Derk Segaar, who works in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, shared his real-life UN experiences negotiating with warlords for humanitarian access in Darfur with writers of the NBC TV show Revolution.

The post-apocalyptic hit NBC series Revolution takes place 15 years after the lights have gone out around the world. The global blackout has plunged the US into warring factions and a primitive existence.

Fans watching the show saw the fictional character named Titus Andover in Episode 4: “Patriot Games” refer to the kids in his “war clan” as his children and how he sees himself as a “loving father.” Like Titus, warlords in real life brutalize children, turn them into killers and use them as sex slaves.

Various United Nations entities, including UNICEF and the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, work for the release, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of children are used as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world. Many children are abducted and beaten into submission, others join military groups to escape poverty, to defend their communities or out of a feeling of revenge. 

Read on for two recent examples.

In 2012 Thomas Lubanga of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was the first person to be convicted for war crimes by the UN-backed International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. He was found guilty of abducting boys and girls under the age of 15 and forcing them to fight in a war in the DRC. He founded and led the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and rebels under his command have been accused of massive human rights violations, including ethnic massacres, murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and forcibly conscripting child soldiers.

Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has been accused of ordering the abduction of children to become child sex slaves and child soldiers. In a 10-month spree spanning 2008 and 2009, the LRA killed at least 1,200 people, abducted 1,400 and displaced some 230,000 others. Dozens of attacks on towns and villages in the Orientale province, involved mutilations, torture and multiple rapes. Women and girls were often raped before being killed, and many of those who were abducted “were forced to marry LRA members, subjected to sexual slavery, or both,” according to a UN report. In 2005, Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the ICC but has evaded capture.

Follow our Twitter updates via @UN during Season 2 of Revolution. We will continue to highlight some of the facts and real-life challenges depicted in Revolution, and present fans of the show with opportunities to learn more and make a difference.

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