Children at risk in the hands of the FDLR in eastern of Democratic Republic of the Congo

By: Joseph H. Cavallaro- Vision GRAM-International     May 26, 2015 – In recent weeks, several hundred Congolese children have escaped from armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Though the freeing of children from armed groups is always a cause for celebration, there are still an estimated 30,000 children fighting with armed groups in the DR Congo. The armed rebel group that uses many of these child soldiers is the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).  They are remnants of the original FDLR that is responsible…

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Vision-GRAM International visits DRC: Interview with Executive Director Victor Amisi

Vision-GRAM International (Group of action against Marginalization) is an organization of human rights affiliated to project GRAM- Kivu, which works to promote human rights in defending the rights of children and women.  The vision of the organization dates from 1996 when the region of the Great Lakes – (Africa), conflicts have plagued the Democratic Republic of Congo and created millions of victims, death, displaced, wounded (men, women and children) because of traffic and proliferation of small arms and massive violations of human rights, where its has accomplished great actions. Established…

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The Loss of Innocence

By: Jennifer Fierberg The use of child soldiers in combat has gone on for centuries. Not only are boys recruited for various combat tasks girls are also forced into combat situations as cooks, sex slaves, human shields and other demeaning activities. In order to enslave a child in this way they must first be broken down physically, mentally, sexually and morally in order to be effective in their duties. The 2004 Child Soldiers global report reported one estimate put the number of children involved in armed conflict including combat roles…

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Stand up for love to stop the use of child soldiers

By Jennifer Fierberg February 12, 2013, the world recognizes the International Day of child soldiers. Today, Child Soldiers are reported in 21 on-going conflicts around the world. Vision-GRAM International is an organization based in Canada and run by Congolese activists in order to stop the epidemic of children being forced into combat situations and provides them with education instead.  Vision GRAM-International serves at the international level with focus on children’s rights, women’s rights, small arms, human rights issues as well as conducting research on the issue conflicts in Africa, peace…

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Congo president calls for arrest of wanted warlord

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — In a marked turnaround, Congo’s president called Wednesday for the arrest of a notorious ex-warlord and army general, who has been allowed to walk freely despite an international indictment, an official said. Bosco Ntaganda is accused of using child soldiers for fighting in Ituri, in northeastern Congo, from 2002 to 2003. He was first indicted on war crimes charges in 2006 by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court. President Joseph Kabila said Ntaganda should be arrested and face a military tribunal in Congo, presidential spokesman Andre Ngwej…

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DR Congo’s Lubanga found guilty by ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has found Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers during the final years of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 1998-2003 war. Lubanga, 51, on Wednesday became the first suspect on whom the Netherlands-based international court has delivered a verdict since it was established a decade ago. The former leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), an ethnic Hema group, was charged with recruiting and using child soldiers in northeastern DR Congo. He had been held at The Hague since…

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