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Senate Clears Child Soldiers Bill for President’s Signature

On September 15, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, S. 2135, the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2007, clearing the bill for the president’s signature. The House approved S. 2135 on September 8 after making minor technical changes to the bill (see The Source, 9/12/08).

Noting that an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children currently are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in over 20 countries, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the bill’s sponsor, said, “The use of children as combatants is one of the most despicable human rights violations in the world today and affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who are used as combatants, porters, human mine detectors, and sex slaves. The power to prosecute and punish those who violate the law will send a clear signal that the U.S. will in no way tolerate this abhorrent practice.”

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