Child Soldiers Essay

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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. Both boys and girls are faced with great psychological pain after being a character in war. This issue is most common in Africa but…show more content…
Eisentager states “the three main reasons why children are good soldiers: ‘they obey orders; they are not concerned with getting back to their wife and family; they don’t know fear’”(3). In recent wars in Liberia the child soldier rate was 59% of their total armed forces (Alcinda and Sheldon 510). Children have become substitutes for adult soldiers. The lack of laws and regulations prohibiting child-soldiering may be a contributing factor to the recruitment and use of child soldiers. There are no international legal standards for the protection of the rights of children, and the existence of laws that prohibit the use of children under the age of 18 is in itself not enough to ensure that the of children in armed conflict is not actually taking place. The high demand of child soldiers is due to cultural factors, the absence of laws to protect the rights of children, and the ideal that children will obey orders better. Karl Hill and Harve Langholtz’s scholarly journal, “Rehabilitation Programs for African Child Soldiers” addresses the effects such as the struggle children have in returning to society after experiencing and committing such traumatizing acts after being in war. Child soldiers are dramatically affected by participation in conflict. A lot of these children suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and are often rejected by their communities upon returning. Once they have been in war it is difficult to reintegrate

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