Protecting Children From Recruitment
The conflict in Syria has displaced 6.6 million people within its borders and forced 4.8 million people to seek refuge abroad. Almost 3 million of those are children. Displaced children have missed out on months, or even years, of education and are significant risk of exploitation. It’s no coincidence then, that in 2016, the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in Syria more than doubled compared with 2015. More than 650,000 people fleeing the conflict in Syria have found refuge in Jordan. They have settled in both cities and camps, leaving large numbers of war-affected youth and children vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups. Jordan is also an important peacekeeping contributor, and has more than 650 peacekeepers, mostly police, serving in conflicts around the world. Many of these conflicts involve child soldiers, such as in the Central African Republic and Darfur.
The Dallaire Initiative is proposing to expand work with their Jordanian partners to significantly enhance their capabilities to prevent the use and recruitment of child soldiers at home and abroad. Wanting to build on their basic training package, strengthening their partnership and establish an intensive capacity building programme that would lead to national policies, strategies and tactics to improve the Jordanian military and police’s interactions with children. The training teaches military and police actors how to identify child soldiers in both combat and non-combat situations, how to manage confrontations with armed children to avoid casualties on all sides. It facilitates the closer integration of humanitarian and military operations, and leads to strengthened reporting on the prevalence of child soldiers in a conflict.