30 January 2007

child soldiers use the ak-47...

yesterday we posted a video about the loopholes used by arms dealers to sell their "wares" around the world and the fact that child soldiers are trained to use the ak-47 in the wars they are subjugated to fight in...

now here's a letter from jimmie briggs who wrote "Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War," ...
Over the last year and a half, since the publication of my first book, "Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War," Amnesty International has been a major supporter, and partner, of mine. In particular, my involvement with the Human Rights Education Program and Artists for Amnesty has allowed me to grow as a journalist, and advocate, in ways I couldn't previously have imagined. The curriculum guide for my book has become a major tool for me to gain access to educational institutions and settings across the country. Whenever I visit a high school or university, the guide is a constant companion to be disseminated as widely as possible. Further, my relationship with Amnesty has provided me with the opportunity to participate in Amnesty-sponsored panels and screenings around issues close to my own interests, including war-affected children and women, arms, conflict resources and gender rights.

It took me a period of eight years to complete the research, reporting and writing of my book. My professional journey to fully capture the experiences of children in war continues, but now I am moving toward a focus on the lives of women and girls, especially when it comes to gender-based violence. Again, Amnesty International continues to provide assistance when asked as well as nurture me as a voice of experience and knowledge on a range of issues.

Being a freelancer, I've gotten quite used to doing things for myself, by myself. Working with Amnesty International and groups like it create vital relationships. Unfortunately, I didn't grow up with a full understanding or exposure to the notion of "human rights." My relationship with Amnesty International is its own education on the concept, and I remain very, very grateful to know the amazing individuals who work there.

Often I'm asked about my "objectivity," or "bias." From my point-of-view, one can't be objective about the individuals exercising their full human rights. I'm a journalist and writer, but I also see my responsibility to educate and advocate for those whose voices aren't heard. Amnesty International helps me do that.

Please check-out the Amnesty International USA website to learn more about how you can take action on a range of issues. Visit the education page of the website to learn about new resources and ways that you can contribute to the HRE program's

In Solidarity,
Jimmie Briggs
Author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soliders Go to War

peace out <3

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