Slaight_Family_Foundation

The Slaight Family Foundation announces $15M Global Initiative for Women and Girls

TORONTO (MARCH 3, 2020) – To mark International Women’s Day, The Slaight Family Foundation is donating $15 million to 15 international organizations working to improve human rights and opportunities for women and girls.

The recipient organizations – working mainly in impoverished, fragile or conflict-affected areas – each focus on different issues facing women and girls, including human rights abuses, child marriages, sex trafficking, legal support, HIV and AIDS and education.

“The aim of this gift is to improve conditions for women and girls living in difficult circumstances, who represent some of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Gary Slaight of The Slaight Family Foundation. “The projects we are funding will leverage the expertise of these vital organizations to protect women and girls in the most fragile countries from direct harm, rebuild the lives of those who have been unjustly affected by conflict, deprivation and disease and give them the tools and support they need to survive and thrive.”

“This investment in international NGOs is unprecedented and the projects being supported will directly assist more than one million women and girls in some of the world’s most fragile regions,” said Dr. Samantha Nutt, President of War Child Canada. “It’s such an important time to be highlighting this issue. For The Slaight Family Foundation to recognize the threats faced by women and girls, and acknowledge that their concerns matter with such an historic gift, is a profound message to send. On behalf of the entire group we extend our sincerest gratitude to The Slaight Family Foundation for their incredible support of our collective work.”

Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives to multiple organizations. These initiatives started with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs to address global humanitarianism, healthy development of children and youth across Canada, support for Indigenous issues and, last year, a seniors’ initiative to help keep seniors in their homes and communities, including the Allan Slaight Seniors’ Fund at the United Way Greater Toronto.

Project Information

AIDS-Free World

Sub-Saharan African countries with UN peacekeeping missions and high rates of HIV in women

Develop and roll out a smartphone app to tap young women’s unique knowledge of and solutions to living under the threat of sexual violence. Women in remote areas who answer open-ended, recorded questions orally, in private, as easily as leaving a voicemail message, will be transformed from victims with lived experiences to experts helping to end sexual violence against women.

Canadian Feed the Children

Ethiopia

Creation of a new ‘Livelihood & Gender Equality Fund’ championing the human rights of girls and women in Ethiopia. We will focus on reducing the forced migration of girls and women by helping them finish their education and improve future prospects including starting new, sustainable businesses through an agribusiness hub to develop female entrepreneurship. The initiative includes a sexual and reproductive health and rights campaign, strengthening community police, legal and healthcare systems, and a new research study on child migration.

Canadian Red Cross

South Sudan/Central Africa Republic

The Canadian Red Cross is launching an innovative program that brings health solutions directly into crisis and conflict areas, reaching women and girls who are cut off from health facilities due to violence. Essential health care and supplies delivered by local Red Cross responders will increase safe pregnancies, improve nutrition, and provide access to clean water and lifesaving treatments for disease.

CARE Canada

Somalia

Innovate and improve menstrual hygiene management for school-age girls with female genital mutilation – develop and test new solutions with established women and girls’ groups, train women to produce hygiene products locally, improve school sanitation facilities and increase community awareness.

Crossroads International

Senegal

The program will increase access to gender-responsive heath services and launch a youth-led awareness campaign for sexual and reproductive health rights among adolescent girls and boys at risk of child trafficking, forced prostitution, child labour and sexual violence in Kedougou, Senegal.

Human Rights Watch

Middle East/N Africa

End discrimination of women and girls by documenting the abuses of male guardianship system in the Middle East and North Africa. Year 1 will focus on documenting male guardianship in Qatar; how lack of domestic violence legislation and discriminatory laws leaves women exposed to domestic violence in Kuwait; and the start of mapping how and where male guardianship exists in the region.

Partners In Health Canada

Malawi & Sierra Leone

Improved access to sexual and reproductive health services especially for adolescents, strengthened care for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and increased availability of high-quality obstetric care. Activities include health worker training, resourcing and delivery of clinical care, educational initiatives for young people, and community-based work to raise awareness about women’s and girls’ rights and promote health seeking behaviour.

Right To Play

Mozambique

Transform the lives of more than 50,000 girls across Mozambique through a gender-responsive education program that removes barriers to access, builds teacher capacity, and positively impacts national programs and policies. The result will be higher literacy rates, lower drop-out rates, and a generation of girls who are better supported to succeed.

Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
Helping reduce child soldier recruitment and conflict-based sexual violence through capacity building of national military and police forces, with a focus on female force members; enhance the Dallaire Initiative’s cadre of female international trainers and global champions; raise awareness amongst the global community on the critical role of women in preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Save the Children

Sierra Leone

Improve knowledge and skills of adolescent girls and boys to be aware of and exercise their rights around sexual and reproductive health and gender equality, to be able to make their own informed decisions related to marriage and pregnancy. This action will transform harmful practices and attitudes that reinforce gender inequalities and gender-based violence and strengthen the institutional and policy environment to prevent child early and forced marriage.

Stephen Lewis Foundation

Sub-Saharan Africa

Expand holistic programmes that address gender inequalities to improve access to HIV prevention services, and support treatment adherence for women and girls living with HIV. Expand the global grandmothers movement through Grandmother Gatherings. Empower grandmothers caring for children orphaned by AIDS to claim their human rights and lead their communities, through peer support, healthcare, skills training, economic empowerment and advocacy.

UNICEF Canada

Somalia

In Somalia, only 30 per cent of children attend primary school with girls accounting for less than half of the total enrollment. This project will focus on girls and children with disabilities to improve their access to early childhood education (ECE) services. Community based and alternative ECE programs will be established in rural areas and provide appropriate curriculum that caters to the children’s different needs. It will also include education for parents and communities so that they can better support their children’s education.

War Child

Afghanistan/Uganda/Congo/Iraq/Syria/Yemen

Empower women and girls to seek justice and tackle impunity within their communities by providing critical legal support for those affected by or at risk of gender-based violence; through targeted educational programming, ensure that girls can uphold their rights, have greater self-determination, and move out of poverty over the long-term.

WE Charity

Sierra Leone (Kono District)

Focus on advancing the rights of vulnerable women and girls by empowering them with the tools, support and skills to bring an end to inter-generational cycles of poverty and injustice. The three-part program will implement training to address human rights abuses and threats affecting them. Part one will deliver community-wide training to create greater awareness about women’s rights and human rights abuses. Part two will provide vulnerable women and girls education on their rights, referral support and life skills to increase their opportunities. Part three will offer the highest-risk women and girls vocational training and accelerated learning opportunities.

World Vision

Mali

Implement the DREAM program – Dedicated to Reducing Early Marriage in Mali – to address the root cause of child marriage; will include sexual and reproductive health services, education and economic livelihood training; upgrading schools with girls washrooms, training parents, teachers, and faith leaders on the consequences of child marriage; train mothers and girls in financial literacy, life skills and income generating activities to increase household income.

For more information:

Jeri Brown, Media Profile

[email protected]

Office: 416-342-1834 Mobile: 416-455-7188

The Dallaire Initiative Marks The Day Against The Use Of Child Soldiers – An Open Public Dialogue

HALIFAX, NS – On February 10th, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative), in partnership with Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue Series, is hosting a public discourse to mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers.  

The discussion will be moderated by award-winning CBC journalist, Nahlah Ayed, and feature two speakers who experienced and understand the impacts of war on children, Omar Khadr and celebrated author and human rights activist Ishmael Beah. The event will also feature the organization’s Founder, LGen the Hon. Roméo Dallaire (ret’d) and Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Whitman.  

The event aims to nurture improved understanding of how children around the world are recruited and used by adults into conflict and violence. By examining the issue from multiple perspectives, the Dallaire Initiative hopes to provide deep and meaningful insights into how children are vulnerable to being recruited and used in violence, that takes many different forms, but ultimately have the same long-term and psycho-social impacts on the children and their communities.  

“As the global organization at the forefront of preventing children from being recruited and used in conflict, we have an obligation to foster public dialogue on this issue, with the aim to  break cycles of endemic violence around the world, and even here in Canada,” says Dr. Whitman.  “We understand this is a highly complex issue, but one that deserves serious attention if we are to achieve peace and security. The Dallaire Initiative is proud to be able to continue to convene timely and critical discussions that bring together diverse groups here at our institutional home in Halifax – Dalhousie University.”

The discussion is part of Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue series which brings the community together for thought-provoking conversations focused on timely and relevant topics. The series also supports the university’s vital role in sparking dialogue around important issues.  

The event will also mark the Dallaire Initiative’s 10th anniversary at Dalhousie University. It will be hosted at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and recorded for possible use in an episode of CBC Ideas.


Event Details

What: The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative in partnership with Dalhousie University’s Open Dialogue Series, public discourse with Omar Khadr, Ishmael Beah, and LGen the Hon. Roméo Dallaire 

When: Monday, February 10, 2020. Registration starts at 5:30, doors open at 6, event 7-9 

Where: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre6101 University Ave, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 

Note: For security reasons, all coats will need to be checked and no large bags will be allowed into the auditorium.


Media Advisory 

We anticipate a high level of media interest in this event. There will be limited space for media. 

All media-related inquiries in advance of this event will be solely handled by the Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative, Dr. Shelly Whitman. Omar Khadr will not be speaking to the media.  

  • Media organizations wishing to attend the event must apply for accreditation by emailing: [email protected] with their name and media outlet.  
  • If accepted, media must present media and personal identification upon arrival to the media reception desk. 
  • There will be an area for media reserved in the Rebecca Cohn and media must remain in this area during the event. 
  • Photography, video and audio recordings of the event are not permitted.  

Media contact 

Aimee White, Chief of Staff

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

902-456-0400

[email protected]


About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative  

childsoldiers.org

Founded by retired Lieutenant-General and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a global partnership committed to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative takes over valuable programs from Child Soldiers International

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 5, 2019/CNW/

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative takes over valuable programs from Child Soldiers International

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) and Child Soldiers International (CSI) announced today that the Dallaire Initiative is taking over the international programs from CSI, which is officially closing its operations on June 7, 2019. The Dallaire Initiative is honoured to carry forward CSI’s valuable contributions to the cause, and CSI is confident and proud to hand over its work to them.

Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Dallaire Initiative, said: “We place immense value on the work CSI has undertaken as the founders of the global movement to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers, as well as the relationships and collaboration we have enjoyed over the years. Although we are sad to lose them as collaborators and colleagues, we wanted to ensure that the important work started by CSI lives on through the handover of key existing programs and resources. CSI’s legacy and work, particularly on global advocacy and community-based prevention and reintegration, will continue to advance the body of knowledge pertaining to understanding and preventing the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. We are also confident that it will better inform our activities, optimize our impact globally and ensure the world understands the need to continue to put resources towards ending this tragedy.”

Isabelle Guitard, Director of Child Soldiers International, said: “We are thrilled that our global work to prevent the military recruitment and use of children will be taken forward by the Dallaire Initiative. Like us, they believe that prevention is better than cure. They are renowned and respected advocates of children’s rights in conflict, with whom we have worked closely for years in our mutual efforts to prevent the involvement of children in armed conflict. We know that our work and legacy will continue through their hard-working and passionate team.”

The Dallaire Initiative is taking over the DRC and South Sudan community led prevention and reintegration programs. Both programs compliment the already existing programs the Dallaire Initiative is conducting in South Sudan and the DRC. In addition, the Dallaire Initiative will host and continue the Child Soldiers World Index, and its global research, policy and advocacy work. The World Index is an important resource for child protection actors and the Dallaire Initiative is eager to not only take it on, but combine it with their exciting new Knowledge for Prevention research that aims to create a better global estimate on the numbers of children recruited and used as soldiers. A statistically informed global estimate, combined with the World Index platform, has the power to demonstrate progress on the issue as well as to continue to galvanize support to continue the fight to improve efforts to end this crime against humanity.

The Dallaire Initiative will not be taking on CSI’s UK program campaign. This will be taken over by the London-based Child Rights International Network (CRIN).

Both CSI and the Dallaire Initiative have championed the belief that it is immoral for adults to use children in war. Collaboration on international advocacy and implementation by both organizations on the OPAC, the Safe Schools Declaration, the Paris Principles and the Vancouver Principles demonstrated this common aim. Children should not fight wars and one day we will make their recruitment and use “unthinkable”.

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About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Founded by retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) believes that in order to progressively end the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, the world must focus on effective prevention. It is the Dallaire Initiative’s unique approach to affecting beliefs, attitudes and behavior change through our pedagogical approaches that leverage our relationship to work with the security sector through a prevention-oriented lens, that defines our organizational imperative and creates lasting impacts well beyond the immediate interventions. The Dallaire Initiative co-authored the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in 2017 with the Government of Canada.

About Child Soldiers International

Child Soldiers International (CSI) was formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. Established in 1998 by a group of leading human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, its original purpose was to campaign for a human rights treaty to prevent the military recruitment of children and their use in conflict. This treaty, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), entered into force in 2002. In 2011 it became an independent UK registered charity, connected with a network of local and national child rights and child protection organisations across the world. CSI will close its doors on 7 June 2019, due to an increasingly challenging operating and funding environment for small NGOs.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Amara Bangura
Sr. Communications Officer
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
+1 (902) 494-7853 (office)
[email protected]

Isabelle Guitard (until 7 June)
Director
Child Soldiers International
[email protected]

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The International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Protect Children to Protect Peace

Halifax, Nova Scotia May 29th

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Protect Children to Protect Peace

Today, on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) honours all peacekeepers around the world who have sacrificed their lives to help bring peace to conflict-affected countries.

UN peacekeepers continue to play a crucial role in helping these countries and their people find peace and stability. The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is therefore observed annually on May 29th, and this year’s theme “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” also marks the upcoming 20th anniversary of the first ever Security Council mandated peacekeeping mission designed explicitly to protect civilians in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in 1999.

Sierra Leone today is a peaceful country on Africa’s West Coast, but the anniversary reminds us of the challenges to protect peace. During its decade-long civil war, 10,000 child soldiers were recruited and used as soldiers by all parties to the conflict. Today, however, the country is one of the first African countries to endorse the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers. It has also undergone significant security sector reforms and is now contributing troops to the UN and African Union peacekeeping missions in various conflict zones.

“We are extremely proud of how Sierra Leone has emerged as strong advocate for the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers across the globe,” says Dallaire Initiative Executive Director, Dr. Shelly Whitman.

The Dallaire Initiative has been working with the security sector in Sierra Leone since 2012. This week, our team of expert trainers are in the country to continue the collaborative development of an integrated training program. Together with our partners, the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Sierra Leone Police, and the Sierra Leone Correctional Services, we are supporting the world’s first integrated security sector curriculum focused on the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

The Dallaire Initiative believes that if we are to collectively “protect civilians as a means to protect the peace”, we must empower security sector actors with the appropriate training, tools, and resources to protect children. This also requires us to understand that the realities of conflict demand new approaches and practical strategies to better protect both children and soldiers from physical and psychological harm. We believe that by taking a Children’s Rights Upfront approach – which means placing children at the top of the international peace and security agenda – it will,in turn, contribute to improving overall peace and security globally and ultimately, the mandate of UN peacekeepers to better protect civilians.

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About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Founded by retired lieutenant-general Roméo Dallaire, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (Dallaire Initiative) believes that in order to progressively end the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, the world must focus on effective prevention. It is the Dallaire Initiative’s unique approach to affecting beliefs, attitudes and behavior change through our pedagogical approaches that leverage our relationship to work with the security sector through a prevention-oriented lens, that defines our organizational imperative and creates lasting impacts well beyond the immediate interventions.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Amara Bangura
Sr. Communications Officer
The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative
+1 (902) 494-7853 (office)
[email protected]

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Dallaire Initiative annonce un programme national dédié aux enfants soldats au Soudan du Sud grâce à une subvention du gouvernement canadien d’un montant de 3 millions de dollars

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative remporte 3 millions de dollars pour le projet national du Soudan du Sud


The Dallaire Initiative

Pour diffusion immédiate

Lundi 12 février 2018

L’Initiative Dallaire annonce un programme national dédié aux enfants soldats au Soudan du Sud grâce à une subvention du gouvernement canadien d’un montant de 3 millions de dollars

Tout au long de ce projet de renconforcement des capacités d’une durée de trois ans, l’Initiative Dallaire œuvrera avec des forces de sécurité nationales et internationales à l’effet de mettre fin au recrutement et à l’utilisation d’enfants soldats, une mission indispensable qui se situe dans le droit fil de l’ensemble des efforts destinés à rétablir la paix au Soudan du Sud.

Halifax (N.-É.) — Grâce à une subvention de 3 millions de dollars d’Affaires mondiales Canada, la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative apporte au Soudan du Sud son approche mondialement reconnue axée sur la prévention en vue de mettre un terme à l’utilisation et au recrutement d’enfants soldats.

« Notre expérience et notre approche visant à protéger les enfants de leur recrutement et leur utilisation comme enfants soldats à l’échelle du continent africain et au-delà font de l’Initiative Dallaire l’entité la mieux à même de proposer une approche d’élimination progressive du phénomène d’enfants soldats dans l’environnement difficile que constitue le Soudan du Sud », déclare Shelly Whitman, directrice générale de la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

La crise en cours au Soudan du Sud a donné lieu à une utilisation massive et généralisée d’enfants soldats par toutes les parties au conflit, une situation qui a valu à ce pays d’être accusé de violations graves commises à l’encontre d’enfants dans le rapport de 2016 du secrétaire général de l’ONU sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé.

Ce projet vise à protéger des garçons et des filles du Soudan du Sud de leur recrutement et leur utilisation comme enfants soldats en œuvrant avec des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité (en particulier les forces nationales, les Casques bleus et des acteurs de la sociétés civiles) afin de renforcer les stratégies destinées à prévenir l’utilisation des enfants comme armes de guerre. Pour ce faire, l’Initiative Dallaire, de concert avec des partenaires locaux, entend offrir des formations et mener des activités de sensibilisation dans le but de changer les attitudes et les comportements concernant l’utilisation des enfants comme armes de guerre.

L’engagement du gouvernement du Canada à l’égard de ce projet et la priorité accordée à la protection des enfants traduisent l’engagement pris lors de la Réunion des ministres de la Défense sur le maintien de la paix des Nations Unies organisée à Vancouver en novembre 2017. Au cours de cette conférence, l’Initiative Dallaire et le gouvernement du Canada ont lancé un nouvel ensemble de normes mondiales appelé Les principes de Vancouver sur le maintien de la paix et la prévention du recrutement et de l’utilisation d’enfants soldats.

Le projet au Soudan du Sud s’appuiera sur le modèle innovant à l’échelle nationale de l’Initiative Dallaire relatif à la protection des enfants de la guerre. Grâce à une formation des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité fondée sur une approche descendante et des initiatives de sensibilisation et d’éducation communautaires axées sur une démarche ascendante, l’Initiative Dallaire propose une approche globale destinée à protéger les enfants de la violence, des conflits et de la guerre, un modèle élaboré et mis à l’essai en Sierra Leone et qui, et ce moment, fait l’objet d’une mise en œuvre en Somalie.

L’Initiative Dallaire s’efforcera de favoriser l’apprentissage et les échanges, tout en fournissant de la formation et de l’assistance technique, selon que de besoin, afin d’élaborer des stratégies de protection de l’enfance et des mécanismes communautaires pratiques de consolidation de la paix au Soudan du Sud au lendemain du lancement officiel des activités le 1er avril 2018. Ce projet, qui durera trois années, s’achèvera officiellement en 2021.

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Pour toute demande presse, merci de communiquer avec :

Josh Boyter

Directeur des communications, La Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (bureau)

1 902 489. 6767 (cellulaire)

À propos de la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Basée à l’Université Dalhousie à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse, au Canada, l’Initiative Dallaire est reconnue comme étant le seul organisme au monde qui s’appuie sur une approche axée à la fois sur la prévention et le secteur de la sécurité pour s’attaquer au crime contre l’humanité que constitue le phénomène d’utilisation d’enfants soldats. Fondée par le lieutenant-général à la retraite et célèbre humanitaire Roméo Dallaire, la Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative est un chef de file qui s’engage à éliminer l’utilisation et le recrutement d’enfants soldats partout dans le monde, à travers des recherches révolutionnaires, des activités de plaidoyer et la formation des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité.

Au sujet du projet

La crise en cours au Soudan du Sud a donné lieu à une utilisation massive et généralisée d’enfants soldats par toutes les parties au conflit, une situation qui a valu à ce pays d’être accusé de violations graves commises à l’encontre d’enfants dans le rapport de 2016 du secrétaire général de l’ONU sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé. En 2016, les Nations Unies ont confirmé 169 cas de recrutement et d’utilisation qui ont touché au moins 1 022 enfants, 61 % ayant été attribués à l’APLS (574) et aux autres forces de sécurité gouvernementales (50). Des enfants ont également été recrutés et utilisés par l’Armée populaire de libération du Soudan dans l’opposition (115), l’Armée populaire de libération du Soudan dans l’opposition alliée à Taban Deng Gai (207), et plusieurs autres groupes d’opposition.

En posant le problème comme étant une priorité particulière pour les intervenants du secteur de la sécurité, l’Initiative Dallaire entend renforcer les capacités des personnes engagées dans les opérations de paix au Soudan du Sud en vue d’améliorer les politiques et les stratégies destinées à prévenir le recrutement et l’utilisation d’enfants soldats.

Dans l’ensemble, le projet vise à protéger des garçons et des filles du Soudan du Sud par le biais de l’élimination progressive du recrutement et de l’utilisation d’enfants soldats en soutenant l’APLS, la MINUSS, ainsi que des organismes internationaux et communautaires à travers les axes ci-dessous :

  • Le renforcement des capacités des intervenants du secteur de la sécurité en vue de prévenir le recrutement et l’utilisation de filles et de garçons comme soldats.
  • L’intégration de la prévention du recrutement et de l’utilisation d’enfants soldats dans le processus global de rétablissement de la paix au Soudan du Sud.
  • Le renforcement des stratégies de protection de l’enfance par la société civile et les communautés en vue de prévenir le recrutement comme enfants soldats des garçons et des filles à risque.

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Dallaire Initiative Announces National Program on Child Soldiers in South Sudan with 3 million grant from Canadian Government

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative Awarded 3 million dollars for National South Sudan Project

The Dallaire Initiative

Dallaire Initiative Announces National Program on Child Soldiers in South Sudan with 3 million grant from Canadian Government

Three year capacity building project will work with international and national security forces to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers as critical to the overall efforts to achieve peace in South Sudan.

Halifax NS—The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is bringing its world-leading prevention oriented approach to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers to South Sudan with the awarding of a 3 million dollar grant from Global Affairs Canada.

“Our experience and approach to protecting children from their recruitment and use as soldiers across the African continent and beyond make the Dallaire Initiative uniquely equipped to bring a progressive elimination approach to the challenging environment that is South Sudan” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The current crisis in South Sudan has seen massive and widespread use of child soldiers by all parties to the conflict resulting in the country being listed as a state violator on the 2016 UN SRSG’s report on Children and Armed Conflict.

The project will seek to protect girls and boys in South Sudan from recruitment and use as child soldiers by working with security actors—such as the national forces, UN peacekeepers – as well as civil society actors— to strengthen strategies to protect children becoming weapons of war. This will be accomplished through training and sensitization activities undertaken by Dallaire Initiative staff with local partners that aims to change attitudes and behaviours with respect to the use of children as weapons of war.

The Government of Canada’s commitment to this project and the prioritization of the protection of children are reflective of the commitment made at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver in November 2017.  At this conference, the Dallaire Initiative and the Government of Canada launched a new set of global standards called the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.

Work undertaken in South Sudan will be based on the Dallaire Initiative’s pioneer national level model of protecting children from war. Through top down security sector training and bottom up community sensitization and education initiatives, the Dallaire Initiative builds a holistic approach to protecting children from violence, conflict and war—a model that has been developed and trialed in Sierra Leone and now is being implemented in Somalia.

The Dallaire Initiative will seek to facilitate learning and exchanges, and provide training and technical assistance as-needed to develop practical child protection strategies and community-based peacebuilding mechanisms within South Sudan upon the formal launch of activities on April 1st. The project will run for a total of three years and be officially completed in 2021.

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For Press Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

About the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

About the Project

The current crisis in South Sudan has seen massive and widespread use of child soldiers by all parties to the conflict resulting in the country being listed as a state violator on the 2016 UN SRSG’s report on Children and Armed Conflict. In 2016, the United Nations verified 169 incidents of child soldier recruitment and use affecting at least 1,022 children, 61 per cent of which were attributed to SPLA (574) and other government security forces (50). Children were also recruited and used by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (115), the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition allied with Taban Deng Gai (207), and several other opposition groups.

By framing the issue as a specific priority concern for security sector actors, the Dallaire Initiative will empower those engaged in peace operations in South Sudan to improve policies and strategies to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Overall, the project’s goal is to protect girls and boys in South Sudan through the progressive elimination of the recruitment and use of child soldiers by supporting the SPLA, UNMISS, international and community based organizations in the following areas:

  • Improve capacity of security sector actors to prevent the recruitment and use of boys and girls as soldiers.
  • Integrate the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in the overall peacemaking process in South Sudan.
  • Strengthen child protection strategies by civil society and communities to protect at-risk boys and girls from being recruited as child soldiers.

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Press Release: There is Nothing Basic about this Training

The Dallaire Initiative launches latest call for educational program designed to help military and police veterans end the use of children as weapons of war.

For Immediate Release

November 8th , 2017

There is Nothing Basic about this Training

The Dallaire Initiative launches latest call for educational program designed to help military and police veterans end the use of children as weapons of war.

Halifax NS—Today, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative launches its latest call for applications for the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) Program. For the first time, the program will be open to federal, provincial and municipal Police Veterans who will join their Canadian Armed Forces Veterans counterparts in building their capacity to end the use of children as weapons of war.

“The inclusion of police will bring a unique domestic perspective to the VTECS program and build upon the innovative approach of equipping those who served to protect with the tools and knowledge needed to help us end the use of children being used and recruited as soldiers, both domestically and internationally” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “We are proud of what VTECS has been able to accomplish over the last two years. The program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skill set of our highly trained Veterans while providing access to an academic environment, credits/accreditation possibilities, and employment opportunities. The inclusion of police Veterans will only strengthen the program’s ability to make a significant impact both domestically and internationally, enhancing our shared mission to end the use of children as weapons of war.”

The VTECS program delivers education and skills transition training for Canadian military and police veterans by combining academic, fully-credited university classes with specialized training on the skills, knowledge and attitudes required of security sector actors to legally, humanely and effectively interact with child soldiers in domestic or foreign operational areas.

“The Dallaire Initiative has provided me with the tools to be a better advocate, researcher, and trainer in a community of practice that is working to progressively eradicate the recruitment and use of child soldiers through a security sector approach. I am proud to be a ‘VTECS grad’” states Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Ian MacVicar.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 VTECS program. Interested Canadian Veterans can apply online between November 8, 2017 and January 10, 2018. The program is open to any Canadian Armed Forces Veteran and any federal, provincial and municipal police force Veteran with a good conduct release who can meet the program requirements. Program requirements and application information are available online at childsoldiers.org/vtecs

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Twelve Veterans Graduate Program at Dalhousie University

Program Supports the Dallaire Initiative’s Mission to End the Use of Child Soldiers.

Twelve Veterans Graduate Program at Dalhousie University

Program Supports the Dallaire Initiative’s Mission to End the Use of Child Soldiers.

For Immediate Release

August 1, 2017

HALIFAX—On July 28th, the Dallaire Initiative graduated its second cohort of twelve veterans into the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program at Dalhousie University. This year’s cohort consists of twelve Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and, in a first for the program, an RCMP veteran.

“We are excited to build upon the success of our graduates who through their unique set of skills and perspectives are well placed to help support and grow our mission of ending the use of children as weapons of war,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The gradation was attended by a number of Members of Parliament including, The Honourable Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax, along with representatives of Dalhousie University, Wounded Warriors Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and others.

The VTECS program provides an opportunity to receive focused education in the field of children affected by armed conflict and assist in developing instructor and facilitation skills that will be a benefit in all areas for Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life employment. Through the completion of the VTECS program, participants will become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

LCol Michael Rostek, commented, “”VTECS is a truly unique program leveraging the skills and knowledge of Veterans who continue to serve their country by contributing to the mission of ending the use of children as weapons of war. I am honoured to have been afforded the opportunity to work with such an inspiring team at the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and look forward to making many future contributions to such a noble cause.”

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “We continue to work with Veterans who are struggling to transition their specialized skills to the civilian workspace. We believe the VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skill set of our highly trained Veterans while also providing skills transition training; access to an academic environment; credits/accreditation possibilities and employment opportunities. On behalf of Wounded Warriors Canada, we congratulate the second cohort on their graduation and wish them the very best as they progress through the program in the months and years ahead.”

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Press Release: VTECS Program Launches in Halifax

The Dallaire Initiative

For Immediate Release

 

June 29th 2017

VTECS Program Launches in Halifax

Twelve Veterans participate in program at Dalhousie University to support the Dallaire Initiative’s mission to end the use of child soldiers.

Halifax, NS—On July 3rd, the Dallaire Initiative welcomes its second cohort of twelve veterans into the Wounded Warriors Canada Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers (VTECS) program at Dalhousie University. This year’s cohort consists of twelve Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and in a first for the program, an RCMP veteran.

“We are excited to build off the tremendous success of our inaugural graduating class last year,” states Dr. Shelly Whitman, Executive Director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. “Through VTECS we amplify our efforts to end the use of children as weapons of war”

In the past year, 6 alumni of the first cohort participated in the Dallaire Initiative’s world-class training to prevent the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Rwanda as trainers. Other inaugural graduates have conducted advocacy presentations across Canada on the issue of child soldiers and assisted with the development of resources and training for the Dallaire Initiative.

“The VTECS program offers former members of the Canadian Armed Forces an opportunity to repurpose their knowledge and skills that will help the Romeo Dallaire Initiative to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers. One can choose to ignore the problem, or you can become part of the security sector solution to make the world a better place,” states Ken Hoffer, Inaugural VTECS Alumni and Dallaire Initiative trainer.

The program will run for the month of July at Dalhousie University and consist of four classes, two-credited university courses on international politics and children and war along with two courses on the Dallaire Initiative’s training to prevent the use of child soldiers. The four classes blend the theoretical perspective and practical skills VTECS graduates will require in supporting the mission of the Dallaire Initiative.

Scott Maxwell, Executive Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, commented, “At Wounded Warriors Canada we continue to work with Veterans who find it difficult to apply their training and expertise in civilian life. The VTECS program is a force multiplier – leveraging the skills of our highly trained Veterans while also providing transition support; access to an academic environment; credits and potential employment opportunities. This, all the while working to address a critical security issue of our time: the use and recruitment of children as weapons of war. We are proud to fund this outstanding program and extend our best wishes to the second cohort.”

The program officially launches with the first of two public lectures at Halifax Central Library on July 5th at 7:00pm in the Paul O’Regan Hall with LGen Roméo Dallaire, founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and Jon Somer, expert on the engagement of armed non-state actors in the protection of children. This event is free and open to the public.

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For Press Inquires

Josh Boyter

Director of Communications, the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

[email protected]

1 902 494 2392 (office)

1 902 489. 6767 (cell)

Scott Maxwell

Executive Director, Wounded Warriors Canada

[email protected]

289-388- 6181

 

About the Organizations

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

The Dallaire Initiative, based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is recognized as the only organization in the world taking a prevention-oriented, security sector focused approach to the crime against humanity that is child soldiery. Founded by retired lieutenant-general and celebrated humanitarian Roméo Dallaire, The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative is a leader committed to ending the use and recruitment of child soldiers worldwide, through ground-breaking research, advocacy, and security-sector training.

Wounded Warriors Canada

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that supports Canada’s ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans, First Responders and their families. Through a wide range of national programs and services, Wounded Warriors is dedicated to providing programs focused on mental health and, particularly, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

About Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Recruitment and use of Child Soldiers (VTECS)

Wounded Warriors Canada VTECS is an innovative program designed to engage military veterans on the issue of child soldiers by combining university level education with world class training. As they reform their skills and experiences, Canadian Forces Veterans become community educators and advocates, championing the Dallaire Initiative’s vision of a world where children are no longer recruited or used as weapons of war.

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Statement to Commemorate Red Hand Day

Dr. Shelly Whitman

Letter from Dr. Shelly Whitman

Executive Director of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative

Some 250 million children are affected  armed conflict around the globe. Today, in every conflict that exists, children are vulnerable to being recruited and used by adults. Their tactical and strategic use sustains and increases the severity of conflict while tearing at the fabric of societies affected by war.

This February 12th, the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers (Red Hand Day), offers us an opportunity to reflect on this sober reality and discuss how we can ultimately work towards ending the use of children as soldiers.

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative continues to be at the forefront of this fight, developing innovative tools and training for the security sector – military, police, prison personnel and peacekeepers—while creating ground-breaking research and high-level advocacy to create new solutions.

To mark Red Hand Day we are launching the third edition of our landmark publication, Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors and the first edition of our maritime handbook, Children Used in Maritime Piracy: A Handbook for Maritime Security Sector Actors. These two handbooks aim to proactively and positively engage the security sector actors to prioritize the prevention of the use of child soldiers as a critical element to the protection of children and conflict prevention measures.

Canada has now taken the lead to ensure this ethos and approach is undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces through the development of a Doctrine on Child Soldiers. The significance of this doctrine cannot be understated. Within its lines, not only is a baseline set for how Canada understands and actively assists in preventing the use of child soldiers, but how we will better prepare the men and women who face this reality in the field. Read our full statement on this important step forward here.

In a world of competing priorities, it is important we elevate the need to protect children from violence and abuse. A Children’s Rights Upfront approach will build points of collaboration and create momentum on the international peace and security agenda.  The concerted efforts of many are required to create a world where children are no longer used as weapons of war.

All forward together,

Dr. Shelly Whitman

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