No child left for dead.

child-soldier.jpg

“In the last decade, two million children have been killed in situations of armed conflict, while six million children have been permanently disabled or injured. Over 250,000 children continue to be exploited as child soldiers and tens of thousands of girls are being subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence.”
Olara A. Otunnu in a report to the General Assembly of the United Nations

Many governments around the world are actively using children as frontline soldiers, transporters and spies. Often times these governments are considered allies of the U.S. and are provided military financing, training, and weapons through taxpayer dollars.

In April of 2007, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced the Child Soldier Prevention Act. The bill would prohibit governments who recruit or use child soldiers in “government supported armed groups” – including paramilitaries, militias, or civil defense forces – from receiving funds “appropriated or otherwise made available for specified military and related areas.”

Oxfam America has set up an online petition where you can appeal to your state’s Senators, encouraging them to co-sponsor the bill. The “Child Soldier Prevention Act” currently has 33 co-sponsors. However, of the three U.S. Senators currently seeking the presidency, only Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has signed on as a co-sponsor.

This bill may see action in the Senate very soon. So it’s important that we make our voices heard on this crucial issue now!

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15 thoughts on “No child left for dead.

  1. Seems like a no-brainer.

    By the way, Shane – WordPress must have amazing Google index priority. I wanted to learn more about this and why other candidates haven’t signed on, and a search for “Child Soldier Prevention Act Hillary” brings up this very blog post on the first page of results!

  2. Now that is impressive! Also a little weird. If you leave off “Hillary” I don’t turn up until the fourth page. However, Hillary isn’t mentioned anywhere in my post, so it doesn’t make sense that it would be stronger in a search including her name.

    Weird.

  3. I also tried it with “monster” just to see. 😆

    By the way, thanks for not chiding me for my not-so-subtle Obama plug.

    I did find it odd that Clinton isn’t listed as a co-sponsor. Especially since Schumer is already on board.

    Note: If anyone needs to see other Christian support before signing the petition, WorldVision is on board with the bill. They also have a FAQ about the bill if you want to learn more.

  4. I’ll be darned:

    Subject: Thanks
    From: senator@schumer.senate.gov
    To: sbertou@yahoo.com
    Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 15:52:27 -0400

    Thank you for your e-mail. Each and every piece of correspondence I receive is important because it allows me to better understand the New Yorkers I serve in the United States Senate.

    As you can imagine, my office receives a great number of messages every day regarding a variety of issues and this is particularly true of e-mails. It makes me proud to know that my constituents take an active role in our government by corresponding with me, and I look forward to responding to your concerns in greater detail. In the meantime, I just wanted to let you know that your e-mail has been received, and to ask for your patience until I send you a more detailed response.

    Again, thank you for writing. Please feel free to visit my website http://schumer.senate.gov to follow my work in the Senate and to learn more about the services my office can provide to you.

    Warmest regards

    Granted, it’s a form letter, but I wasn’t expecting a response, and especially not one so quickly after signing the petition. Just goes to prove that the online petition really does get to where they say it’s going.

  5. why is it that sam adams and tommy jefferson were able to get people armed and ready to overthrow their govt about tea & stamp taxes, and we all know what the govt does, funding nations that do things like this, yet we feel no motivation to do anything? and i’m not asking as a “holier than thou”, i’m asking as one of the non-motivated. yeah, i’ll post a link and give people a heads up about the issue, but shouldn’t i go up to maine & break into my father’s gun cabinet and lead a friggin’ revolution over the insane amount of absolute evil carried out daily by my govt???

    sorry shane, i just got you patriot acted.

    and i don’t really know what i’m saying…it’s 10 minutes til the end of my work week and i’m spennnnnnnnt. hmmm, perhaps that’s the problem 🙂

  6. I think the underlying question that you’re asking is along the same lines as something I’ve been chewing on for a while myself.

    I often struggle with the thought that my (in)activism – passive activism? – (ie, posting links, raising awareness, etc.) doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to actually affecting change. Worse yet, that all the link posting and “cause joining” on Facebook that we all do might actually be worse than apathy, because it’s little more than feigned mobilization.

    This is why I’ve really been trying to seek out ways to make sure that the person I think I am on the internet is the same person I really am in the day to day.

    If I’m blogging about Darfur, I should be attending local rallies, having “real life” conversations about the issue with my friends and family, and lending financial support whenever possible.

    If I’m writing a blog entry about how I feel we have a spiritual obligation to care for (love even) the homeless, I want to make sure I’m also volunteering at local shelters, supporting local ministries dedicated to serving them, enlisting the help of others in my circle, and making sure that I’m being consistent with my message in the way that I treat them when they come to my door at night looking for a handout.

    I do believe in the power of media, and the positive influence that it can have. That’s why I make sure that as my readership grows due to the vast amounts of silliness on this blog, I am also cause oriented so as not waste the influence God has blessed me with.

    I’m just one dude though. And I get that. So I signed today’s petition before I blogged about it. And based on my stats, I see that three others have clicked the “act now” button, so I hope they have joined me. I could get discouraged because 3 out of the 238 who viewed the post might seem like a lousy rate of return on the investment of time. But I choose instead to be optimistic because that’s a handful more than had signed it yesterday. And if you multiply that out over the whole blogsphere, that could amount to a significant outcry.

    That’s how it works. I’m really excited about the possibilities that exist with our unprecedented connectedness with one another, all over the world. We can really make a difference if we care enough to.

    And we don’t need to take up arms and overthrow the government to make a difference. We can use democracy as a tool. We can also subvert it. We just need to be creative, and continue to be guided by our convictions.

  7. I think I am going to send my senator a quick note about this. He will in turn support a bill that will end up doing absolutely nothing to further the cause of children who are considered sub human and used like this everwhere around the world. But hey that will give us more money to spend elsewhere perhaps on turning Nevada into one large solar panel.

    Also on your activism thoughts Shane you are discounting a few things about the interweb that actually seem passive but I would think are very good stepping stones. Think of it this way when you post up a link to something even if you arent out hugging trees and saving Middle Eastern children you are still promoting awareness. You then have the option for people to check out something they would have never seen otherwise. After that point in time they are aware of something they never would have know before and gain knowledge and perspective on things they never would have touched. So in the end you enlighten yourself and others factually if nothing else. Yes I know some facts contain bias but that is always for the reader to sort out for themselves but its still a fact or an idea that is new and has expanded that persons awareness or understanding of the world around them. You can call that passive but I call it giving people a chance to really think and take something into perspective. To me thinking isnt passive because in the end its the most important step of action because it comes first.

    Then you plug Martin Luther Obama and totally ruin it for me!

  8. I think I am going to send my senator a quick note about this. He will in turn support a bill that will end up doing absolutely nothing to further the cause of children who are considered sub human and used like this everwhere around the world.

    Man, you are a cranky, pessimistic old bastard aren’t you? 😆

    For what it’s worth, Oxfam’s site had this to offer as to the value of the bill.

    Most of the countries perpetuating this problem rely on US military aid—when that aid is threatened, it can provide governments a powerful incentive to change their ways. That’s why this bill has the potential to make a significant difference.

    Now about that idea to turn Nevada into a giant solar panel. I’m game. Heck, let’s tie in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas while we’re at it!

  9. Now is this the same Oxfam that I bought my date with Scarlet Jo from??
    I dunno things with the words potential and can provide arent very convincing to me but when it comes to asking other countries around the world to do something our way.

    As for the Nevada thing I have to try and find the link but I watched a show about different energy options and how a huge bank of solar panels out in nevada basin area would be 2x the energy needed in the US. The cost wasnt good but it shows that things like that are doable.

    The show title was Modern Marvels : Renewable Energy. Was a great two hour show about how we are using renewables and what we are developing for cars etc on and on.

  10. i think maybe lots of your readers, like me, got the same email from oxfam. that’s how i think about it on my blog when i post my propaganda links 🙂

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