May 16, 2000 (36th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has pointed out, one of the most tragic stories in Sierra Leone is that 50% of the rebel soldiers are young children who have been abducted, drugged and turned into killing machines.
Canada has been actively working with the 15 states in West Africa to try to provide a response to that problem. At the ECOWAS conference that we co-hosted, leaders of the West African state agreed on a blueprint of action. We will have very specific measures for rehabilitation and response.
Canada will be supporting a special unit from ECOWAS to help in that measure. It is one way we can come to grips with the horrible violation of children that is taking place and the contribution we can make to the security of that region.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sierra Leone
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