UN official calls for Khadr's release to Canada Andrea Bottorff at 11:10 AM ET
[JURIST] A UN official on Thursday urged the US and Canada to respect international convention [UN News Centre report] and release Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] into Canadian custody. UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy [official profile] said that releasing Khadr, a Canadian citizen who has been held at Guantanamo Bay since his 2002 capture by US forces in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old, would fall in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [official website], which has been ratified by Canada, but not the US. Coomaraswamy also called for the governments to follow the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child [text, PDF], which encourages countries to release children detained in violation of the treaty and take control of the "physical and psychological recovery" of the children and "their social reintegration." The convention has been ratified by 193 nations since 1989, making it the world's most widely ratified human rights treaty.
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