Child Soldiers Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

All around the world, especially in third world countries, children are being forced to fight in wars and conflicts that they did not start, and they do not need to fight in. Today, it is estimated that over 300,000 children are enlisted in armies and militias around the world (Kaplan). These children are called child soldiers. A child soldier is classified as a person enlisted in an army or militia that is under the age of eighteen. (11 Facts). They are recruited into armies for many different reasons and used for many different tasks. There are a number of countries that children are forced to fight in such as Columbia, Myanmar, Iraq, and many more (11 Facts/Kaplan). Children should not be forced to be soldiers in war because it puts young lives at risk. Children are forced to do and watch acts that lead to permanent and severe psychological damage, and are abused in the armies.
Many people around the world have their lives put in danger daily. Child soldiers are some of these people, but they are children to live. Their lives are a contestant battle for survival, and this lifestyle is not a necessary one for children. Armies recruit children because it is military genius. Children are impressionable, trusting, and vulnerable. These traits make it easy for the commanding officers to make the children into perfect killing machines (Kaplan). Children come to the armies too young to have their own morals, so the army can make them immoral (Kaplan). When they have no morals, the army can use them to do some of their dirty work, such as killing. When children are forced to kill in a war zone, their lives are put at risk. It is a two-sided war and there are people fighting back. This puts many people’s, including children’s, lives at risk, especially if there is open fire. Children in these conflicts and wars are forced to do terrible things in the armies. Some examples are, porters, couriers, spies, guards, suicide bombers, and human shields along with the frontline combatants (About the Issues). Everything from being out on the frontlines to a spy to a courier is extremely dangerous in a war zone and children’s lives are again being unnecessarily put at risk.
Children taken into these armies are forced to watch despicable things happen to people they know or do not know, but they know that they are human and most likely innocent (Stolen Kids). For example, an eleven-year-old boy in Myanmar was forced to watch as mothers were killed. Afterwards, some of the soldiers smashed their babies’ heads on rocks and killed them (Stolen Kids). Not only are children forced to watch these terrible things happen, they are forced to commit wretched crimes as well. A twelve-year-old Columbian girl was held at gunpoint and told to kill one of her friends. She eventually did, but closed her eyes and she had to bury the body afterwards (Stolen Kids). She was told that she was not allowed to cry while doing this as well as that this murder was the first of many,...

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