From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : Child Soldiers Initiative Pays Visit to Sierra Leone
By Valentina Norman
Jun 15, 2017, 17:10

Child Soldier Initiative, an international organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, together with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), on Tuesday June 13th 2017 organized a press conference at the police Headquarters conference Hall in Freetown to update the media on the purpose of it visit and activities in the country.


Introducing Lt. Gen. Romeo Dialloire, the founder of the organization, and team, the Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, said the Child Soldiers Initiative is good. He added that the SLP has benefitted from its training on child protection in conflict areas, revealing that Dalloire believes that sharing lessons learnt is beneficial to Sierra Leone taking part in peace-keeping missions all over the world.


The Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police said that children need special protection and specific responses and that Sierra Leone has been identified as one of the countries of excellence for such program, stressing that it is everybody’s business to raise kids responsibly.


Dalloire said his organizations is covering the whole spectrum of children as they have achieved a culminating point in their program and currently entering the second phase to a national program on children in armed conflicts. He said they have a national strategic plan to provide training and new strategies for the armed forces, highlighting that his organization is recognized by world bodies like the UN, adding that the recruitment of children as weapons of war should be prevented through education, planning and peace support operations. He emphasis on training to be provided for security forces deployed in peace-keeping mission  referring  to the initiative for the next four years to recognize Sierra  Leone as a leading  country and a hub to help prevent child soldiers, revealing that Sierra Leone had in Somalia a child protection officer that was trained by his organization.


To combat the child soldier trend, he spoke on creating and expanding monitoring and good planning and to provide the necessary plan to end the horrific use and abuse of children. The Executive Director of Child Soldier Initiative, Shirley Whiteman, said the target is the is gradual process, progressive elimination, of child soldiers.

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