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Purpose of the Toolkit At any given moment, throughout the world, there are millions of children affected by conflict. They are forcibly displaced from their homes. They witness atrocities. They commit atrocities. They suffer from malnutrition. They are victims of sexual and gender-based violence. They are separated from their families. They are abducted and victims of human trafficking. They lose their right to education. They are forced into labour. They are maim and killed. But they are also resilient. Given the opportunity and the resources, children affected by conflict can become peace-builders and peace-makers in their communities and in ours. They become doctors, teachers and other valuable professions that help future generations, and they become artists who tell their stories. The purpose of the toolkit is to help you get engaged on the issue of children affected by war. It is meant to give you an overview of the realities faced by children in conflict zones and to give you the basic knowledge you need to take action. It will also show you ways you can get involved, as well as point you towards additional resources to help you continue your learning about these issues and provide help in the planning of your event or workshop. This toolkit is meant to be the starting point of your commitment to and engagement around children affected by war. It is the beginning of you using your voice on behalf of those who need it the most. Learn. Be involved. Become a leader. Take Our Challenge

(next page‌!)

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Children Affected by War (CAW) Youth Challenge The Canadian Red Cross Children Affected by War (CAW) campaign is challenging YOU to take action and lend your voice to the thousands of children who are in danger from armed conflicts! This toolkit provides all the tools necessary to spread awareness, raise money and make a difference. •

Put on your own event to raise awareness within your community!


Raise money through a fundraiser to help alleviate the suffering faced by children affected by conflict around the world!

Let us know what you have been up to! Complete this form and send it to the address at the back of the toolkit.

CAW Challenge Submission Form Name of individuals or group (with group leader)

Contact phone number

Contact email address

School name

Event title

Amount of money raised (approx.)

Number of attendees/participants/people reached

Will this event continue in future years?

Short description of event

Table of Contents

Section 1 : Introduction The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement History Armed Conflict in the 21st Century Protecting Children in Armed Conflict The Rights of Children in Conflict (IHL) Six Degrees of Connectivity

5-6 7 8-10 11 12

Section 2 : Knowing the Issues The Girl Child Child Soldiers Displaced Children Children as Victims of Landmines and Cluster Munitions

13 14-16 17-19 20-23

Section 3 : Country Spotlights Focus on Liberia Focus on Sierra Leone

24-25 26

Section 4 : Planning Your Action Taking Action on Behalf of Children in Armed Conflict Fundraising Fundraising Ideas Activities to Raise Awareness

27-30 31-33 34-38 39-40

Section 5 : Resources Resources Build Your Vocabulary

41 42-44



Definitions for words in burgandy can be found in the Build Your Vocabulary section on pages 42-44.

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A Swiss businessman, Henry Dunant, asked this question in 1859 after witnessing suffering on an Italian battlefield. What he experienced would later lead him to create the Red Cross, which would become the largest and oldest humanitarian organization in the world. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) was founded in 1863 as a result of Dunant’s campaigning for an international humanitarian organization. More than 140 years later, three entities make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the National Societies–like the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRC). There are currently Red Cross or Red Crescent societies in more than 185 countries. These National Societies are under the hospices of the IFRC, founded in 1919. National Societies assist primarily in humanitarian issues within their country’s borders. Based out of Geneva, Switzerland, the ICRC addresses issues of armed conflicts, assisting in humanitarian relief and assistance in times of conflict and crisis.

The Canadian Red Cross Society The Canadian Red Cross Society (CRC) was created and recognized in 1909. Over the course of its more than 100 years, the Canadian Red Cross programs have evolved to meet the needs of the Canadian population. Today, the Canadian Red Cross offers programs such as: Disaster Management: Providing relief and aid during times of disasters, such as house fires, floods, hurricanes, chemical spills, etc. Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP): HELP loans medical equipment free of charge, such as wheel chairs, crutches and walkers. RespectED: RespectED is the Canadian Red Cross violence and abuse prevention program, which works with schools and communities to help fight against bullying and other forms of abuse. Humanitarian Issues Program (HIP): HIP helps educate and raise awareness of international humanitarian issues such as IHL, landmines, child soldiers and effects of conflict on children. Injury Prevention: Through Canadian Red Cross water safety programs (such as Red Cross swimming lessons) and Red Cross first aid and CPR training, the CRC helps keep Canadians safe.

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“Would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted, and thoroughly qualified volunteers?”

Section 1:

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The Seven Fundamental Principles Proclaimed in Vienna in 1965, the seven Fundamental Principles bind together the: Introduction

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies International Committee of the Red Cross International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

They guarantee the consistency of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its humanitarian work. Humanity: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples. Impartiality: It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Central African Republic. Central African Red Cross volunteers in HautMbomou being familiarized with the principles of the Red Cross ©ICRC/Ch.-V. Magendo/CF-E-00282

Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. Independence: The Movement is independent. The National Societies, whilst auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement. Voluntary service: It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain. Unity: There can only be one Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. Universality: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

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• • •

The armed conflicts witnessed today are mostly internal, or non-international. They are often fought between a uniformed armed group, perhaps the military forces of a country and a non-government armed force. Ethnic, racial and religious groups are often the target of horrific persecution and attacks. Often, combatants target civilian populations, creating a state of terror in the country that permeates the social fabric. Civil society, and often its most vulnerable groups (women, children, the elderly, the disabled, etc.), are deliberately targeted by attacks. Populations already living in poverty carry a heavy burden. All of this causes the displacement of millions every year. The difference between international and non-international armed conflicts is important in the application of international humanitarian law (IHL). IHL is a set of laws that seek to limit the effects of armed conflicts. The ICRC is the guardian of IHL; the cornerstone of IHL are the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005. Children are especially affected in conflict zones. Not only are their safety and security threatened by the actual violence, but in many cases, they are also impacted by malnutrition, absence of clean water sources and lack of access to healthcare and medication. Lack of waste management and sanitation facilities creates an environment for diseases to breed. While children are resilient, the psychological effects of war on children can be devastating and can be caused by the death of a family member, witnessing or being victims of atrocities, or being forced to commit atrocities themselves. Sexual and gender-based violence is a horrific reality that has become central in today’s conflict zones. Rape is not only physically and psychologically detrimental to the victim but also socially detrimental, since victims can face shame and marginalization. Sexual violence can also further spread HIV/Aids.

Conflicts, which today are often internal in nature, spare no one. Children are imprisoned, raped, maimed for life, even killed. Armed conflict tears families apart, forcing thousands of children to fend for themselves and to care for very young siblings. ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF]

Ask them not to hide the sun with their planes and not to shatter our dreams with bombs. Children are born to dream. - Dragan, age 14

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The wars of today, and of your lifetime, are very different from those that took place in the time of your grandparents and perhaps even your parents. International armed conflicts—wars between two states, fought on the battlefield between uniformed and organized armed forces—are largely a reality of the past.

Section 1:

Armed Conflict in the 21st Century

Take some time to think about...

How do you define childhood? Do you consider yourself a child or an adult? How do others define you? How was childhood different for your parents and grandparents?

Whether it be in times of conflict, natural disasters, or humanitarian crises, children are often one of the first populations impacted. Because of this, they not only have general protection under international law but also have special protection due to their special vulnerabilities. The international community has created a legal definition of a child. Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), a child is defined under international law as “every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier� (Article 1, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989).

International Legal Protection International law is the group of treaties and conventions agreed upon by national governments, spanning different topics such human rights, international humanitarian law, weapons treaties, etc. It is voluntary, meaning that governments choose to to the become State Parties instruments of law. A government may first become a signatory, symbolizing their overall agreement and support for the treaty before ratifying the agreement. Here are the key international legal instruments that seek to protect Children in Dakar, Senegal, learn about IHL during the launch of the Our World. Your Move. campaign. children in times of conflict. Š ICRC/N. Bloudin/SN-E-00140

Human Rights Human rights are granted on the basis of being human; they are the most fundamental rights that apply to all individuals in times of peace or conflict. Modern human rights are found in a series of human rights conventions. The most important human rights convention for children is the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which has 193 States Parties. A particularly important article on the issue of children in armed conflicts is Article 38: 1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.

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Children and childhood are not the same in every society and culture. Who is considered a child, and how and when children are considered adults, are social norms that vary over time and space.

Section 1:

Protecting Children in Armed Conflict

As human beings, children are also granted rights through other human rights conventions, such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on Social, the Cultural and Economical Rights, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on Refugees.


The Convention also has two Optional Protocols. The Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (130 States Parties) establishes 18 as the minimum age for compulsory recruitment and requires States to do everything they can to prevent individuals under the age of 18 from taking a direct part in hostilities. The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (135 States Parties) draws special attention to the criminalization of these serious violations of children's rights and emphasizes the importance of fostering increased public awareness and international cooperation in efforts to combat them.

Only two countries have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Somalia and the United States of America.

States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years to not take a direct part in hostilities. Article 1, Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Then, there are a series protections granted by International Humanitarian Law that come into affect in times of armed conflict, known as the Geneva Convention (Geneva Conventions I—IV) and their Additional Protocols. (Additional Protocols I—III) Over 25 articles of the four Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols specifically concern children. See page 11 for some of the articles.

As persons not taking a direct part in hostilities, children enjoy general protection with fundamental guarantees. Like any other civilians, children are entitled to respect for their right to life and for their physical and mental integrity. Like anyone else, they benefit from the prohibitions on coercion, corporal punishment, torture, collective punishment and reprisals. International humanitarian law also grants special protection to children as particularly vulnerable persons.

Want to find out more about IHL? Skip ahead to the Resources Page to see where to find out more about Humanitarian Law (page 11).

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2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities. 3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest. 4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.

The United Nations (UN)

The very first trial ever heard through the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is that of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a former leader of a militia group at war in the North Eastern Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He is currently being tried for enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 for active service in combat roles. Dyilo is accused of ordering forcible recruitment of child soldiers through his subordinates. The crimes Dyilo is charged for occurred in 2002 and 2003. From 2004 to 2006, the UN reported over 18,000 child soldiers were released from their military roles in the DRC. However, many are experiencing difficulty reintegrating back into society and are at risk of re-recruitment. Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is being tried at the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Hague. Along with charges of rape and murder, Charles Taylor’s 11 counts of crimes against humanity include charges of using child soldiers. • •

Find out more about the International Criminal Court on the Canadian Red Cross Society webpage, here. Find out more about international tribunals related to children and armed conflict on this UNICEF website.

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For links to all of these reports and resolutions, see the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict webpage.

Section 1:

The United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflicts have also written and adopted many reports and resolutions on children affected by war.

Right to the cultural environment By protecting this environment, the law also protects the moral values, religion and traditions in which the child was raised. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 24, 50, and Additional Protocol 1, Article 78) Right to humanitarian aid Children are guaranteed access to the essentials of life including food, water, clothing and shelter. • Parties in conflict are obliged to permit the free passage of all essential foodstuff and clothing intended for children. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 23) • Give priority to children in the distribution of relief consignments. (Additional Protocol I, Article 70) Rights to medical care • Children must receive priority during evacuations from besieged or encircled areas and sheltered in hospitals and safety zones. • Temporary evacuation of children to neutral countries for medical reasons shall be permitted. (Additional Protocol I, Article 78) Protection of children from combat The 1977 Additional Protocols were the first international treaties to cover the participation of children in hostilities. Children who take part in the hostilities do not lose the special protection. • The recruitment of children under the age of 15 into armed forces is prohibited. • Child combatants under the age of 15 are still entitled to the special protection provided to children under the Geneva Conventions. Rights of children in captivity • Children arrested, detained or interned shall be held in separate quarters from adults unless they remain with family members. (Additional Protocol 1, Article 77) • Interned children shall be given additional food to meet physiological needs. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 89) Rights of children separated from their families International humanitarian law is designed to preserve unity of families. • Occupying powers shall facilitate the identification of children separated from their families and register their parentage (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 50) • Parties to a conflict are obliged to keep members of the same family together in the event of internment. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 82) Right to be exempt from the death penalty • Pronouncement or execution of a death sentence against anyone younger than 18 years at the time of the offence is prohibited. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 68)

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Right to education Children have the right to receive an education. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 50 and 94)

Section 1:

The Rights of Children in Conflict (IHL)

How connected are you to a child affected by armed conflict? Here are a few possibilities.

Take some time to think about...

How connected are you to a child affected by armed conflict? Draw out the connections between you and the child, trying to determine the closest connection path. Is the path closer than you expected?

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According to a popular theory, if you are one step away from each person you know and two steps from each person they know, then you are no more than six steps away from every human being on earth.

Section 1:

Six Degrees of Connectivity

The Girl Child

Take some time to think about...

Close your eyes and imagine a child in a conflict zone … Did you see a boy or a girl? If you saw a boy, did you see a young boy as a child soldier, perhaps holding a gun? If you saw a girl, did you see a girl crying—a victim of an atrocity?

Gaza city, the occupied Palestinian territory. A young girl, whose home (n the background) was destroyed by fighting.

Female member of government armed forces/militias standing on guard. Liberia—Ganta Town, on border with Guinea.

© ICRC/VII/Tivadar Domaniczky/il-e-01664

© ICRC/VOETEN, Tuen Anthony/V-P-LR-E-00069

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Section 2:

displaced from their homes, sometimes detained. They are often separated from loved ones and become ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF] victims of violence and intimidation. Women can also be fighters, and as such, are due the same protections as men if wounded or captured. They are also bound by the same rules prohibiting illegal acts against other fighters or civilians. Girls and women are also particularly targeted for sexual violence or gender-based violence. In conflict zones, girls often become the head of their households, taking care of their younger siblings when adults are unavailable to care for them.

Knowing the Issues

Rape can be a method of warfare, used by armed groups to torture, injure, extract information, degrade, displace, intimidate, punish or simply to destroy the fabric of the community. The mere threat of sexual violence can cause Countless women and girls all over the world suffer the entire communities to flee their homes. trauma of war—as widows or orphans, perhaps

In order to understand the reality of children affected by conflict, it is important to consider the particular experiences of both boys and girls, based on their gender.

Child Soldiers Some children are voluntarily recruited, some are coerced and some are forced into joining government, opposition and paramilitary forces. While child soldiers exist in times of peace, too many children are involved in armed groups that are actually engaged in warfare. Child soldiers are thought to be involved in hostilities in many parts of the world. The United Nations (UN) definition of child soldiers is:

The experiences of these children A recent report by UNICEF estimates that out of differ greatly from one conflict to 25,000 children abducted in northern Uganda since another and from one armed group to the conflict began 19 years ago, 7,500 (30%) were girls, another. Many suffer from, witness 1,000 of whom had become pregnant during captivity. and commit grave atrocities, while The question of the lineage and inheritance rights of the children fathered by rebels is a growing concern others will be grateful for protection and increases the stigma attached to girl mothers, and access to food and shelter in many of whom may also be infected with HIV from the difficult times. Still, too often, rape, systematic sexual abuse they endured.31 In a drugs, violence and shame are part of programme for girls associated with armed groups in their normal lives. Sierra Leone, 32% reported having been raped Who uses child soldiers? Child soldiers have been used by government military forces or militias, as well as non-government armed forces.

(because of the stigma attached, sexual violence tends to be under-reported) and 66% were single mothers. Violence Against Girls in Africa During Armed Conflicts and Crises, ICRC report, May 2006.

Why do groups use child soldiers? Groups use child soldiers because they are impressionable, readily available, expendable and easily influenced. While historically speaking, children were usually recruited into armed groups to

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Section 2:

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers reports that in the period between 2004 and 2007, tens of thousands of children were involved in conflicts in 19 countries or territories. These were: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Uganda. At the same time, tens of thousands of children have been released from armed groups in recent years in Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Liberia, Nepal and Southern Sudan, as a result of peace agreements and demobilization and reintegration programs that remove children from armed groups and attempt to reintegrate them into society.

Knowing the Issues

any person under age 18 who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or group in any capacity, including but not limited to cooks, porters, messengers and those accompanying such groups, other than purely as family members. This definition includes girls recruited for sexual purposes and for forced marriage. It does not, therefore, only refer to a child who is carrying or has carried arms.

replenish ranks in times of conflict, in the last few decades, children have been brought into armed groups earlier in the conflict. Using child soldiers allows some groups to go to war. The proliferation of small, lightweight arms has also allowed children to be used in active combat. How do children find themselves in armed groups? Volunteer recruitment: Children can join armed groups for ideological and patriotic reasons, as well as for the thrill and praise that may come with their association. Some will join in response to a lack of economic and political opportunity or simply for access to food, water and shelter. Others will be lured by their friends’ or parents’ participation in combat or by the opportunity to seek revenge over the death of a loved-one.

Because they offered me money, a weapon and an opportunity to prove that I was something. Akaash remembers joining an armed group in Nepal, at the age of ten, ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF]

Why are disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs so important? The stigma attached to girls usually runs deeper and lasts longer. In some cultures, the sexual abuse they may have suffered compromises their marriage prospects. [...] [Girls] will often avoid registering as former fighters, thus rendering themselves invisible, both to national programmes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and to aid agencies. DDR programmes tend to overlook girls for another reason: more often than not, they have no weapons to turn in. All this means that their return to civilian life may put them at risk of marginalization, unable to receive assistance in rebuilding their lives.

DDR programs seek to remove and disarm (in the case of those who are armed) children associated with armed groups and facilitate their reintegration into society. These programs provide children with food and shelter, medical attention, education and skills/trade training (carpentry, sewing, etc.)to facilitate this reintegration into society.

According to the ICRC, “Demobilization and reintegration of children is essential for the rebuilding of societies torn apart by violence. The first priority is to reunite them with their families and home communities. They must be reintroduced into the educational system and ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF] helped to find employment through vocational training or income-generating projects. This is crucial for preventing their becoming marginalized, which often leads to their being recruited again.”, ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF] What are people doing to help prevent the use of child soldiers? There are many organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who actively educate and speak on behalf of child soldiers, so that their plight may be heard and change take place.

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Section 2:

Forced recruitment: Children can be abducted, drugged, abused and ostracized into joining armed groups. Some are tortured and abused and are forced to commit and witness atrocities, making it difficult for them to return to their communities. The rape of girls and boys is frequently used to prevent children from attempting to return to their families in societies where sexual violence is met with shame and isolation.

Knowing the Issues

Coercion: Children can be lured into the groups by friends and family through peer pressure.

Many humanitarian organizations, including the Canadian Red Cross, implement community initiatives to keep children out of conflict. Humanitarian organizations provide counselling and education to help reintegrate former child soldiers back into society. One such program is the Red Cross Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR) Program, originally in Sierra Leone and now in Liberia. See Focus on Liberia (pg. 24) and Focus on Sierra Leone (pg. 26). Progress is being made to punish those individuals who are responsible for recruiting child soldiers. The International Criminal Court is prosecuting individuals for their involvement in enlisting child soldiers. The ICRC visits child soldiers who have been imprisoned, to lobby for fair treatment and for their release. The ICRC also reunites displaced children of conflict with their families.

Afghanistan—Kabul. Child soldier. © ICRC/AHAD, Zalmaï/ V-P-AF-N-00207

AK-47s fall under the category of small arms. Deaths from small arms are estimated to claim over 1,000 lives every day. Legal small arms trade accounts for 14 billion dollars for the US alone each year. The illegal small arms trade is also estimated to generate between two and ten billion dollars every year world wide.

It was 2003. I was 11. We were walking on the road and met strangers with weapons. We were told not to run. My mother ran and she was shot dead right in front of me. They gave me a gun and taught me to shoot. On the front, a bullet hit my arm. When they would capture someone from an enemy faction, they would point a gun at me and tell me to kill that person, so I did. If I didn’t obey, I would be shot on the spot. I saw it happen to other kids. During the war, my father was wounded and all of my brothers and sisters were killed. I am alone now with my father, who is very sick. After the war, I applied for the Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR) programme and was chosen. Despite all I have been through, I am optimistic about my future. I think I will be a good person. Liberia will have a good future as long as we can keep away from war. It ruins everything. My family is gone. My childhood is gone. I can’t get it back. Oliver, who is now 17 years old is learning masonry at the CAR centre in Monrovia, Liberia ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF]

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Section 2:

Light weight, easy to use, comprised of only nine parts, capable of firing more than a kilometre and able to discharge 600 rounds per minute, the AK-47 is the weapon of choice for child soldiers. There are an estimated 70–100 million AK-47s in the world today.

Knowing the Issues

Most importantly, ordinary citizens of the world, like yourself, must educate themselves and their governments on the issue of child soldiers and then speak out for change.

Displaced Children Much too often, children are forced to flee their homes to protect themselves from armed conflicts . In doing this, they often have to travel great distances and are frequently victims of violent sexual and physical attacks. They become vulnerable to malnutrition and diseases and are frequently separated from their families. They are also exposed to far greater danger and exploitation, including forced recruitment, abduction, trafficking or sexual exploitation.

ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit

Some of the long-term effects of displacement are an increased risk of poverty resulting from the loss of land, inheritance or other legal rights, detention or discrimination and an inability to resume schooling. The distinction between refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and asylum-seekers is important to understand, because of the specific realities and challenges associated to each. Who is a refugee? A refugee is a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country...", as stated in the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of

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Section 2:

Eighteen million children were forced to flee their homes in 2008, becoming either refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Knowing the Issues

Even though the intention may be to leave their home temporarily, people can be displaced for decades. They find themselves in camps or are forced to settle in other villages and cities. Many children are born into camps and many more spend their entire childhoods’ in camps. There, the security situation in and around camp often makes children vulnerable to abduction, abuse and trafficking. Child soldiers are often recruited from camps because of the high density of children.

Refugees. Who is an internally displaced person (IDP)? An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who has fled their home but remains in their country of origin. An IDP may have fled home because of fear of persecution or human rights violations, but as opposed to refugees, they may also have fled because of a natural disaster. IDPs may have less assistance available to them because national governments are primarily responsible for their welfare (see below). Who is an asylum-seeker? An asylum-seeker is someone who has left their country of origin and is seeking refugee status in another country In refugee and IDP camps all over the world, girls and boys are (pending a formal hearing).

In both cases, there are many other organizations and UN agencies involved in assisting displaced children, in addition to the ICRC and Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies.

- Statement by Carol Bellamy to the 53rd session of the executive committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (30 September 2002)

Given the precarious situation faced by many internally displaced people, they form a large percentage of the beneficiaries of ICRC activities. Where the national authorities are unable or unwilling to help, the ICRC steps in to provide for the most urgent needs of displaced people. It is often violations of international humanitarian law that cause displacement in the first place. International humanitarian law protects internally displaced people. In addition to its operational work on behalf of displaced persons, the ICRC works to promote respect for humanitarian law in order to prevent displacements. To find out more about refugees, IDPs and asylum-seekers, visit the ICRC’s website.

Albania—Fier. Rest centre for refugees from Kosovo. © ICRC/OBERSON, Bernard/V-P-AL-D-00014

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Section 2:

responsibility for the welfare of the internally displaced.

Knowing the Issues

spending their most developmentally crucial years in These people are left in limbo until their status has been conditions of almost determined, potentially limiting their access to resources. unimaginable misery and squalor. To spend even a day in a Who is responsible for refugees and IDPs? refugee camp is too long for a child; yet, we know that children live in these camps for year [sic] As per the Refugee Convention, UNHCR is responsible and, in some cases, for for refugees. Whereas, in the case of IDPs, national generations. authorities (governments) have the primary

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2008:

42 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2008… 15.2 million refugees,

26 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) 18 million children were displaced in 2008. 44% of the world’s refugees and asylum-seekers are children. 43% of the world’s IDPs are children. 49% of persons of concern to UNHCR are girls and women. 16,300 asylum applications were lodged by unaccompanied and separated. children in68 countries. This represents 4% of the overall number of asylumseekers.

1/10 of refugees, asylum-seekers and IDPs are children below the age of five. 1/3 of refugees and asylum-seekers, IDPs and returned IDPs are school-aged (5-17 years of age).

40% of returned refugees are school-aged (5-17 years of age).

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Section 2:

Knowing the Issues

827,000 asylum-seekers,

Children as Victims of Landmines and Cluster Munitions

According to Article 2 of the Ottawa Treaty, an antipersonnel mine is a device “designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person…that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.” Antipersonnel mines are usually designed to be hidden from sight and contain an explosive component that is used to disperse shrapnel to harm the victim. States chose to ban anti-personnel mines because they are illegal.

There are 156 States Parties and two States Signatories to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel

Anti-personnel mines are illegal under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) because: (i) they are indiscriminate and therefore cannot tell the difference between the footsteps of a child and those of a soldier; (ii) they remain long after conflict has ended; (iii) the harm caused to civilians and civilian objects is disproportionate to their military utility. What are cluster munitions and why are they used? Cluster munitions are canisters that can be launched from air or ground and contain from dozens to hundreds of individual sub munitions or ‘bomblets’. These bomblets can blanket an area as large as ten football fields by ten football fields, killing anyone within 50 meters of each bomblet and can easily pierce through buildings and armour.

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What are anti-personnel landmines and why are they used?

Knowing the Issues

For most children of the world, playing outside, walking to school or exploring in the woods are safe and natural parts of growing up. But for some children, it is far from safe. Children that grow up in areas of armed conflict face a multitude of threats and dangers that remain long after the conflict has ended. Two weapons of war that put children in peril during and after conflict are landmines and cluster munitions. These explosive remnants of war are designed to destroy, maim and kill; but often they lay and wait in the ground, on a tree or in a building, waiting for their unsuspecting victim to arrive, to claim a limb or a life. Sadly, the landmine or cluster bomb casualty is often a child.

Although cluster munitions are supposed to explode on impact, they have a high failure rate, and the remains of the unexploded devices are referred to as explosive remnants of war. The presence of unexploded sub munitions has also made farming a dangerous activity and hindered development and reconstruction in many countries. Clearance of these weapons is often delayed by a lack of resources, leaving cluster munitions to kill and injure indiscriminately for decades. What are the effects of anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions on children?

Piles of rusted war material including bombs, mortars, and unexploded submunitions outside a metal foundry in Xieng Khouang province. The metal foundry has had numerous accidents Who are affected by anti-personnel landmines with items like these exploding; the and cluster munitions? management is seeking help from UXO In countries infected with landmines, it is the rural poor who are Lao and MAG (Mines Advisory Group).

most likely to suffer. These include farmers (whose access to fields may be limited), nomads, herders, fleeing displaced Š ICRC/J. Holmes/la-e-00952 persons/refugees and displaced persons/refugees returning home after the hostilities end. Cluster munitions also pose serious social and humanitarian concerns, since they have a high failure rate and do not discriminate between civilian and military targets. Therefore, civilians are at a very high risk of being affected by cluster munitions. These bomblets now act pretty much as landmines and remain a danger to all civilians. They restrict activities such as farming, hunting, gathering and traveling, adding to the turmoil of a war zone and remains an issue for many years until they are cleared. Most conflicts today are fought within and around cities, towns and villages, as a result, even when they explode properly upon impact, cluster munitions can be extremely hazardous to civilans because they are used in close proximity to civilians. Action taken to stop landmine use The Mine Ban Treaty is the international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines. Sometimes referred to as the Ottawa Treaty, it is officially titled: the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.

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Knowing the Issues

Children are curious by nature and will often mistake unexploded remnants of war as toys or possible items of value. Or they will step on a landmine accidentally while playing or doing basic chores, such as collecting firewood. Because of their small size, children are closer to the blast. Those who survive often have serious injuries, including loss of limbs. Children who have lost a limb(s) require new prosthetics approximately every six months because of their growth rate. Many families are not financially able to support a child with these medical requirements and, therefore, children are sometimes rejected by their families. Even then, prosthetics are not always available, and many children are unable to continue working or fulfilling a certain role within the family or community due to their injuries. Besides having a continued risk to their safety, many children will have lost a parent or other family member because of a landmine or cluster bomb explosion.

I can hardly remember anything except a terrible boom. My left hand was badly injured and bleeding. I once dreamed of being a good wrestler, but now the dream is over. - Gioergi, 17 –year-old

The treaty is the most comprehensive international instrument for ridding the world of the scourge of mines and deals with everything from mine use, production and trade, to victim assistance, mine clearance and stockpile destruction.

Read about Canada’s role with regard to the Ottawa Treaty on the Canadian Red Cross webpage. Action taken to stop cluster munitions use The Convention on Cluster Munitions has been open for signature since a Diplomatic Conference held in Dublin, Ireland in 2008. By adopting and signing the Convention, States have taken a major step towards ending the death, injury and suffering caused by these weapons. States must continue to adhere to the Convention, and all governments, armed forces and armed groups –in particular those who possess and stockpile cluster munitions–must fully implement its provisions. Only then can the international community claim success against the dangers posed by these weapons. On February 18 2010, Burkina Faso became the 30th State to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, permitting the Convention to enter into legal force on August 1, 2010.

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States Party to the Ottawa treaty agree to never under any circumstances to use, develop, produce, stockpile or transfer anti-personnel mines, nor to help anyone else to do so. Each State Party to the treaty must destroy all its stockpiled anti-personnel mines within four years of the date the treaty enters into force for a particular state, except for a few hundred or a few thousand mines that can be retained for the development of, and training in, mine-detection, mine-clearance or mine-destruction techniques.

Knowing the Issues

In December 1997, a total of 122 governments signed the treaty in Ottawa, Canada. In March 1999, the treaty became binding under international law, and did so more quickly than any treaty of its kind in history. As of March 2010, there were 158 member states of the treaty and a Through play, children in Tolima Department, Columbia, learn how to stay safe in areas contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war. further two signatory countries that ©ICRC/J. Borrero/CO-E-00684 still need to ratify the agreement. Approximately 40 countries remained outside of the treaty entirely, including China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.

45 - 100 million Estimated number of mines in the ground 75% Percentage of mine victims that are civilians 1/3

The number of casualties that are women and children

The number of people that are maimed or killed each year by landmines

Bomblets from cluster munitions can be dispersed in an area up to

30,000 square

meters. Cluster munitions can contain from a

few dozen to 600 bomblets.


Since its first major use in World War II, cluster munitions have been used in at least countries, including Laos, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Lebanon.


The most common cluster munitions fail to explode between and actual use, leaving a long-term and deadly legacy of contamination.

40% of the time in

As compared to anti-personnel mines, casualties from cluster submunitions were nearly


times more likely to be children under the age of 14.

<10% The percentage of landmine victims that have access to proper medical treatment and rehabilitation

340 The number of different types of landmines. A single landmine can cost between

$300 - $1,000 US

$3 - 30 US to produce.

The cost to remove and dispose of a single landmine

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2 - 6 times more blood transfusions are needed to operate on mine injuries than on other types of war injuries.

Knowing the Issues


Child Advocacy & Rehabilitation (CAR) The Need: Over 17 years of conflict and civil instability in Liberia have severely affected families, community relationships, health and education infrastructure and the mental well -being of the population in general. The impact has been particularly severe on children and youth, many thousands of whom were forcefully conscripted to be soldiers, labourers or sex slaves. Formal education for these children was either interrupted or never began and many –because of the violence and hostility they experienced–have had difficulty reintegrating with their communities.

Students at the CAR Centre— Liberia.

The Red Cross Response:

The CAR program provides: • • • •

• • • •

Basic reading and math skills for children between 10–13 years of age Advanced reading and math courses for youth 10–18 years of age Vocational training in trades such as carpentry, masonry, tailoring, welding, and dyeing in order to complement students’ education with practical and locally appropriate skills Start-up kits to students who complete their education and training, in order to give graduates the tools necessary to use their new skills to help support their families and rebuild their communities Counselling in family and emotional wellness–both individually and in groups–to help children and youth cope with trauma and war-related experiences. Nourishing meals to all students Ongoing dialogue with children’s communities in order to ensure positive reintegration Daily transportation for students to and from their homes and communities.

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ICRC Children in War 2009 Toolkit [PDF]

The CAR program is run by the Liberian Red Cross, with funding from several sources including the Canadian, Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss and British Red Cross Societies. The program has the capacity to educate, train and counsel 300 war-affected youth each year in two CAR centres in Liberia.

Country Spotlights

But the resilience of boys and girls must not be underestimated. Welltargeted care can help them recover, cease to be victims of war, and take possession of their lives.

The provision of basic education, skills training and counselling to children and youth is critical, as effective reconstruction depends on effective rehabilitation. The Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation Program (CAR)–first introduced in Sierra Leone in 2001–has been implemented in Liberia and has begun making a tremendous difference in the lives of children and youth affected by conflict.

After ten months of supported learning at the CAR centre–and close communication with their families and communities–students are reintegrated into the public school system or supported in their efforts to begin work in a selected trade. Upon completion of the program and reintegration, the children receive one year of follow-up support and counselling to ensure their transition is supported within their communities. Quick Facts: • • • • • •

CAR program aims to provide individual attention to war-affected youth and to contribute to postgraduate independence and self sufficiency. Students receive psychosocial, educational and vocational training during an 11-month enrolment. Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), endorsed by the government of Liberia, is a key feature of the program. Monitoring of newly graduated students continues after they return to their communities. CAR Centre is a new building on two acres of land just outside the capital, Monrovia. It offers access to recreation and sports facilities and cultural and drama shows. Individual counselling sessions have been conducted for over 4,000 people. Beneficiaries shared stories of their trauma, and confidence was built between counsellors and children, who worked together to heal and restore dignity. Currently, 300 participants have graduated with another 300 expected to graduate by the end of 2010. The graduates were then reintegrated into their various communities and are supported for one year with follow-up counselling and family visits. For those between the ages of 10–13 years old, they are also linked to regular schools to continue their education.

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Country Spotlights

Students at the Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation Centre—Liberia.

Child Advocacy & Rehabilitation (CAR) The Need: Ten years of civil war throughout the 1990s in Sierra Leone destroyed homes and personal possessions, impacted severe damage on family and community relationships, social systems, livelihoods and the mental well being of a population exposed to horrific violence, atrocities and death. In 2000, the Red Cross initiated projects designed to help people deal with the trauma of the civil war and to begin the task of rebuilding their lives and communities. The Community Animation and Peace Support (CAPS) program aims to help communities heal the psychological wounds inflicted by war and to take charge of their economic well being. The Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR) seeks to rehabilitate the large numbers of children directly affected by the war and reintegrate them into their communities. Community Animation and Peace Support (CAPS):

The animators are also helping communities take charge of their economic well-being by organizing work groups to clear fields, plant crops and rebuild houses and other buildings. CAPS is currently serving over 20,000 people in 15 communities in Pujehun District, and there are plans to extend the program to other parts of the country. Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR): The CAR program responds to the needs of thousands of children and youth directly affected by the war in Sierra Leone. These children were abducted and forcibly conscripted to be soldiers, labourers or sex slaves. Others witnessed loved ones being killed, looting, burning and other forms of violence. Formal education was either interrupted or never begun. Many became withdrawn or hostile, and had difficulty going back to their communities. Through this program, Sierra Leoneans are provided with basic education, employment training and family counselling. There are currently five CAR centres, serving 750 children.

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Participating villages are revitalizing cultural practices through dancing, singing and other rites, gathering in "peace huts" to also discuss their fears, concerns and plans for the future.

Country Spotlights

The CAPS program has demonstrated positive results. Animators trained in conflict resolution and the promotion of humanitarian values are helping villagers with painful experiences to begin the process of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Taking Action on behalf of Children in Armed Conflict After becoming informed about issues such as landmines, cluster munitons and child soldiers, you might be left wondering, “What can I do?”. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to organize an event to benefit children affected by conflict. In this section, you will find examples of events planned by youth across the country to raise funds and awareness on landmines, cluster munitions, child soldiers and the issues related to children affected by war. There are many ways to take action. We’ve broken down actions into three categories: • Fundraising • Raising Awareness • Using your voice with the government and the media Planning a big event such as a community fair or a benefit concert may seem like a very daunting task. By breaking the big task down into smaller pieces, it becomes a manageable challenge. First, let’s start with the basics... 1.

Goal Setting : Draw your Map!

The idea of this stage is to form a general direction of the event. You can go down to specifics later. For now, just dream!


What type of event will you have? e.g. If you want to do a fundraiser, there are several options: benefit concert, movie showing, etc…


What is your goal? (number of attendees, funds raised, etc.)


What can you imagine people who attend doing and talking about afterwards?


Plan the details!

Now it’s time to think about little details. Break your goals down to achievable objectives so you can get to work. Once it’s all laid out, be sure to divide up your tasks. a.

Logistics • • • • •

When and where will it happen? For how many people? Special equipments : sound equipment? Lighting? Will you have food or entertainment? What’s the budget?

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What is the purpose of the event? What do you want to accomplish? e.g. Fundraise? Raise awareness? Team building?

Planning Your Action



Resources • • •


Time Line • • • •


What do you already have? Does anyone have a good relationship with a local restaurant that can donate? Can anyone help transport the sound equipment? What will you need?

Assign specific tasks to individuals. Personal Timeline: Develop deadlines for each task. Group Timeline: When will you meet to finalize each part of the project? External Timeline: Deadline for media and caterers

Advertise • •

Consistent theme: Catch phrase/image Use a variety of media: Websites, posters, name it!



a. b. c. d. e.

Follow your time line and be flexible to your current situation. Confirm all bookings and guests a week before. Arrive early and make sure you have a Plan B. Make sure everyone has a copy of the day plan and knows what their tasks are. Have a clean-up plan.



a. b. c. d.

Will you be having participant evaluation? Team debriefing Thank all volunteers and sponsors. Document your recommendations.


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Planning Your Action

Humanitarian Issues Program

Sample Event Timeline When 6 weeks before

     

5 weeks before

      

4 weeks before

3 weeks before

2 week before

Week after event

    

Approach businesses for donations. Prepare promotional materials and develop a promotional plan. Recruit volunteers that will be required. Recruit any guest speakers you want to have. Research and book a venue for the event. Book any other services or supplies that you will need (sound equipment, outdoor tent, etc.) Contact media to invite them to the event, or write an article yourself for publication. Check in with your team. Send out promotional materials to target audience. Develop a tentative agenda. Purchase necessary materials. Check in with your team. Assign volunteer tasks and roles for event-day. Train volunteers. Continue promotion. Check in with your team. Confirm agenda. Check in with all guest speakers, external matters (venue, rentals). Continue promotion. Check in with your team. Address any last minute details that have been forgotten. Continue promotion and remind any media contacts. Check in with your team. Make sure everyone knows their roles, communicates with one another, and is prepared. Continuously check in with your team. Send thank you notes for volunteers, sponsors, or anyone who helped. Follow up with participants to get feedback. Write up recommendations for next time. Feel good and proud: celebrate!

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Week of event


Planning Your Action

1 week before

                

What Create your goals and objectives. Brainstorm possible events that would achieve your goal. Establish any partnerships with other groups/organizations that may help. Assess what you will need and what you have (supplies, people-power, promotion, etc.). Make a list of businesses you want to approach for donations, services, or anything else. Check in with your team.

Project Planning Sheet GOAL: What do I hope to achieve? (This can be a broader statement.)



Why? (specific goals like $ raised; reason(s) for people to come) What?

Where? (Venue)


Who? (Audience)

RESOURCES THAT I HAVE: Self (qualities / skills) Community (contacts, networks, relations) Materials RESOURCES THAT I NEED: Self Community Materials



GOAL SUMMARY: I am going to [insert summary of objectives] with the help of [insert main resources] by [insert summary of to-do list]. I am ready to take action!

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Planning Your Action


Fundraising One effective way to take action for children in armed conflict is to support an existing organization through fundraising and getting others informed about the issues. The fundamentals of good fundraising are not complicated, and with commitment and energy, you can be very successful. Set your goals • Whether you are planning a major fundraiser or simply trying to spread information, make sure you have clearly defined goals that everyone involved feels to be achievable. • If you are new to this, it is never a bad idea to start small and then go big later, if appropriate. Not only will this acclimatize you to the details of taking action, it will also serve to promote larger events later on. Plan ahead • Whether this involves approaching potential donors, advertising or dealing with potential difficulties, making sure preparations are made well in advance will reduce stress and increase your chances for success. Appear Professional • This will increase your credibility, your message and your donations. Provide information about your cause • People like to support a cause that they can understand and relate to. • Make sure all volunteers are well trained to answer questions from the public and the media.

Cost • • •

Keep them to a minimum! Every cent spent on the fundraiser is one more cent which must be recouped before any you can donate the money you raised. Attempt to get donations as much as possible. This includes venues, food, speakers, supplies; almost anything. Remember to always thank your sponsors.

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Timing • Schedule your fundraisers with sufficient time between each other to ensure they don’t become repetitive and easily ignored. • Avoid holding a fundraiser near the time of another group’s, especially if they involve similar activities.

Planning Your Action

Look for support • Approach the staff at your school, members of your community, businesses, even local politicians and media outlets and find how they may be able to help you. • Also remember to secure permission for your activity from whomever you think it may concern.

Learn from the experience • If the event is not as successful as you had hoped, don’t get down on yourself. Take what worked and change what didn’t. •

Post-event meetings with all volunteers can be very useful to review the event and consider what can be improved for next time.

Fundraising Tips • Depending on the situation, a few well-planned fundraisers in a year may be more effective than continuous monthly fundraising.

Having a professional appearance at your fundraiser can increase you credibility and donations. Prepare all signage well in advance and plan your presentation.

People like to support causes that they can understand and relate to. With every fundraiser, be sure to advertise for not only your fundraiser, but also why you are doing it. At the fundraiser itself, you may also wish to tell people about your cause by using displays, slideshows or guest speakers.

Be sure to train your volunteers and tightly coordinate the event. Have volunteer training meetings well in advance to ensure everyone knows and understands their tasks. Volunteers should also be aware of the cause that you are fundraising for, as they may be approached by media or the public.

The timing of a fundraiser could determine its level of success. Be sure to schedule your fundraisers with sufficient time between each one, so as not to be repetitive, annoy your sponsors, and cause donor fatigue. Also, avoid having a fundraiser after one put on by other groups.

Keep the cost to minimum. Try to get venues or supplies donated instead of paying for them.

Remember to always thank your sponsors, both verbally and in written form. Many stores like to display thank you cards given to them from community groups because it improves their public image.

You can learn more skills and perspectives to help you in organizing events through the Canadian Red Cross Youth TAP (Training - Action - Power) workshops such as: • Events 101: Planning for Success • Using the Media: Getting Your Voice Heard • Working Effectively in Groups: Building Real Consensus Contact your local Canadian Red Cross to gain access to these workshops.

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Treat fundraisers like a business venture. Think about what the ‘consumers’ want, and then provide it.

Planning Your Action

What do we do with this money? The final component to a successful fundraiser is deciding where you want to direct the money you raise. There are a variety of options. The Canadian Red Cross has a Landmine Survivors Fund, which supports hospitals, rehabilitation centres and landmine awareness programs, helping improve lives of thousands of landmine survivors worldwide. Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR) is another great program which helps former child soldiers reintegrate into society. For more information on CAR refer to the Liberia CAR section. International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is also worthwhile organization. It is a network which brings together more than 1,100 groups from 60 countries who are working to eradicate anti -personnel landmines. Members include human rights, humanitarian, children, peace, disability, veterans, medical, humanitarian, mine action, development, arms control, religious, environmental and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s groups. Money can be donated directly to the ICBL, one of the many organizations listed on their website, or even to special programs such as "Sponsor a MineDetection Dog". Tips for Success Remember to include an action for people to take, such as a website with more information, or a place where they can make a donation.

Donate to Canadian Red Cross Landmine Survivors Fund and/or War Affected Children Fund! These programs help children affected by war, land mine victims, refugees and many others who are hurt by the devastation of war. For Landmines Survivor Fund you can donate by phone or mail. For War Affected Children Fund you can donate by phone, mail or online. Visit the Donate Now page of the Canadian Red Cross Society.


Section 4:

Planning Your Action

Humanitarian Issues Program

Fundraising Ideas

Flaming Hair Coin Drive Event Summary: Put on a coin drive at your school to raise as much money as possible. To help achieve this, make it a competition between departments or teams at your school, with prizes for the department/team that collected the most coins. Pick a color or a symbol and have teachers, principals, team captains, or individuals agree to display it in some fashion (dye their hair, wear a wig etc.) once a certain amount of money is raised. To incorporate awareness, you may wish to give a similar symbol (such as a ribbon) to those who donated. Human Resources: Advertising, donation collections, public relations, media contact, donation negotiators Potential Problems: Insufficient advertising/participation, proximity to other fundraisers Tips for success:

Match fund Convince local businesses to match the funds that you raise. In return, offer to thank them in the newspaper article that you write. Make sure this event is advertised well in advance Effective advertising methods vary from school to school, but posters and announcements are usually good places to start. As this is a fundraiser that requires high participation from the entire school community, make sure you don’t schedule this fundraiser too close to a previous fundraiser, or other events, such as a band tour, for example, that draw funds from the student body.

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Create a visual of the coins to attract attention. Set a school-wide goal and motivate the school to achieve it. Challenge the school to collect enough coins to line up around the school track. Create a “thermometer” that tells the school how close they are to the goal. Spread awareness with media. Follow up the fundraiser by writing an article for the school/local paper about child soldiers, landmines, cluster munitions, etc., and have the media take a picture of the displays at your school or the coins you’ve collected. You could also use your school’s PA system to promote your fundraiser.

Planning Your Action

• • • • • •

Candy Grams Event Summary: Set up a candy grams delivery service for your school to raise both money and awareness. Students can either buy packages of candy for themselves or send it to anyone in the school. Each candy gram contains a variety of candies and could also include a card with a fact about child soldiers/mines, cluster munitions, IHL and an action to take. You may also wish to include a card your customer can write their own message on. Having a certain colour of candy which ties into your theme is a good idea. This would work well around specific holidays e.g. Halloween, Christmas. Human Resources: Advertising, sales, delivery, supplies shopping, creation Potential Problems: Insufficient advertising, overstock Tips for Success: Pricing Make sure the price you set covers cost and allows you to make a profit, without driving away your customers. Ask your friends about whether the price is acceptable. Decoration Create an attractive package that will draw customer attention. Display table At the vending table, set up some displays and posters with facts, case studies and any other available outreach materials to help increase awareness.


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Humanitarian Issues Program

Planning Your Action

Beware of overstocking It is usually better to find out that your fundraiser is more successful than you expected and run out of stock, rather than having overstock that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell.

Battle of the Bands Event Summary : Host a night of music with local performers at the school theatre or local venue. This project requires extensive planning but can generate impressive funds and awareness. Human Resources: Advertising, event set-up, event planning, event running, ticket sales, thank-you committee, donations, media, band liaison, volunteer coordination, event MC, security, clean-up, supplies purchasing Potential Problems: Insufficient advertising, crowd control, poor coordination, high cost/risk, lack of support from school admin. Tips for Success Choose your date and time carefully to encourage a large audience—and determine an appropriate price for the tickets, taking care not to under value or over value your product. Venue • A good venue should be accessible and appropriate for the event. Holding a battle of the bands at a senior’s centre may not be the most appropriate, for instance. • When booking a community venue, you must factor in the cost. Schools generally provide their theatres free of charge. • After the venue is booked, confirm your booking regularly and five days before your event. Performers • Recruit local bands to perform at your event. They are always looking for performance opportunities. • If you would like to have a “star appearance,” be sure to write to the performer’s agent at least two months in advance—and perhaps even sooner. • Confirm with all performers regularly and five days before the event. • Be sure to provide the performers with their schedule and description of the event.

Recruit Volunteers Security, ticket sales, back stage assistants…etc.

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Donations • Request an operational fund from schools and banks, as you will need to pay for expenses when planning this event. Note that anything you spend is a liability, if you do not raise enough money at the event. • Request door-prizes from local retailers. • Be sure to offer them advertising opportunities in return. • A “thank-you” poster at the event, or include them on your advertisements

Planning Your Action

Light and sound • Ask your school’s music and drama departments to help with light and sound. • Light and sound is also available professionally. Look in your phone book for these companies. Be sure to negotiate a donation or at least a discount.

Advertise • In your school: Posters, announcements, school newsletters, school websites, fliers • In the community: Community events announcements are available at your local TV and radio stations, as well as the community newspaper. Also, the “Speaker’s Corner” in malls are also great advertising. • You can play off the success of major benefit concerts such as Live Aid by mimicking names, motifs and symbols. This will grab attention and make the intentions of the fundraiser easily recognizable. Thank your sponsors Word of caution: Do everything in your power to keep the cost low. Avoid investing money in anything, including venues and sound. In order to ensure profit and avoid deficit, try to negotiate as many donations/discounts as possible.

Restaurant Night Event Summary: Negotiate with a local restaurant to host a fundraising night, where a portion of the profit made during a specified time will be donated to your fundraiser. Many restaurants offer this service. However, most of these restaurants will donate the proceeds only when the customer mentions the name of your group. Therefore, advertising is of utmost importance. Human Resources: Advertising, negotiate with restaurant Potential Problems: Insufficient advertising Finding the sponsoring restaurant

• •

• •

Look in your phonebook for some reputable restaurants. Write personalized letters on school letterhead to each of these restaurants explaining what your group is about, what you are fundraising for, what you would like them to do for you, and how you will thank them. Go to the restaurant in person and present the manager with your request. Be sure to get a written deal from management in order to avoid confusion.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! • See “Battle of the bands” section for advertising ideas. • You may wish to have club members distribute flyers to people’s mailboxes in your community to increase publicity.

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Tips for Success

Planning Your Action

• •

Vow of Silence Event Summary: This fundraiser gives participants a small glimpse of the social stigma and isolation faced by returning child soldiers or those disabled by landmines and other weapons. Participants wear a certain symbol for a set amount of time, during which they are not allowed to interact with other people. They cannot speak to others, hangout with friends, or do any activity that is outside of regular classroom activities. Before the beginning of this vow, participants collect pledges from other people. Human Resources: Advertising, public relations, media, donation processing Potential Problems: Proximity to other fundraisers Tips for Success Setting the parameters • How long is the silent vow? • What conditions must the participants follow? • What symbol will they wear? e.g. head band, mask Communicating with the public • Let the teachers know the parameters before the event starts. • Let the school public know about the vow and what the participants will be doing. Advertising Similar to the Coin Drive, don’t hold this fundraiser too close to other fundraisers.


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Planning Your Action

Humanitarian Issues Program

Activities to Raise Awareness Film Screening Event Summary: This is a great way to raise awareness in a meaningful way. Host a movie night at your school’s theatre and show a film involving child soldiers. Tips for Success Choice of film Look online for other great films. Be sure to watch the entire film to determine appropriateness before showing. Example of film: War/Dance Add a fundraiser Sell a specific symbol (ribbons) which ties into your cause. Debriefing Have an MC who relates the film to current situations and discusses what can be done. Taking action Set up a table with more information available, such as posters and case studies.

Posters Event Summary:

Tips for Success What to put on the poster • Statistics, ways to take action, upcoming fundraiser, etc • Attractive posters with pictures draw more attention. Location • Washrooms, vending machines, bulletin board, designated hallway… • Be sure to check with your school regarding where you can put up posters. Colour Posters on coloured paper stand out from the white walls.

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Planning Your Action

Putting up posters is an effective way to spread awareness or advertise for a fundraiser.

Quiz Time Event Summary: Sometimes, a person’s interest in an issue can be sparked by the realization that they actually don’t know a lot about the issue. Spread awareness by handing out multiple choice quizzes, which go into a draw for prizes. Tips for Success •

Target stigma: You may wish to include questions around ideas and issues that are common misnomers and are contributors to stigma.

Make information available with posters around the school: If you are also doing a poster campaign, you may wish to refer people to the posters to find the answers to the quizzes.

Pick-up-Stats Event Summary Often times, people don’t respond well to large campaigns because they cannot relate to the issue. A good way to change that is to provide a way for people to relate to the statistics. Create a flyer with one side that catches attention. It could be in the shape of a landmine or feature a graphic or noticeable image, while the other side states facts such as “Bomblets from cluster munitions can be dispersed in an area up to 30,000 squared meters.” Tips for Success Remember to include an action for people to take, such as a website with more information or a place where they can make a donation.


Section 4:

Planning Your Action

Humanitarian Issues Program


On Children in Conflict • • • • • •

Children in War (PDF),ICRC Children in War (PDF),ICRC (2009) Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, Report of Graça Machel Video Spot on Children in war, ICRC Student Videos on IHL, ICRC Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

On Refugees, IDPs and Asylum-Seekers • •

Displaced Children, UNICEF Refugee Children, UNHCR

On Child Soldiers • •

Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers Child soldiers resources for schools, British Red Cross

On Children as Victims of Landmines and Cluster Munitions • • •

Cluster Munitions, ICRC Comic book report on cluster munitions, ICRC International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Chidlren and International Law • • • • • • •

International Humanitarian Law, ICRC Explore Humanitarian Law, ICRC International Humanitarian Law, Canadian Red Cross Society Convention on the Rights of the Child (full text), ICRC page Summary Table of IHL Provisions specifically applicable to Children, ICRC Taking Action on behalf of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF Cartoons on the Rights of Children Resources

• •

Even Wars Have Limits, Canadian Red Cross Society ICRC Youtube Channel

Humanitarian Issues Program


Section 5:

Other Resources

Build Your Vocabulary Accede/Accession* ‘Accession’ is an act by which a State signifies its agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. It has the same legal effect as ratification but is not preceded by an act of signature.

Additional Protocols Complements to a treaty or body of international law. For example, the original Geneva Conventions of 1949 were supplemented by the two Additional Protocols in 1977, then a third Protocol was added in 2005.

Child soldier Any person under the age of 15 (18 under the Optional Protocol) who is affiliated with an armed force, whether it be government or otherwise.

Cluster munitions These bombs are comprised of many smaller bomblets and are designed to scatter explosives over a large area. However, many of the bomblets fail to explode and are left to kill or injure civilians long after a conflict has ended.

Convention* A ‘convention’ is a formal agreement between States. The generic term ‘convention’ is thus synonymous with the generic term ‘treaty’. Conventions are normally open for participation by the international community as a whole or by a large number of States. Usually the instruments negotiated under the auspices of an international organization are entitled conventions (eg. the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989).

Convention on the Rights of the Child Sometimes referred to as the CRC, this international UN convention sets out basic rights for all persons under the age of 18. These include civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

Explosive remnants of war This term encompasses all unexploded artillery shells, hand grenades, mortars, cluster sub munitions (bomblets), rockets and other explosive ordnance that remain after the end of an armed conflict. The presence of these weapons has serious consequences for civilians and their communities.

Geneva Conventions**

Humanitarian Issues Program



* indicates references taken from UNICEF document on key definitions found here ** indicates references taken from the Canadian Red Cross Society definitions found here.

Section 5:

Treaties signed in Geneva in 1949, which form the basis of modern international humanitarian law. They concern: wounded and sick of armed forces, prisoners of war and the civilian population.

International Armed Conflict** Fighting between the armed forces of at least two countries.

International Criminal Court (ICC) The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is based on a treaty, joined by more than 100 countries and growing.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) IHL is a set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. IHL is also known as the law of war or the law of armed conflict.

Landmines According to Article 2 of the Ottawa Treaty (see below) that bans them, a mine is "designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person…that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.” Mines are usually buried in the ground, and it is important to keep in mind that mines cannot distinguish between civilians or military personnel, children or adults.

Non-international Armed Conflict** (Also called internal conflict or civil war). Fighting on the territory of a State between the regular armed forces and identifiable armed groups, or between armed groups fighting one another.

Opposition Forces Armed forces in opposition of those of a current government.

Optional Protocol An additional legal instrument that is added to an existing treaty (i.e. the Convention on the Rights of a Child) and is labelled ‘optional’ because it is not automatically binding to States that have agreed to the original treaty. It must be signed and ratified independently of the original agreement.

Ottawa Treaty An international agreement established in Ottawa in 1997, this treaty bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, and also covers mine clearance and destruction.

Paramilitary A group of civilians organized in military fashion for the purpose of operating in place of existing army troops or for assisting them.




Humanitarian Issues Program

Section 5:

An act by which a State signifies an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. To ratify a treaty, the State first signs it and then fulfils its own national legislative requirements. This means that the appropriate national organ of the country–Parliament, Senate, the Crown, Head of State or Government, or a combination of these–follows domestic constitutional procedures and makes a formal decision to be a party to the treaty. The instrument of ratification, a formal sealed letter referring to the decision and signed by the State’s responsible authority, is then prepared and deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York.

Sexual Violence ** A particularly brutal crime to which women are all too frequently subjected in wartime. It is a means of warfare when used to torture, injure, extract information, degrade, intimidate and punish for actual or alleged deeds attributed to women or members of their family.

Signature* An act by which a State provides a preliminary endorsement of the instrument. Signing does not create a binding legal obligation but does demonstrate the State’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratifying it. While signing does not commit a State to ratification, it does oblige the State to refrain from acts that would defeat or undermine the treaty’s objective and purpose.

State Party* A ‘State Party’ to a treaty is a country that has ratified or acceded to that particular treaty and is, therefore, legally bound by the provisions in the instrument.

Stockpile In terms of explosive weaponry, a stockpile refers to the supply of these weapons for future use.

Treaty A ‘treaty’ is a formally concluded and ratified agreement between States. The term is used generically to refer to instruments binding in international law and concluded between international entities (States or organizations). Under the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, a treaty must be (1) a binding instrument, which means that the contracting parties intended to create legal rights and duties; (2) concluded by states or international organizations with treaty-making power; (3) governed by international law; (4) in writing.

United Nations (UN) Established in 1945, the UN is an international organization that seeks to bring the world’s nations together to work for peace, security and economic development.

For more definitions, check out the Glossary Booklet [pdf] of the Exploring Humanitarian Law Resource Pack for Teachers.

Acknowledgement Thank you to the following volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross Society:


Graphic Designer: Catherine Stinson

Humanitarian Issues Program


Section 5:

Andrew Bray Ashley Hardy Todd Powers Arran Smith Julie Breau

Children Affected By War  
Children Affected By War  

Children Affected By War Toolkit, Canadian Red Cross