In the United States the idea of children serving as soldiers is an unfathomable concept; in many countries around the world, however, child soldiers perform tasks such as robbery, torture, and even murder for people such as drug lords, and political activists. Things like this are tragic even for adults; dealing with death everyday, knowing that one could be killed any second by an opposing force can really hurt someone mentally, and physically. This tragedy is not really even thought of that much, even though the effects are severe. Kids who have not even had the chance to raise a family, fall in love, or even go to school are either joining or being forced to join a war effort that can ruin their lives. Child soldiers are kids whose ages are under 18 who are used in any aspect of war.
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Paper 4: Synthesis Worldwide the use of child soldiers is a serious issue. Today there are about 300,000 children as young as nine years old involved in armed conflicts all around the globe. These children are living under constant fears of being trapped in an ambush, landmines or gunfire. Girls are used as well in fact approximately one third of child soldiers are girls, they are given the same job as the boys but are used as a sex slaves and forced to be the “wives” of their commanders. Girls are often infected with sexually transmitted diseases or HIV/AIDS and have great possibilities of being pregnant.
Child Soldiers “Compelled to become instruments of war, to kill and be killed, child soldiers are forced to give violent expression to the hatreds of adults” (“Child Soldiers” 1). This quotation by Olara Otunnu explains that children are forced into becoming weapons of war. Children under 18 years old are being recruited into the army because of poverty issues, multiple economic problems, and the qualities of children, however, many organizations are trying to implement ways to stop the human rights violation. Throughout the world children younger than 18 are being enlisted into the armed forces to fight while suffering through multiple abuses from their commanders. Children living in areas and countries that are at war are seemingly always the ones being recruited into the armed forces.
“I would like to give you a message, please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children. So that other children do not have to pass through this violence.” These are the words of a 15-year-old girl in Uganda. Like her, there are an estimated 300,000 children under the age of eighteen who are serving as child soldiers in about thirty-six conflict zones (Shaikh). Life on the front lines often brings children face to face with the horrors of war. Too many children have personally experienced or witnessed physical violence, including executions, death squad killings, disappearances, torture, arrest, sexual abuse, bombings, forced displacement, destruction of home, and massacres.
Soldiering and Exploitation of Children The United Nations Children Fund describes child soldiers as “any child-boy or girl- under eighteen years of age, who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity.” Children have been enslaved into military positions for many years. Using children as soldiers is spreading throughout the world, but is most predominant in third world countries. These third world countries have been growing more advanced in technology, which is causing child soldiers to become more common. The horrible sights and experiences that children in these countries experience are devastating. Although in most cases the uses of child soldiers are similar, the long lasting effect on each of these children individually is heartbreaking.
Bullying is wrong and is never okay. It doesn’t make anyone look cool or above the other person. A famous quote from Ghandi that applies to everyone throughout the world and children everywhere in harsh environments. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”