In a short memo released Friday, President Barack Obama announced that he would waive economic penalties for countries employing child soldiers, citing “the national interest” in doing so. The memo stated that all sanctions imposed under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 would be waived for Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen, and portion’s of the law’s requirements would be lifted for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The exact interests requiring these waivers was not stated.
Foreign Policy’s The Cable reports that this is the third year Obama has opted to waive penalties under child soldier laws.
Jesse Eaves, the senior policy adviser for child protection at World Vision, told the publication the Obama was trying to maintain good relationships with the countries to ensure security assistance, but called the move “bizarre” because of how strongly Obama has come out publicly against precisely this kind of child exploitation.