Training Peacekeepers in Rwanda
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative conducts training with peacekeepers and other security forces that introduces the complexities of the child soldier issue, and outlines concepts and planning tools, as well as tactics, techniques and procedures for collaborative implementation on the ground. Such training focuses security forces on recognizing high-risk recruitment areas. It teaches military and police actors how to identify child soldiers in non-combat situations, how to manage confrontations with armed children, how to facilitate escape for child soldiers, and how to protect those who have escaped. It facilitates the closer integration of humanitarian and military operations, and leads to strengthened reporting on the prevalence of child soldiers in a conflict.
Internationally, no country or regional organization has yet developed coherent policies on how security forces should deal with child soldiers. The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, in partnership with the United Nations Training and Research Institute (UNITAR) is now developing a "minimum standard" to establish the knowledge and skills that must be acquired by all UN peacekeeping troops internationally, related to interacting with child soldiers. This "minimum standard" is being piloted with African peacekeepers at the Rwanda Peace Academy This a key strategy for breaking the cycle of use and re-recruitment of child soldiers.
Photo credit: Nicky of caagloo