The Horrors Of A Child Soldier And Its Prevalence In Africa

1659 words - 7 pages

Throughout history there have been people, under the radar, crying out for help against the social injustices that strip them of their rights to live a normal life. Whether it be on a large or small scale, people all over the world are becoming victims of a cruel and weary lifestyle. Among the more prevalent, the practice of child soldiering has proved to be a very serious social injustice issue. The horrors these children face are unfathomable to most and bring many to tears. After observing the practice of child soldiering, one can see that it is a very serious social injustice issue that must be addressed.
Many people around the world have heard and even seen the brutalities of child soldiers, but what is a child soldier? “A child soldier refers to any person below eighteen years of age who is, or who has been, recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, spies or for sexual purposes” (Paris Principles on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict 2007). Using children as soldiers has been accepted in many areas of the world, particularly in areas where there is poor social stability. In most cases, violent conflict breaks out in response to economical, political, and social inequalities between a group of people. Rebel forces begin to form and soon take drastic measures. Because these rebel forces are usually weak and lack resources, they turn to the use of children as soldiers. With the modern weapons of today, these men have made it easy for children to become dangerous combatants.
For many, it is hard to understand why anyone would use children as soldiers. To put it simply, these men know that children are easily brainwashed and are very cost effective. Because of their small appetite, these rebels save many resources by not having to provide much food for them; whereas, grown men eat much more and are less cost efficient. Children, having an underdeveloped awareness of danger, are also easy to send into the lines of fire. Their small
size makes them perfect candidates for spying, and scouting. Fearing for their lives and the lives of their families, these children are usually obedient and submissive.
Although most of them are captured and forced into the life of a soldier, some of them actually choose to live this way. However, it is crucial to understand why these children make this decision. In most countries, children grow up around war; they join because war it is all they know. But their are many more reasons for why children voluntarily become soldiers. For many, it is because they have a bad family life. Families that have no income or food may encourage their children to join, so they will at least have something to eat. Many, that have already grown up around violence, are motivated to protect themselves and their families by becoming, in their own minds, an able soldier. Aside from their family life, countless...

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