Monday, April 30, 2007

U.S. Provides Military Assistance to Eight out of Ten Countries that use Child Soldiers.

Around the world, an estimated 250,000 children are exploited in state-run armies, paramilitaries, and rebel groups. Serving as combatants, porters, human mine detectors, and sex slaves, their health and lives are endangered and their childhoods are sacrificed.

World Vision works in several countries where children are forced to be soldiers and is calling on the U.S. government to help stop the use of child soldiers.

Ten Countries Use Child Soldiers

Although many child soldiers are found in non-governmental armed opposition groups, the U.S. State Department reports that governments in nine countries are implicated in child soldier use.

The U.S. government provides military assistance to eight of them. They include:

* Burundi
* Chad
* Colombia
* Cote d’Ivoire
* Democratic Republic of Congo
* Sri Lanka
* Sudan
* Uganda

U.S. military assistance to these countries ranges from small amounts of funding for military training to hundreds of millions in weapons, training, and military financing.

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