For the second time, President Obama has waived financial penalties for countries that enslave children and turn them into soldiers. In a Tuesday meeting, reported by Foreign Policy magazine, White House officials said that waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 were handed out again this year because many of the offending countries did not have enough time to comply with its requirements. Others were exempt from the law because they were incorporated just recently.
Ironically, the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 was a cause of Vice President Joe Biden in his prior role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It was part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
The Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 was intended to prevent any military aid from going to countries that use child soldiers, but in South Sudan over $100 million in military aid will go to support the new nation’s military, which has a history of using children as military tools.
In Yemen, another $35 million will be given to the country’s military to continue supporting America’s terror war, but the U.S. State Departmentadmitted that they don’t know for sure who controls Yemen’s fighters.
Other countries exempted from the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 include Chad, which the administration said has taken "dramatic steps" toward eliminating the practice, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which was given a partial waiver.
The White House and State Department maintain that they are working with these nations to ensure the practice of enslaving children into the military will eventually cease.
The activist group Human Rights Watch claims that children have been used in at least 21 conflict zones all over the world since 2001.