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Statement by the Prime Minister on the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, also known as Red Hand Day:

“Children have no place in war. Every year, thousands of children are cruelly recruited and exploited as weapons of war. Some of these children die, and those who survive may bear the trauma for the rest of their lives.

“Canada is steadfast in its commitment to protecting children from armed conflict. In 2017, we established the Vancouver Principles, which to date have been endorsed by 107 countries, emphasizing a concrete approach to ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

“We continue to fund international projects focused on demobilizing child soldiers in conflict zones, strengthening accountability, reintegrating former child soldiers into communities, and preventing the recruitment of new child soldiers. These projects span from Colombia to West and Central African countries. Here in Canada, the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security continues to help the Canadian Armed Forces prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers around the world.

“Today, on the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, we pledge to continue working closely with United Nations member states and other international partners to ensure every child is protected from the violence of war. Together, we can make sure children remain children and build a safer world where they can fulfil their full potential.”