UN: Former child soldiers should be treated humanely “not as menaces”


An article and radio broadcast from United Nations Radio

Former child soldiers need to be treated humanely and “not as menaces” to society, an advocate for children’s rights has said. Kabba Williams was one of those forcefully recruited in Sierra Leone by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, at the age of 7.

Children surrender their weapons during a ceremony formalizing their release from the SSDA Cobra Faction armed group, in Pibor, South Sudan (February 2015). File Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0201/Rich

Rescued and reintegrated into his community with the support of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners in 1994, he later earned a degree in literature and linguistics at Njala University. Mr Williams is currently writing a book and a portion of the proceeds will help finance rehabilitation programmes for other former child soldiers.

Deganit Perez asked him how the experience had changed him and what hope there was for people facing similar situations.

[Note: Click here to find the link for the radio broadcast.

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

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