Child Soldiers International is an international human rights organisation. We exist to work for a world where children are not used in war. For this to be possible, we work to prevent all recruitment, use and exploitation of children by armed forces and groups. We do this by:
- Building resistance to child recruitment in communities;
- Enabling the effective reintegration of children who have been demobilised; and
- Supporting or persuading governments and armed groups to end child recruitment.
We work within a human rights framework, because we consider the military recruitment of children to be a human rights violation.
Child Soldiers International was formerly known as the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. We were established in 1998 by a group of leading human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children.
Our original purpose was to campaign for a human rights treaty to prevent the military recruitment of children and their use in violent conflict. We were successful and the treaty, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC), entered into force in 2002.
Since our days as a Coalition we have evolved and now work as an independent UK-registered charity, connected with a network of community and national child rights and child protection organisations across the world.