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‘Forced to be Cruel’ – Internationally-Renown Photographers Document the Fate of Child Soldiers

Photo exhibition can be seen at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in June, as well as New York and Tokyo this fall.


Two young ethnic Karen boys man a guard post at New Manerplaw, Myanmar.

Germany’s international broadcaster and the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn will bring attention to the fate of child soldiers with a special photo exhibition at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, from June 2-4, 2008.

“Forced to be Cruel” will open on June 2, 2008, at 4 p.m. at the World Conference Center in Bonn and features 80 emotionally-charged photos. This is the first time that this selection of photos will be on display, with other shows in New York and Tokyo following this fall.

The participating, internationally-renown photographers include: Lynsey Addario, who documented child soldiers in Sudan, Martin Adler (Columbia), Riccardo Gangale, Cedric Gerbehaye, Roger Lemoyne (Congo), Tim Hetherington (Liberia), Peter Mantello (Burma), Q. Sakamaki (Afghanistan), Dominic Sansoni (Sri Lanka) and Ami Vitale (Nepal).

The British photographer Tim Hetherington was recently awarded the “Oscar” for press photographers, the World Press Photo prize, for his photo of a wounded American soldier in Iraq.

Photographer and film-maker Peter Mantello was the one who established the exhibition. He is currently a professor at a university in Japan. Mantello, along with the curator of the exhibition Leora Khan from New York, will be in Bonn for the premiere.

According to international estimations, there are 300,000 child soldiers worldwide. They are being recruited for regular armed forces and rebel groups and forced into combat. In many conflicts, child soldiers are a constant component of the military infrastructure. An important milestone in the fight against children in combat is the additional protocol to the UN Children’s Rights Convention, in which the signing nations agreed not to recruit anyone under the age of 18. Equally important is the International Criminal Court in Den Haag. According to the Statute of the Criminal Court, those who send children under the age of 15 into combat can be charged as a war criminal.

From more than 10 years, many national and international organizations have been making an effort to counteract the situation facing child soldiers and shed light on the subject worldwide.

The Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn is co-hosting the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. The conference is also being supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the State Government of North-Rhine Westphalia, DHL, the city of Bonn, VT Communications and Blatzheim Networks Telecom.

April 18, 2008

You can find further information on the photo exhibition as well as the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum at www.dw-world.de/globalmediaforum

Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

Head of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson

T. +49.228.429-2041


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