Better Than Cure: Preventing the recruitment and use of children in the Chadian national army

This report examines measures taken by the Chadian government and the UN since 2007 to prevent the recruitment of children into the armed forces; it assesses their effectiveness and suggests further action to complement them. The report finds that, despite visible efforts to end the practice, many enabling factors still exist. The legal prohibition on underage recruitment is undermined by the persistence of informal recruitment as well as the absence of age verification procedures. Weak command structures and lack of military discipline compound these issues as no comprehensive reform of the security sector has yet taken place. Furthermore, child recruitment is not criminalized and no member of the national army has ever been held accountable for recruiting or using children. Commitments made by the government and the UN in the June 2011 Action Plan on ending child recruitment and use promised to address many of these issues. However, the report reveals that little - if any - progress had been made six months after its adoption, raising concerns about insufficient resources and political will. Endorsing the plan as the main framework for achieving effective prevention, the report proposes recommendations to facilitate its timely implementation.

Download this report here.