New York, 18 November 2008 It is estimated that some 250,000 children are unlawfully recruited to participate in armed conflicts around the world as soldiers, messengers, spies, porters, cooks or to provide sexual services. Many are pressed into combat where they may be forced to the front lines or sent into minefields ahead of older troops. Some children are also used as suicide bombers. This is taking place every day, violating children’s rights, destroying their childhood and compromising their future.

The photo exhibit “Children of War: Broken Childhood” will be held in the visitors lobby of the Secretariat of the United Nations from 20 November 2008 to 30 January 2009. The event contributes to the call to stop the unbearable phenomenon of child soldiering.

The exhibit is based on a book called “Child Soldiers” that features the work of prominent war photographers. The curator and author of the book is Leora Kahn. Contributing writers include Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor; Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch; Emmanuel Jal, a musician and former child soldier.

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children & Armed Conflict organized this exhibit with the support of the Government of Italy and in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

The opening will take place on November 20th, from 6 to 8 pm in the presence of Ismael Beah, Grace Akallo, Kon Kelei and John Onama, former child soldiers and youth advocates on children affected by war. Member States, UN agencies, NGOs, and the media are invited to attend.

For further information, please contact:

  • Ms. Laurence G