Mr. Speaker, February 12 is International Child Soldiers Day. Throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of children are forcibly enrolled in militias or join out of need. These children serve on the front line, and are used as scouts or, worse, as slaves. They are deprived of a decent childhood. They suffer injury, abuse or deep trauma, and die in combat.
That is why the Geneva Convention and the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child seek to prohibit the involvement of children in armed conflict. Since the late 1990s, a multitude of international treaties, resolutions and protocols have been added to guide the protection of child soldiers.
I therefore reaffirm the Bloc Québécois' unfailing support for the cause of stopping the use of children as soldiers, so that these children can have a real childhood.