Soldier and Singer Join Forces to End the Use of Child Soldiers

Singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn and retired Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire, both University of Victoria honorary degree recipients, team up this Saturday at the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium for Child Soldiers No More, an evening of song and spoken word in support of ending the use of child soldiers. An estimated 300,000 children in more than 30 countries serve as soldiers, human mine detectors, porters, spies, suicide messengers and sex slaves.

Proceeds from the Oct. 4 concert will aid the Child Soldiers Initiative in Africa, an international research and intervention effort focused on the eradication of the use of child soldiers. UVic researchers Drs. Sibylle Artz, Marie Hoskins and Daniel Scott are developing a process to help re-integrate war-affected children back into their communities. “Our research is aimed at developing effective methods of re-introducing these children to a stable life,” says Artz.

Since witnessing the Rwandan genocide, which he documented in his award-winning book, Shake Hands with the Devil – The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, Dallaire has devoted himself to helping war-affected children. Cockburn has long been a spokesperson for global peace. “It is a great honour to be working with General Dallaire and raising awareness about this initiative,” he says.

“The active involvement of children in violent conflict is a concern for everyone working toward stability, peace and prosperity,” says Dallaire. “Removing all children from combat is an essential step to end cycles of violence. Having Bruce Cockburn’s important support on this mission enables many more people to learn of the initiative,” says Dallaire.

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