Obama waives penalties on countries that employ child soldiers – again

To the human rights community, today’s action by the White House represents both an abandonment of efforts to protect children, and a betrayal of the NGO community, which had been promised that this year would be different from last year.

“The White House said last year that they were putting these countries on notice but now it’s a year later and the U.S. is still handing over taxpayer money to countries that use child soldiers with no strings attached,” said Jo Becker, advocacy director for the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch.

“President Obama’s decision today to provide taxpayer funded military assistance to countries that use children as soldiers is an assault on human dignity,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. “Good citizens of this country who do not want to be complicit in this grave human rights abuse must challenge this administration.”