Child Soldiers Essay

1332 words - 6 pages

Can you envision a battlefield full of children, some as young as 9 years old? As crazy as it seems this is a reality in many countries around the world, some even closer than they may seem. As an article in the New York Times states, “…children are the cheapest and most expendable killers…” thus many rebel and government militaries have selected child soldiers as their weapon of choice (“An Accord on Child Soldiers”). Human rights groups say as many as 300,000 children are involved in combat all over the globe (Gettleman 1). These adolescents are manipulated into killing innocent civilians and burning down villages. Harmless as children may seem, child soldiers in Mozambique in the 1980s, ...view middle of the document...

Children are forced to do unbelievable tasks at stake of theirs and their family’s lives. A young boy, a soldier of the Al Qaeda in Iraq, was caught carrying a homemade bomb on his bicycle, forced to by militants holding his sister and mother captive (Alexandra Zavis and Garrett Therolf 2).
Children have become the go to soldier because they are easily accessible, influenced and possess many other desirable qualities of a soldier. Militant groups have often been struggling recruiting adults, thus they turn to children (Zavis and Therolf 1). The children that they abduct often have little to no educational background and are very persuadable. In Congo the children were brainwashed into thinking that eating the people they killed would give them strength (Gettleman 1). Although often pushed into child soldiery by force, some militants will actually pay them with money or food (Zavis Therolf 1). The Los Angeles Times reports that Al Qaeda rebels will pay boys up to 200 to 300 dollars to plant a bomb (Zavis Therolf 1). In addition to that the L.A.T. also spoke, saying, “…child fighters confuses enemy and friend on the battlefield…” this is an effective yet appalling war tactic (Zavis Therolf 3). The use of child soldiers is undeniably wrong, but is still a common find on the battle ground seeing as to they are the overall ideal soldier.
Although it may seem ridiculous to send a nine year olds into battle, child soldiers have been used around the globe for centuries. The concept of the child soldier has dated back to the rain of the rebel group known as the Nazis, seeing as when they got desperate they turned to adolescents (Gettleman 3). Child soldiers become relatively known around the world from the rapid usage of them in the 1990s in Africa (Human Rights Watch 2). Africa, although a central location of the child soldier, countries everywhere have been exposed to their presence in wars and have used them as their own troops. As of 2004 27 countries had children in active combat, found the global report (Crawley 1). It may seem that the use of adolescents in active conflict happens only in third world countries, but 17 year olds from the USA have been used in combat in Iraq but were quickly withdrawn. Even though the practice of the child soldier in Africa has come to a slight hush, their usage has been booming in other many militant groups. This can be seen on the battlefields of Iraq, where the number of child soldiers has gone from 100 to 800 in a matter of years (Zavis Therolf 3). Countries all over the world are using and are being subjected to child soldiers being on the frontline.  
The issue of the use of children as soldiers will not just suddenly cease to exist, globally we must impose the laws in place and educate children who are exposed to militant recruitment....

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