The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (the Dallaire Initiative) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have opened a new front in the global fight against the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Co-developed over two years, E-Learning course: Child Soldiers and Security Forces, builds on the Dallaire Initiative’s first of its kind handbook and core competencies that focuses on prevention measures and equipping security sector actors with the necessary tools, tactics and knowledge to counteract the use and recruitment of child soldiers.
“Through e-learning we are able to extend our classroom and expand our reach around the world. This course is a great introduction for those who are on the frontlines in peace operations in countries where child soldiers are being used, ” states Tanya Zayed, Deputy Director and Head of Training for the Dallaire Initiative.
The objective of the e-learning course is to advance a better understanding of the phenomenon of child soldiering, as well as the reasons behind the use of children in armed conflicts. At the same time it aims at expanding upon the possible interactions security sector actors may face when encountering child soldiers while on mission. Using the latest techniques for adult learning, this course follows a collaborative learning model coupled with live facilitation and discussion forums.
The E-Learning course “Child Soldiers and Security Forces” represents one way of operationalizing recent resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council— S/Res/2143 and 2151, which
recommend targeted pre-deployment trainings for security personal in peacekeeping missions with the aim to protect children in armed conflicts. This course also supports the ultimate goal of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict’s Children not soldiers campaign, which aims to achieve child-free government forces by 2016.
“When children and child soldiers are encountered in times of conflict or crisis, it is often security sector actors—military, police, peacekeepers who are the first points of contact. Our training ensures that they have the tools and training to fill the gap between when a child is encountered to their handover to civilian child protection personnel.” states Zayed.
E-Learning: Child Soldiers and Security Forces represent the latest achievement in the partnership between UNITAR— who focus on designing and delivering innovative training to address needs of individuals, organizations and institutions, and the Dallaire Initiative. Through this partnership, the Dallaire Initiative has reached new heights in its advocacy efforts at the UN and extended the reach of its training, while UNITAR has gained a subject matter expert in the area of child soldiery that hasinformed their ongoing training and work on the issue.
The formal launch of E-Learning: Child Soldiers and Security Forces will take place on December 10th at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations New York. The development and deployment of the course was generously sponsored by the Federal Government of Germany, the Government of Canada and the Principality of Liechtenstein.