(BBtv + WITNESS) A Duty to Protect: Child Soldiers in the Congo

(Flash video embedded above, downloadable MP4 Here.)

More than 20,000 children have been abducted and forced into armed service by warring factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996. Many of these children are sexually exploited; many are forced to participate in or witness atrocities, as a way of life.

In day two of Boing Boing tv's three-day special series in partnership with the video network WITNESS commemorating the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, we present this special feature on the lives of the child soldiers in DRC.

In this episode, we'll hear from Bukeni Waruzi of the Child Soldier Project (AJEDI-Ka/PES), who are working to demobilize the boys and girls and provide them with protection, rehabilitation, and psychological care.

If you'd like to support the work of the Child Soldier Project, here's more info on how to assist (they are accepting donations, but there are other ways to help, too).

For more on WITNESS, and how they are using video to draw world attention to human rights abuses throughout the globe, visit the recently launched Witness HUB website.


  1. I don’t think Congo can be helped, culturally. There are too many nuts running around with automatic rifles, believing themselves to be demigods. But it’s good there is an organization trying to get the innocent children out of there. At least those kids might have a shot at really living if they can get away.

  2. The situation in the Congo is so hopeless. The people there are so inhumanly brutal. I struggle to understand how this can be, why there is no solution. While I care about human rights, at what point do we let people solve their own problems, since it seems similar to relationships with alcoholics or drug addicts: that caring too much is not helpful when they do not want to help themselves. I feel terrible for these children, but was shocked to hear they “joined up” willingly.

  3. When you have a situation where their most attractive choice is to join up “willingly” as a soldier at age 12, it becomes impossible to analyze it using Alanon/Naranon triage. Add to that the promotion tactics that are leveled at these kids, grooming them to make that choice, and you have the makings of a criminal enterprise.

    In an effort to make these crimes punishable in US courts wherever possible, Hill staffer Lou de Baca, who helped pass the “Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008” comments that Title IV of the bill a.k.a. H.R. 7311: William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 deals specifically with child soldiers and is awaiting Bush’s signature: http://is.gd/bCqu

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