Rumor: Obama waives sanctions on countries using child soldiers

A U.N. committee urged the Obama administration Tuesday to stop waiving sanctions on countries using child soldiers.

CONFIRMED: Obama waives sanctions on countries using child soldiers.

Last October, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum waiving sanctions on countries that use child soldiers, according to media reports.

The memorandum waived penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 for Libya, South Sudan and Yemen, along with a partial waiver for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Obama administration has waived sanctions on these countries for three years in a row. Today a U.N. committee asked the president to take a tougher position, The Cable reported.

According to The Cable: "Those penalties were put in place by Congress to prevent U.S. arms sales to countries determined by the State Department to be the worst abusers of child soldiers in their militaries, but the Obama administration has waived almost all of them each year, arguing that continued arms sales to abuser countries are needed either to bolster those countries' fragile security or to support cooperation with the U.S. military in areas such as counterterrorism."

U.S. releases report on child soldiers

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report Tuesday which included recommendations on how countries could address the issues of child soldiers. The report also included some criticism of Obama.

"The Committee urges the [United States] to enact and apply a full prohibition of arms exports, including small arms and light weapons as well as any kind of military assistance to countries where children are known to be, or may potentially be, recruited or used in armed conflict and/or hostilities. To this end, the [United States] is encouraged to review and amend the 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act with the view to withdrawing the possibility to allow for presidential waivers to these countries."

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