Living conditions for child soldiers are usually very harsh and discipline is kept by brutal unjust punishments. Life is very dangerous, surrounded by intense drug use and an environment that lacks food, drinking water and has little sanitation. Many children die from theses causes under such inhuman conditions. It is up to first world countries such as the United States to intervene to prevent these children from having their basic human rights stolen from them. The article “Exploring the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers” by Stian Eisentrager, analyzes the recent media attention on children being used as soldiers in war in developing nations such as Liberia and clarifies the causes of the recruitment of child soldiers.
Unthoughtful murders, unwanted diseases, terminal illness, separation of families and a total loss of the minds are all the things that children of rebel groups encounter every day. Many people say they are against it and want it to stop, but verbally speaking against using children for soldiers is just not enough. Jospeh Kony is only one man there are hundreds of other terrible rebel leaders all over the world who are using children as soldiers and sex slaves who need to be brought to justice and punished. Innocent children are kidnapped from their childhood lives and are made to do awful things against their wills. We, as a people need to all come together and help to save the children and rescue them from the hands of Joseph Kony and other rebel leaders.
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.
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.
Child soldier is a worldwide issue, but it became most critical in the Africa. Child soldiers are any children under the age of 18 who are recruited by some rebel groups and used as fighters, cooks, messengers, human shields and suicide bombers, some of them even under the aged 10 when they are forced to serve. Physically vulnerable and easily intimidated, children typically make obedient soldiers. Most of them are abducted or recruited by force, and often compelled to follow orders under threat of death. As society breaks down during conflict, leaving children no access to school, driving them from their homes, or separating them from family members, many children feel that rebel groups become their best chance for survival.
In another instance, victims were left for the dead or to cater for themselves since soldiers passed them by as they continued with the war. In conclusion, the increase in the numbers of child soldiers across the globe is an alarming trend that governments should take serious concerted measures to deal with. While armies and militias continue to downplay or reject recruiting child soldiers in armed conflicts, the plight of child soldiers continues to deteriorate. Emmanuel Jal’s story is an example of a case that demonstrates the plight of child soldiers in lights of the horrifying and traumatic experiences they undergo when engaging in armed conflicts.
They suffer as many of the human rights abuses as the adults, but may also be targeted simply because they are dependent and vulnerable. The Fifth Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". Nevertheless, children are being tortured and mistreated by state officials; they are detained, lawfully or arbitrarily, often in appalling conditions; in some countries they are subjected to the death penalty. Countless thousands are killed or maimed in armed conflicts; many more have fled their homes to become refugees. Children forced by poverty or abuse to live on the streets are sometimes detained, attacked and even killed in the name of social cleansing.
The beliefs and views of modern society are hypocritical and unjust. By the time an individual matures from a young child to an adult, they have been taught an uncountable number of life lessons. One of the outstanding lessons that each and every person has learned is that killing another human being is wrong. This is perhaps the first recognizable lesson on the value of human life. Most children know that killing is against the law and learn religiously that it goes against all religious morals and beliefs, yet society is bombarded by violence everyday in the media and in real life.
Africa is the most common place for the use of child soldier. Children between the ages 10 to 18 have been abducted by armed groups and forced to fight for them. Over 250000 Child soldiers that were separated from their families have been recorded apart from the ones who have still yet to be found. The Children are used for combat, messengers, support tasks and even for landmine detection which is very cruel. The female kids they capture are used as sex slaves for money.
Children are ripped from their loved ones, their family, their community, and are given something so terrible to remember from their own childhoods. This whole conflict needs to come to an end. People need to start taking action and raising more and more awareness because it is affecting so many people all over the world.