
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Over the last five years, the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers has garnered an impressive series of successes, including new international legal standards, action by the UN Security Council and regional bodies, and pledges from various…
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By Joanne Mariner, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division Published in FindLaw.com September 29, 2003     When Paula Calderón was fourteen, her mother died. A few weeks after the funeral, Paula’s father brought her to a guerrilla…
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Commentary on the use of children as soldiers in the US military

By Jo Becker, Children's Rights Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch Published in Christian Science Monitor "There are some things we cannot and will not tolerate," President Clinton declared June 16 in Geneva, as he pledged US support for a new…