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US Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA)

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

US Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA):


Context:

US adds Pakistan, along with 14 other countries, to the list of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act.

  • The list identifies foreign governments with government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers and subjects them to certain restrictions.
  • Other countries which have been added to the annual TIP list of the US State Department are Turkey, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

 

About the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, 2008:

  • It identifies foreign governments having government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers.
  • The Act requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report a list of foreign governments that have recruited or used child soldiers during the previous year.
  • Designation under this act could result in restrictions on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.

 

Who is a child soldier?

  1. The term child soldier means any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities or who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces.
  2. It also means any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces or any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state.
  3. It also includes any such person who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard or sex slave.

 

How are countries identified?

The determination to include a government in the CSPA list is informed by a range of sources, including first-hand observation by the US government personnel and research and credible reporting from various UN entities, international organisations, local and international NGOs, and international and domestic media outlets.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know that according to Rome statute, “conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities” is a war crime? Read Here Briefly (directly search for child soldiers)

 

Sources: Indian Express.