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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Cage donation for child soldiers
Nicolas Cage
Cage has supported Amnesty's Stop Violence Against Women campaign
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is donating $2m (1.1m) to Amnesty International to help former child soldiers, the charity has announced.

The donation will help fund rehabilitation shelters, medical services and psychological and reintegration services.

Amnesty says an estimated 300,000 children, some as young as seven, are involved in armed conflicts worldwide.

Cage has been working with Amnesty International USA for two years.

The organisation revealed the pledge in New York, during the United Nations Review Conference on the Program of Action on Small Arms.

Family nightmare

In a video statement filmed by the actor, he said: "Think about the nine months it took for your child to be born; think about all the care you put into teaching him how to cross the street and look both ways, or to read a book, or to simply have good manners.

"Then imagine a warlord dropping a gun into his hand and forcing him to kill someone. He's eight years old. He hasn't kissed a girl yet or fallen in love, but he's killed a man. What does that do to a child's mind?

"Sounds like a nightmare? It's reality for some families."

Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director, praised Cage's "extremely generous contribution".

"Nicolas has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the horrors faced by child soldiers and other human rights tragedies," he added.

Amnesty International collaborated on the 2005 film Lord of War, in which Cage played an international arms dealer.

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