US Military Assistance to Countries Using Child Soldiers: 1990 – 2006

June 15th, 2006 - by admin

Center for Defense Information – 2006-06-15 08:59:55

WASHINGTON (December 5, 2005) — Released on Feb. 28, 2005, the State Department’s 2004 Human Rights report discusses the “nature and extent of the compulsory recruitment and conscription of individuals under the age of 18” by all armed groups in every country, and what steps have been taken by the governments of the respective countries to eliminate such practices.

The State Department report cites 26 countries that have forcefully recruited and/or used child soldiers, including four countries that had no evidence of new child soldier participation in 2004. CDI’s research has revealed that of these 26 countries, the United States has provided 22 with military assistance since 2001.

While the Human Rights Report includes information on the many countries where tangible, positive results have been accomplished in the area of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, the list also includes gross violators of established international standards such as Sri Lanka and Colombia, where government-backed paramilitary groups and militias, as well as domestic insurgency forces, forcibly recruit and use child soldiers.

In these cases, the United States continues to provide millions in Foreign Military Sales (FMS), Direct Commercial Sales (DCS), Excess Defense Articles (EDA), International Military Education and Training (IMET), and Foreign Military Financing (FMF), despite demonstrably poor records. Other notable examples include countries such as Nepal and Yemen, which have seen significantly increased military assistance from the United States since September 2001 as part of the global war on terror.

A link is provided below to a list of countries identified in the State Department Human Rights Report, along with a brief description of the status of child soldiers, and the amount of military assistance provided by the United States. The descriptions of the use of child soldiers are quoted directly from the 2004 U.S. Department of State Human Rights Report.

The Department of State’s 2004 Human Rights Report is available at Additional information on child soldiers can be found in the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers’ Global Report 2004, available at

Click here to access the Excel Database of U.S. Military Assistance to Countries Using Child Soldiers: 1990 – 2006.
The Coalition produces a Global Report with information on child recruitment and use every three years. (The next Global Report is scheduled for early 2008.)

Child Soldiers Global Report 2004

Published on 17 November 2004, it covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004. Country entries refer to events occurring within this period. Some important developments relating to the recruitment and use of child soldiers between the end of March and the end of July 2004 are referred to in the report’s introduction and regional overviews. Country ratifications of relevant international treaties are up to date as of August 2004 and are included in the country data at the top of each entry, and in the global data summary chart.

Research for this report was carried out between January and June 2004. Information for the country entries was sought from a wide range of sources. These included governments, UN agencies and peacekeeping missions, other intergovernmental organizations, news media, academic sources, and human rights and humanitarian organizations. Information was also provided by Coalition members and partners and by local non-governmental organizations, journalists, lawyers, activists and others in many countries. Sources for the information contained in the country entries and the data summary chart are provided in footnotes. In some cases the identity of the source has been withheld and this is indicated in the relevant footnote. The names of child soldiers have been changed throughout this report.

Purchase a copy of the report by sending a cheque for £25 (book) or £5 (CD-ROM) payable to Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers to: Child Soldiers Coalition, 2nd Floor, 2-12 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HF. (Please note that we can only accept pound sterling cheques and price includes post and packing.) To pay by credit card follow this link to (book only). French and Spanish versions of the book are also available at the same price but not yet on Amazon.

Download the report in PDF format (Adobe Reader 6 or higher required). Individual country entries, the introduction, regional overviews and other sections of the report are available in this section. Country entries can also be found through the regional map (see Regions).