The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan

A Survey of Programs on the Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers

2. Country Profiles
2.7. Kosovo

2.7.1. Current State of Armed Conflict

In Kosovo, the fighting between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Yugoslav armed forces began February 1998 even though there were number clashes before. An agreement was signed by President Milosevic in October 1998 but fighting started again in December of the same year. A peace conference took place in Rambouillet, France, in February 1999 and in Paris, in March 1999, but the Serb armed forces launched another offensive on March 22, 1999 and the day afterwards, NATO got involved and began bombing Yugoslavia. Not all recruitment by the KLA, however, was voluntary. Reports indicated some press-ganging, notably among the refugee population. KLA denied the allegations of forced recruitment of children in general although a KLA spoke-person admitted that there might have been some isolated cases of forced recruitment. To guard against such possibilities, UNICEF in close collaboration with the Albanian government, UNHCR, WHO; and other partners or actors, developed the Child-Protection system other known as Child-friendly Spaces Initiative within refugee camps one of the specific aims of which was to lower the risk of sexual exploitation/trafficking, Juvenile delinquency and military recruitment.

2.7.2. Domestic Framework for Protection of Children

The domestic framework for child protection if Kosovo is still to be developed by UNICEF and the UN Administration for Kosovo. However, despite this fact, the researcher had requested UN agencies as well as the NGOs to provide accurate or some information with regard to child protection in Kosovo. This request is still pending with the hope that there will be information on a later date.

2.7.3. The Dimensions of the Problem of Child Soldiers

The dimensions of the problem of child soldiers could not be properly measured due lack information form the field in Kosovo. Strong efforts are under-way to gather accurate and reliable information in this regard.

2.7.4. Measures taken to address problem by:

a) Government, b) UN agencies, c) External Donors and d) NGOs

Implementation of the above issues is now in progress and therefore serious efforts will be made to obtain the breadth and width of the problem to be addressed.

2.7.5. Impact of measures

Impact of these measures could not be analyzed due in part to lack and difficulty of accessing information from the ground.

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