Child soldiers are boys and girls who are often abducted and used as combatants, forced to act as human shields or conduct executions, deployed as suicide bombers, or used to make or transport explosives. Other roles include working as guards, spies, messengers, porters, cooks or domestic servants.
Many children are forced to join military groups at a young age. Child soldiers are also easier to manipulate and force into conflict. Recruiters typically target children from troubled areas or conflict zones, likely accustomed to violence and with fewer educational or work opportunities.
This article offers findings on the first longitudinal study of life outcomes for former child soldiers. … The data show that, after 16 years, the vast majority of this group of former child soldiers have become productive, capable and caring adults. At the same time, none of them are truly free from their pasts.
Although child soldiers are often forcefully recruited, it is not the primary way that children, both male and female, become involved in armed conflict. Participation frequently comes down to despair. While there is usually an element of “choice” involved, that term is used very loosely.
Both girls and boys are used as child soldiers. They serve as porters or cooks, guards, messengers or spies. Many are pressed into combat, where they may be forced to the front lines or sent into minefields ahead of older troops. … In some conflicts, girls are raped, or given to military commanders as “wives.”
The most common reasons for children resorting to fighting were retaliations to teasing, retaliations to unprovoked assaults, disagreements over aspects of the game that was being played, because another child was disliked, and to settle dominance disputes.
Children love to argue. They want their ideas to be everyone else’s ideas. They like to prove that they are right and you and everyone else are wrong. … This need is normal; children see adults as having power.
Child soldiers are typically recruited because they are seen by armed groups as expendable and cheap to maintain.
In 2019 alone, more than 7,740 children, some as young as six, were recruited and used as soldiers around the world, according to the United Nations. Most are recruited by non-state groups. 2. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Syria and Yemen currently have the largest number of child soldiers.
Recruiting and using children under the age of 15 as soldiers is prohibited under international humanitarian law – treaty and custom – and is defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.
Though the use of children as soldiers is illegal in Afghanistan, ratified by UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1994, children have been recruited and used by both the sides in Afghanistan for years. The recruitment and use of child soldiers raise several questions over its origin, extent and its adverse use.
Among war-affected children, child soldiers are more likely to endure harsher psychological consequences, such as PTSD, major depression, hostility, sadness, self-confidence and inability to cope with daily life.
Former child soldiers are at risk of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, despite the high rates of PTSD documented in this population,2,3 there have been few assessments of the longitudinal course of symptoms in both male and female child soldiers.
Whoever violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, subsection (a) shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both and, if death of any person results, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
Child soldiers are any children under the age of 18 who are recruited by a state or non-state armed group and used as fighters, cooks, suicide bombers, human shields, messengers, spies, or for sexual purposes.
Child soldiers have been responsible for some of the most brutal and violent acts in wartime. In Sierra Leone child soldiers committed acts of rape, mutilation and mass killings of civilians.
because the acts required of a child soldier are dangerous enough to interfere with a child’s fundamental human right to education, health, and development. The abduction and employment of children as soldiers is a form of exploitative labor that is tantamount to slavery.
“Child soldiers are drugged by militia leaders. … A programme co-ordinator for an international NGO working in the region – who declined to be named – said that as many as 95 per cent of children used in armed conflicts are introduced to drugs, most commonly marijuana, although khat, a stimulant, is also used.
Students often fight as a means of maintaining their reputations in their schools. If someone crosses a student who is concerned about his or her reputation, that student may feel forced to retaliate or risk being called weak and having his or her reputation damaged.
According to Singh’s (2006) study on the effects of violence on educators, the main causes of violence in schools were revealed to be academic tension, lack of consequences for poor behaviour, and violence modelled by society. … Factors such as low educational ambition are also associated with violence in adolescence.
Every child tries to make sense of the surroundings and the world; it tends to get too much for them. This makes the child argumentative, and many times the parents lost their patience and ended up screaming.
So why do we fight? One of the reasons is because we see our daughters as an extension of ourselves; our daughters however are forming their own identity and so conflict arises. We try to protect our daughters from the mistakes we made and give them the opportunities we never had.
A recent UN report verified that 8,521 children were used as soldiers in 2020, while another 2,674 children were killed and 5,748 injured in various conflicts. According to some estimates, up to 40% of child soldiers are in Africa. Eastern DRC has amongst the highest numbers of child soldiers in Africa and the world.
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) began in 1987 in Uganda to rebel against President Yoweri Museveni. Children constitute most of the army. The LRA forces child soldiers in Uganda to commit acts of violence on other minors within the LRA ranks as well as brutalities on their own siblings.
The survey found that: Since abductees lost their education years to combat, they are nearly twice as likely to be functionally illiterate than non-abductees. Abductees subsequently earn nearly one third less than their non-abducted peers. Work found by abductees tends to be of a lower skill and capital-intensity.
In the East Asian country of Laos, the minimum age for compulsory military service is 15 years.
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