Political strife has been always present on an international scale with surges of civil war due to government overthrow, sending nations into unrest. Although not common recently, the ideology of recruiting child soldiers still remains, and the lasting effects on the children are traumatizing. From witnessing the carnage of constant bombshells erupting in the distance to whole families being executed, the images are etched deep into their minds, haunting them even after they are discharged from the armies. Although putting an immediate end to child soldiers is unrealistic, the United States should aid in creating and training members of war-affected countries to run long-lasting Rehabilitation centers due to the unqualified and ineffective …show more content…
This led to “occasional dangerous physical assaults on one another or even staff at the school” (United States, National). When reintegrated into normal society without treatment, the child soldiers reverted back to their only way of living, which was in the brain-washed state of constant warfare. Even when medically checked over, the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital wrote them off as “possessed demons”, failing to recognize the implications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Outdated and ineffective programs brush aside the traumas of war and write them off as mentally deranged, which would further isolate the once child soldiers from society and cause them to deal with the repercussions of PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. alone. This is why the United States should set up rehabilitation centers, allowing the large percentage of child soldiers to find solace and return to normalcy, preventing from slipping back into the travesties of war and to not pose a threat to society. Furthermore, the lack of proper rehabilitation or care programs post-war will also reflect the state of the nations. After the catastrophes of war have subsided, the affected areas are left in not only physical ruin, but also mental and emotional ruin. Child soldiers, who have been separated from their families, are stuck between not knowing if their other family members were
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Jeffrey stated that “More than 200,000 children worldwide are still used as child soldiers.” This trend is reportedly present mostly in Africa, as generals need to be able to two people for every person that they lose. Moreover, it’s easy to teach kids to something that they can’t tell is right from wrong. After being trained these newly made warriors are trained to kill while being completely stoned or high on a cocaine-gunpowder mix that is given as a drug to them. The fault does not fall upon those trained to kill, but the trainees that put them up to such an awful
War is hard on anyone involved; however, it is especially hard on the children who are forced to live with it or in close proximity to it. Children typically lack the worldview to process the level of violence that occurs during war. The Nigerian children who were rescued from the refugee camp lived in extremely poor conditions and before arriving there were subjected to serious events that may change them forever. They are likely suffering from some severe psychological effects of war-time violence that need to be addressed in order to break the cycle of violence they may be in, but also to ensure their mental health both now and in the future. There are several aspects of psychological recovery that need to be
Imagine having to fight in a war you don’t want to fight in, seeing friends and family die all around you, but no matter how far you run you can never escape. Child soldiers in Sierra Leone do not have to imagine this - for them, it is reality. Ishmael Beah, who became a soldier at just age 12, as well as researchers such as Christophe Bayer, Fionna Klasen, Hubertus Adam know too well that the events in the war can never be forgotten. The story Beah told in his memoir A Long Way Gone captures the inhumane events that take place in Sierra Leone and tells of a story that many children have to endure. Sources like Harvard claim “among the 87 war-torn countries...300,000 - 500,000 children are involved with fighting forces as child soldiers.” Many of those children are being forced into the war without any choice at all and having to kill others as well. With this information we’re forced to ask the question: how are these children being affected by the war?
War is replete with death and dismemberment; but victimization is when the horrors of war are inflicted upon the innocent. The victims of war feel a sense of terror when the harsh realities completely alter their way of life. The people that are indiscriminately thrust into war due to unjust circumstances are considered victims. In the article, "Children - the ultimate victims of war" Graca Machel states that, "War violates every right of a child - the right to life, the right to be with family and community, the right to health, the right to the development of the personality and the right to be nurtured and protected" (Machel 1). In the setting of war, children are frequently the ones that are abused the most. Both war memoir’s The Bite
“For child soldiers, everyday is a living nightmare” (Chatterjee, 2012). Child soldiers are children under the age of 18 who are used in the military for any source of benefit. Child soldiers worldwide have become a huge issue, leading to many unnecessary deaths as well as lifelong mental trauma. According to “For Child Soldiers, Every Day is a Living Nightmare” 90% of the child soldiers in Liberia show post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as 65% showing depression post-war. Developing these mental illnesses makes the rest of a child’s life a living hell, not to mention their inability to get a job or provide for themselves or their family. Mental illness is probably the best thing you can come out of the war with. An article written in SOS Children’s Villages charity called “Children in Conflict: Child Soldiers” states that over the last 10 years: over 2 million children have been killed, over 1 million children have been orphaned, and over 6 million children have been injured or even disabled, and over 10 million children have struggled with psychological trauma due to war.
Recently, two million children have died over the past ten years due to becoming a child soldier. A huge deplorable development that has extended recently is the increase of child soldiers. Children are constantly being used as soldiers for various reasons. In some countries, there are more child soldiers than they are adults because children are more compliant. Children have been exploited as soldiers because they are being recruited to do a violent action, it is difficult for them to, later on, assimilate back to their lives, and child soldiers are regularly used in developing countries.
As with any victims of trauma, child soldiers experience post traumatic stress disorders, but they may also experience withdrawal if drugs were used to keep the child soldiers in line. In A Long Way Gone, Beah describes his experience with withdrawal: “My hands had begun to shake uncontrollably and my migraines had returned with a vengeance… No one paid any attention, as everyone was busy going through our own withdrawal stages in different ways” (140) and post traumatic stress disorder: “Whenever I turned on the tap water, all I could see was blood gushing out… Other times, the younger boys sat by rocks weeping and telling us that the rocks were their dead families” (145). The wounds these children gain might be physical as well, as children were often used to clear minefields or as cannon fodder (Child Soldiers
The concept is about understanding our troop’s reaction after returning from the war. Mainly external attributions have the most impact on our post-traumatic stress syndrome and any possibilities disorder occurred with them after returning from the war (Costello, 2014). The articles explained about the most extensive training taking place and they are trained to fight and combat on the war. This has caused them to traumatized mainly by fear and other factor about hiding, destroy the enemies. The main concern is about these troops having been trained to eliminate the enemies’ troop. Another important traumatized cause these troop to be intimidating is witness another wounded, destroy by the enemies. The other concern is being capture by the enemies and these individual could have possible been mistreat and sometime executed. Overall these element has cause them to be fear and cautious as they return back to the civilization.
What are child soldiers? Child soldiers are people under eighteen who partake in either a regular or irregular armed group in any way. According to Warchild there are an estimated 250,000 child soldiers in the world and often as a part of their recruitment they are forced to either kill or maim a loved one so that they cannot go back home. In Ishmael Beah’s novel A Long Way Gone (Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) the author recounts his life as a child soldier fighting on the government side in Sierra Leone from age thirteen to sixteen. This paper will be attempting to answer the questions of why certain armed groups use children, why it is wrong to do so, and how people are taking a stand to stop it.
Visualize men with guns breaking down your door and pointing them at your family. Now imagine these men taking your children, forcing them to serve in their military force. In only an instant, your children are gone and you are left with no knowledge of the fate of your kids. As terrifying and seemingly impossible as this imagined scenario may be, it is a stark reality for many families in third world countries. Where families fear not if their children will be taken but when those doors will be broken down, and their screaming children will be dragged out through the front door. The parents know that they cannot not stop these men even if they attempt to. Yet, in an unreasonable twist becoming a child soldier is not only a gamble with the reaper, but it is also a chance to survive. Enough food to survive is more or less guaranteed, while back at home the odds of surviving are insurmountably against them. Becoming a child soldier is a double edged sword that is neither ally nor enemy to the children. These children are abused and coerced into staying with the men who ripped them from their families. Those that attempt to escape or resist are torn down brutally in order to be rebuilt, while those that embrace it sacrifice their humanity and risk the onset of psychologically damaging PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Militias and rebel forces, strained on man power, turn to child soldiers as a cheap and readily available replacement source. Trained to become war hardened
It’s estimated 300,000 child soldiers are still in the world today in at least twenty countries. Sierra Leone was just one of them. Forcing AK-47’s on children in the midst of war (1991-2002.) Adults once forced to be a child soldiers still have vivid, traumatic memories from their brainwashed childhood. They have their innocent childhoods taken away from being on the front lines of combat & have to grieve for the separation from their family. It’s key for everyone to understand what children are going through in other countries not as fortunate as yours.
Since they are forced to leave their homes, kids miss out on getting an education, spending time with family, making friends, and enjoying peaceful, carefree lives. Being recruited into war changes their childhood forever. They live in fear of getting killed or harmed, and have to murder other people themselves. If they don’t, they risk getting shot or abused by commanders. An article on hrw.org (2004) states that many children are “victims of killings, rape and sexual assault, abduction, torture, forced labor and displacement at the hands of the warring factions.” This reveals that when children are forced into war, they no longer get to enjoy the fun and simple childhood everyone deserves. Rather, they must live up to adult responsibilities and perform abhorrent crimes. In addition, these children are often given many drugs to make them more inclined to kill. An article on vision.org (2008) talks about a child soldier rehabilitation camp director that has reported that kids “would do just about anything that was ordered” while on drugs. The use of drugs in young people dangerously affects their overall health and alters their minds substantially. Also, Child Soldiers International notes that child soldiers “run a high risk of being killed or maimed.” This clearly describes the health and future of these children as they are forced into war. As can be seen, recruiting kids into war negatively affects their physical state and their
For starters, when it comes to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the children of war-torn countries, such as Sierra Leone, suffer more mental challenges before they are sixteen than most people in America will ever experience. The adolescent child soldiers in particular battle the struggles of PTSD the hardest:
I believe that former child soldiers can become functional members of society. Children are extremely resilient and can bounce back from traumatic experiences. However, the treatment and care that they need to overcome this traumatic ordeal is not provided to these children as child soldiering almost always occurs in impoverished countries. This means that the facilities and experts that are needed to care for them are not available. But I also think that a lot of family and community
Around 120,000 adolescent children are now engaged in conflicts throughout Africa (“Child Soldiers: An Overview” 4). In Sudan, for instance, thousands of children, some as young as 12, were recruited against their will into separatist and government groups (“Child Soldiers: An Overview” 5). Thousands more children have been enlisted into the armed forces throughout Asia and the Pacific. The most significant numbers are in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and recently, Cambodia. Myanmar, a country in Asia, has some of the most child soldiers throughout the world, with children being recruited into both non-government and government armed forces (“Child Soldiers: An Overview” 6). The number of child soldiers has been decreasing annually, but these children are still being taken against their will.