23 February 2009
"The forced recruitment and use of child soldiers is one of the most appalling human rights abuses in the world today. Many thousands of children are being exploited. Every day, they are compelled to endure and inflict violence that no child should ever have to experience." he said.
"This is unacceptable. The recruitment and use of children in warfare violates international law. It also violates our most basic standards of human decency. The entire United Nations system and I are determined to stamp out such abuse." he added.
He went on to point out that whilst 126 United Nations Member States have now ratified the the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, which came into force seven years ago all too often these legal obligations have been ignored.
Further information is available from The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers which works to prevent the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, to secure their demobilisation and to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.