September 18, 2006
Psychology lecturer attends international
conference on children in militias
Psychology lecturer Tony Hoffman attended a conference on the
prevention of child recruitment into militaries that was sponsored
by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
and Canadian government professionals.
The workshop, "Expanding the Dialogue: Stopping Child
Soldiering", was held August 27-31 in Winnipeg, Canada.
The gathering focused on developing strategies for demobilizing
and preventing child soldier recruitment through coordinating
the efforts of the United Nations, peacekeeping forces, human
rights agencies, local governments, humanitarian agencies, and
academic research. A recruitment-prevention simulation will
be held in spring 2007.
Hoffman presented a discussion of postwar demobilization and
peace-building programs for youth in Sierra Leone.
The gathering was hosted by senator and former lieutenant general
Roméo Dallaire, a leader of Canadian peacekeeping forces
and the author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure
of Humanity in Rwanda. Also attending the workshop were
the Canadian foreign minister, three generals in peacekeeping
forces, representatives from the UN, USAID, UNICEF, Save the
Children, Human Rights Watch, the Coalition to Stop the Use
of Child Soldiers, Canadian Defense Forces, Indian Defense Forces,
International Alert, Search for Common Ground, and others.