Child Soldiery sign now

Western society holds manifest the truth of the idea that all people are born free and that this inherent freedom grants them certain basic rights, the alienation of which is never morally justifiable. If this is accepted along with the truism that inaction in the face of injustice is as bad as the commission of injustice, then there is surely a moral imperative for those with the authority to protect freedom to do so without hesitation and regardless of the cost or risk involved.

Therefore it is with great jubilation that we, the undersigned, fully support and endorse the most recent attempt by the United States Congress to protect the inalienable rights of humankind by combatting the scourge of child soldiery. This attempt has come in the form of the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2007, known in the House of Representatives as HR 3028. This bill will, if passed, create a legal definition for Child Soldiers for the purposes of US Foreign Policy and prohibit the American Government from supporting any regime or party that knowingly uses or supports their use.

However, we are also gravely concerned regarding one portion of this bill: section 5 (prohibition), subsection (c), which provides for a "national interest waiver" through which the President may grant an exception to this law by making a note in the Federal Register saying that he is acting in the National Interest of the United States. We find this provision to be frankly detestable and entirely contrary not only to the spirit of the rest of the bill, but to the spirit of freedom and justice which supposedly guides the United States.

5 (c) would make it legal for the President to send children into battle with not so much as a footnote. There is not even a requirement that the President even appear before Congress to explain his actions much less seek their approval; he need only send them a note. Beyond this lack of accountability there is the fact that it is inconceivable that the national interest of the United States should ever require the use of Child Soldiers, or the support of such a practice by the United States government. In fact, it would be most ethically corrupt for the American government to sacrifice the lives and freedoms of children in any cause, even if that cause were, in fact, crucial to the national interest of the United States. Were this ever the case, we would rather see our country disadvantaged than held up on the backs of enslaved children.

Therefore we do hereby demand that Congress act according to the precepts of common decency: every representative should support this bill, for it is, apart from 5 (c) a most excellent piece of legislation. However, they should also vehemently oppose 5 (c) and refuse to cosponsor or vote for HR 3028 unless it is amended to eliminate the national interest waiver provision.

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Latest Signatures

  • 14 December 2015200. Maggie Gilmore
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" MLK Jr.
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    I support this petition
  • 26 October 2015198. Samantha M
    Please stop child soldiers!
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    soy un muchacho muy bien y me gusta trabajar en misiones Street Address dominican republic , gaston f de ligne ,51
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Information

Francis MasonBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Representative Rush Holt

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