Letter to the editor; Child Soldier
To the Editor:
“Once a Child Soldier, Now Fighting to Find His Way Back” (news article, April 5) profiled Duop, a child soldier from South Sudan.
While the article mentioned that the American military has trained South Sudan’s army, it did not mention that there is a United States law that is supposed to protect children like Duop from the trauma he experienced.
The Child Soldier Prevention Actcuts off American military aid to countries that recruit and use child soldiers. Unfortunately, since the law has taken effect, the United States government has gone out of its way to get around it.
Since 2010, more than $1 billion in American military assistance has been delivered to governments that prey on children. In South Sudan, $99 million has been earmarked for military assistance, but only $1.2 million has been withheld.
Last month, a few members of Congress introduced legislationthat would correct the law’s flaws, close loopholes and make it more difficult for the United States to circumvent its commitment to children’s rights. For the sake of children like Duop, Congress should pass this bill.
JEREMY RAVINSKY, WASHINGTON
The writer is a policy associate at the Open Society Policy Center.