Cornell University Experiences IHL!

In February of 2014, our International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Action Campaign Team Leaders from Cornell University finished our Raid Cross training and began to brainstorm ideas for the upcoming IHL Action Campaign creation. What spoke to us the most during Raid Cross was the concept of child soldiers. Learning about the harsh lives they are forced to lead convinced us to choose this topic for our Action Campaign.
While many people may have heard the term “child soldier,” most do not know the truth behind those words. With over 300,000 child soldiers in existence across the globe, we knew this was an issue that needed more attention. It is not uncommon for people to hear of the forced recruitment of child soldiers in places like Sierra Leone and Liberia and think, “Oh… that’s sad.” However, although the situation concerning child soldiers is sad, it isn’t relatable. These problems aren’t seen as directly affecting our community.
Our IHL team at Cornell University decided to develop a campaign that would make people relate to the emotions of child soldiers. IHL is so important to us because the rules of war should be known and followed by everyone, no matter what country they are from or what goal they are trying to reach. If young people become familiar with IHL, our generation can make huge changes for the future. These changes can only be made if someone actively educates others, such as through an interactive campaign that really involves the audience’s participation.
While there are many organizations in the world trying to stop the recruitment of child soldiers, including the fantastic organization Child Soldiers International, we feel it is important to take a grassroots stance and get the word out to our peers. We did much research through this organization and others, such as Amnesty International . After researching the lives of child soldiers, it was time to create the interactive campaign and get the word out on our college campus.
We decided to create an interactive YouTube video to relate to young adults and professors at Cornell. We would personally set out computers around campus and invite people to play the video. Passing out flyers with links to our YouTube channel, sending the video out by email, and posting it on Facebook would also help us reach out to a majority of our campus body. When people play the video, they would immediately be placed in the role of a child soldier. They would experience the forced recruitment, the training camp, and even a small battle simulation. Our goal for this campaign is not to simply educate our viewers about this issue, but to help people connect and keep thinking about it so that more can be done to help stop the recruitment of these children.
For more pictures of our experiences with IHL, visit us here.

Students participate in Raid Cross simulation activities.

Students participate in Raid Cross simulation activities.

One response to “Cornell University Experiences IHL!

  1. Pingback: IHL Youth Leadership Summit Announcement | Humanity in the Midst of War·

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