UN envoy calls for repatriation of last child soldier held in Guantánamo

Special Representative Radhika Coomaraswamy. Photo: UN Photo/T. La Rose

27 July 2012 – A top United Nations official has renewed her call on Canada and the United States to transfer Omar Khadr, who has spent a decade at the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay as of today, and is the last child soldier still being held there.

Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 – when he was 15 years old – for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, who finishes her term as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict at the end of this month, called on the two Governments to transfer Mr. Khadr to Canada, as was agreed in October 2010.

“Omar Khadr was a child soldier and our experience around the world clearly indicates that a system focusing on rehabilitation is far better suited for these children who have been exploited and abused by adults,” she stated in a news release.

“Transferring him to Canada for proper reintegration is the right thing to do,” she added.


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