The international community needs more opportunities to argue and debate about our involvement in the world and especially Africa. We need to stop for a moment and question if we are doing enough and if so, is what we are doing actually RIGHT?
Internationally, the world has largely forgotten about the experiences of child soldiers from a decade ago. But now that the wars are over, these child soldiers are now adults, and expected to act as such.
The project to bring Mr. Aung to the United States to speak in Congress about his experiences in the Burmese army began two years ago, when my intern Grace Powell and I sat down and began to discuss human rights abuses in Burma.
What if we look at the life of gang members through the experience of child soldiers in Africa? Is the experience of children manipulated and dragged into war all that different from the one of teenagers recruited by gangs in our own cities?
It was the religious elders of the Reis Shura Ulema in Afghanistan who initially apprised me of the practice of Bacha Bazi, where young boys are made to dance and then exploited sexually by the police.