ICC: The ICC’s First Trial Will Be A Milestone In The Issue Of Child Soldiers

New York, 29 January 2007– The Office of Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, welcomes the confirmation of the charges against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC today. The case is being referred for trial.

This case is considered a major milestone in international attempts to fight against impunity in order to eradicate the practice of using child soldiers. It will be the first trial of the ICC and, importantly, focuses exclusively on child soldiers.

The former militia leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo is charged with war crimes for enlisting, recruiting and using children under fifteen in hostilities. The Office of the Special Representative reiterates its supports to the ICC and will follow closely the different steps of the proceedings and due process of the Court.

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For further information, please contact:

Laurence Gerard, Liaison Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children Affected by Armed Conflict, United Nations, New York. Telephone: 1 212 963 0984. E-mail: gerardl@un.org