Roméo A. Dallaire

The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative; Former Canadian Army Lieutenant-General

Roméo A. Dallaire is a retired Canadian senator, a retired Canadian Army lieutenant-general, and a humanitarian.

Dallaire is the founder of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, at Dalhousie University. This organization partners with military, police, and peacekeeping forces, equipping them with tools to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers.

Dallaire joined the military in 1960 as a cadet and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general by 1998. He served as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994. Dallaire was medically released from the army in 2000.

Dalllaire was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005, representing Quebec, and he sat as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.

His book on experiences in Rwanda, entitled Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, was awarded the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004. Dallaire also wrote They Fight Like Soldiers; They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldier. As a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, Dallaire researched conflict resolution and the use of child soldiers.

In addition, since leaving the military, Dallaire has served on UN Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention, as special advisor to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, as advisor to the minister of national defense, and as special advisor to the minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency on matters relating to children affected by war.

He has received numerous honors and awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002, Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2005, and the Aegis Award for Genocide Prevention from the Aegis Trust (United Kingdom). In addition, Dallaire holds honorary doctorates and fellowships from near three dozen universities in Canada and the United States.

Last Updated: August 28, 2017