Child Soldiers International

Child Soldiers International,[1] formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, was a UK-based non-governmental organization that worked to prevent the recruitment, use and exploitation of children by armed forces and groups. As of 07 June 2019, it is no longer operational.[2]

Child Soldiers International
FoundedMay 1998
(Incorporated on April 9, 2002)
FounderAmnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Save the Children Alliance, Jesuit Refugee Service, Quaker United Nations Office, Terre des Hommes
FocusHuman rights, Children's rights
Area served
World wide
MethodResearch, public education, advocacy
Key people
Co-Directors: Isabelle Guitard (Director of Programmes) and Carol Steel (Director of Operations) Trustees: Veronica Yates (Chair), Duncan Barnet, Julie Light, Alison Wallace, Paul Gready, Théo Boutruche, Véronique Aubert, Janet Anderson and Christine Watkins


Child Soldiers International envisions a world where all children grow up realising their full potential and enjoying all their human rights. For this to be possible, Child Soldiers International is working to prevent armed forces and groups from recruiting, using and exploiting children.


Formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,[3] Child Soldiers International was founded in 1998 by leading human rights and humanitarian organisations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Save the Children. Its purpose was to campaign for the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC)[4] – a human rights treaty that prohibits the use of children in armed conflict and raises the age of military recruitment. The treaty was adopted in 2000 and entered into enforcement phase on 12 February 2002. Child Soldiers International continues to promote adherence to the Optional Protocol and other relevant human rights standards.

Since then, Child Soldiers International has continued to promote the adoption and implementation of international legal standards[5] protecting children from military recruitment or use in hostilities.

Priority CountriesEdit

Child Soldiers International has a London headquarters and conducts research, advocacy and capacity building in countries across the world. Recent programmes have included: Central African Republic;[6] Democratic Republic of Congo;[7] Afghanistan;[8] India;[9] Myanmar;[10] Thailand;[11]

Policy makingEdit

Child Soldiers International delivers research findings and policy recommendations to the United Nations Security Council in New York and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, Switzerland. According to UN documents, in relation to the adoption and enforcement of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Child Soldiers International plays "a key role in ensuring implementation at every level."


Child Soldiers International and UNICEF published the Guide to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child[12] in December 2003. The guide summarizes the process of the treaty's adoption, its fundamental provisions, and recommends that certain activities be undertaken to ensure its full enforcement. It is a practical tool written to aid other NGOs, humanitarian groups, and legislative bodies in implementing OPAC's standards.

In 2001, 2004 and 2008, Child Soldiers International published ‘Child Soldiers Global Reports’ which provide a snapshot of the child soldier situation in every country worldwide. In 2012, Child Soldiers International published Louder than words: an agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers,[13] accompanied by a practical 10-point checklist to assist states to end their recruitment of children. In 2016, Child Soldiers International published A law unto themselves? Confronting the recruitment of children by armed groups. This provides a legal analysis of progress made so far in engaging with armed groups about child recruitment and use.

Child Soldiers International continues to regularly publish research, analysis and recommendations[14] to support its advocacy goals. These seek to inform policy and action by building understanding of the causes of child soldier recruitment and use, and identifying sustainable solutions.

Funding and organisational structureEdit

Child Soldiers International is a UK registered charity (registered charity number 1095237), with section 501(c)(3) public charity status in the USA. Direct donations are welcomed[15] from individuals, and provide an essential source of support.

Annual audited financial statements[16] are filed with the UK Charity Commission,[17] Companies House,[18] and published on Child Soldiers International's own website. For the 2015-16 financial year Child Soldiers International had an annual income of £623,588 and expenditure of £604,832. In 2015-16, 94% of expenditure supported programme activities (6% of expenditure supported the costs of generating funds).

Child Soldiers International operates with a small staff team, bringing in specialist consultancy support where needed. Programmatic work is delivered in close collaboration with local and national organisations[19] in target countries. Job vacancies[20] are advertised on the organisational website. The organisation is governed by a board of trustees.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Our strategy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-15. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Who we are". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  4. ^ "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child". Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  5. ^ "Child Soldiers International | International standards". Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Central African Republic". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  7. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Democratic Republic of Congo". Archived from the original on 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  8. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Afghanistan". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  9. ^ "Child Soldiers International | India". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  10. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Myanmar". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  11. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Thailand". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  12. ^ "Guide to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Louder Than Words". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  14. ^ "Child Soldiers International | All". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  15. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Donate - Donate now". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  16. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Annual accounts". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  17. ^ Wales, The Charity Commission for England and. "About Charities". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  18. ^ "Companies House - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  19. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Who we work with". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  20. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Work for us". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  21. ^ "Child Soldiers International | Our board". Retrieved 2016-10-24.

External linksEdit