Argumentative Essay On Child Soldiers

1461 Words6 Pages
As previously stated, child soldiers are typically viewed as more easily replaced than other soldiers. In turn, this leads to more brutal punishments and a lack of consideration for their wellbeing. The punishments inflicted on the children are similar or worse than the ones inflicted on their adult counterparts which imposes damage that is more destructive to a child than to an adult (Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers). Additionally, the Revolutionary United Front used drugs and alcohol in order to control children and increase their intensity and because of this, many children quickly became addicts. A former child soldier, Ishamael Beah spoke of his experience of cocaine and marijuana withdrawal after being taken off the battle field…show more content…
These various physical difficulties contribute to the changing idea of what a childhood entails. The children abducted by the RUF had their childhood taken away through physical punishment, sexual abuse, and forced drug dependencies. Continuously throughout the civil war, the Revolutionary United Front forced their child soldiers to terrorize communities of people. There are many known operations that caused devastation to Sierra Leone, all of which were headed by children. A few examples are “operation fine girl” where child soldiers were to ordered to find and abduct pretty virgins, “operation burn house” was an arson attack, and “operation pay yourself” was looting (Children: The New Face of War). The Revolutionary United Front would also coerce child soldiers to amputate and disfigure members of the villages they invaded in order to create a generation of victims. As time went on and these child soldiers committed more and more wartime atrocities the communities become increasingly weary and skeptical of the child. Stories are told of children being forced to kill members of the community, including their own family members. This fear caused by the actions of the abducted child soldiers has led to a changed image of the children in the minds of the community members. In a study done by Catherine Bolten 2002, the civilians living in Makeni, Sierra Leone, describe their relationship with the ex-combatants of the Revolutionary
Open Document