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Child Soldiers

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Saved by Chelsea
on September 24, 2009 at 12:41:52 pm



Picture taken from: http://www.tamilnational.net/images/2009/personal/Child_Soldiers_Coalition_TamilNational.jpg


What is the problem?


          Hundreds of thousands of children, both boys and girls, are involuntarily being recruited into government armies, paramilitaries, and civil militia in more than 30 countries around the world (Kindberg 1). Most are abducted from their homes and their schools and forced to become soldiers. However, some children join to avenge family members and because they see it as the only way to survive. Although there are no exact figures, hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel groups and some are as young as eight years old (Facts About Child Soldiers).




Why is this happening? 


          There are several reasons as to why children are being forced to join militaries. Some are due to breakdowns in social structure, but the main reason is because children, as sadistic as it may sound, are cheaper to keep than adults are (Kindberg 2). Children need less food than adults and they don’t need to be paid because the armies keep them petrified that the next day will be their last. Also, when conflicts drag on, children are used to maintain high numbers of fighters even after heavy casualties (2). Lastly, children are not as mature as adults so they can be easily trained and brutalized into a very violent lifestyle.



What are the children made to do?


Once abducted, the children are forced into battle, most of the times in the front line. Even though both boys and girls are made to battle, many of the girls are subjected to rape and sexual assault. Some are even given to military commanders as “wives” (Facts About Child Soldiers). However, many children may serve as porters or cooks, guards, messengers, or spies. On several occasions, they have been used for suicide missions.


Where at is this happening?




Sierra Leone











Works Cited:





Children and Human Rights. Retrieved September 22, 2009 fromhttp://www.amnesty.org/en/children

Facts About Child Soldiers. Retrieved September 23, 2009 fromhttp://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/12/03/facts-about-child-soldiers

Kindberg, J. Child Soldiers. Retrieved September 22, 2009 fromhttp://www.thesituation.co.uk/features/child_soldiers/child_soldiers.html

The child soldiers of SierraLeon.http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/global_crime_report/investigation/soliers 1.shtml

Retrieved September 22, 2009 from


: Former Child Soldiers Excluded in Adulthood. Retrieved September 22, 2009 from








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