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Child rights activist begins mission for child soldiers
an article by Ann Raj

Internationally acclaimed child rights activist Kimmie Weeks has said that nothing will stop his proposed visit to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast where he intends to begin his international campaign against the use of children in armed conflicts. This visit will also mark the first time that Kimmie Weeks returns to his native Liberia after being forced into exile five years ago.

Kimmie's return visit is part of a global campaign to study and bring international attention to the use of children in armed conflicts. In a recent interview with the Calgary Journal (Alberta, Canada) Kimmie Weeks noted: "the issue of the use of children in war is an important one, which unfortunately is not receiving the international attention it deserves. My ultimate goal is to find ways to ensure that children who participate directly or indirectly in conflicts can be disarmed and reintegrated into society as useful members."

While on tour, Kimmie Weeks will hold talks with heads of government agencies, as well as local and international organizations working with child soldiers. Public Relations Director Ann Raj noted: "Kimmie's schedule in each of the countries he is visiting is already quite full. He will begin holding meetings from the day of his arrival and will also work through weekends."

Kimmie Weeks is a native of Liberia and has been a vocal advocate against the use of children in war since 1996 when he headed Liberia's Children's Disarmament Campaign at age 16. In 1998 the Liberian government of Charles Taylor forced Kimmie into exile after he released a report detailing that government's involvement in the training and use of child soldiers. The January trip to Sierra Leone will mark the first time Kimmie Weeks revisits West Africa since being granted political asylum into the United States.

For further information see the Peaceforkids website.


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This report was posted on December 24, 2004.