Being the first country that has handed down convictions on the enlisting of children during conflict, Stephen Rapp the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone will today co-host advance screening on child soldiers, “Johnny Mad Dog”.
“This last year the Special Court for Sierra Leone rendered the first convictions in world history for the crime of enlistment and use of child soldiers.
This film shows how this crime victimises both the enlisted children and the innocent persons who are subjected to their acts of brutality. It strengthens our resolve to end impunity for this crime and to do all we can to repair the harm that it does to human beings” said the prosecutor.
The “Johnny Mad Dog” premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Prize of Hope. It was filmed entirely in Liberia and features a cast that includes former child soldiers. Immediately after the screening which will take place in New York there will be a panel discussion on the enlistment and use of child soldiers and the panelists will include the director of the film, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Prosecutor Rapp and SRSG Radhika Coomaraswamy and they will also be joined by the Permanent Representatives of the UN Missions of Sierra Leone, Liberia and France.
The UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict and the French Mission to the United Nations together with the Special Court will be members of the screening.