It is really shameful and an alarming situation in today’s modern world where children are being used to fight wars. This practice must be stopped anyhow to safeguard the lives of children.
Fact 1 Lack Of Humanity
A child being forced to become soldier is one of the most heinous acts of humanity that trespasses the basic rights of kids. The lives of such kids are torn apart by something about which they do not have any idea. What do they know of wars and guns? They did not start the conflicts! Then why will they be dragged into it forcibly causing psychological and physical damages that are often not repairable.
Fact 2 Recruiting Child Soldiers
Every childhas the right to food and education without having to pay anything for it. A child must go to school and live a life that is free from strife and violence. But the cruel world does not care for them. There are nearly 300,000 child soldiers in the world today in twenty countries in the world. They are not only forced to join the army but are used as spies, couriers, cooks and cleaners. Nearly 40% of child soldiers are girls who are often used as sex slaves of the male adult soldiers. Many rebel groups use child soldiers to fight against the government while there are some governments that use children in armed conflicts also. The brutal system sometimes forces children to kill their own family members to break bonds for ever so that they have no one to return to at home.
Fact 3 Why Are Children Used As Soldiers?
Child soldiers are of such a tender age that they are absolutely unaware of what they are being forced to do. Some are as young as seven and nine years old. It is the time for them to play and learn but they are forced to fight with arms without any knowledge of the reasons of war and also its consequences. Children are used more so because they are easier to train and brainwash. They can be manipulated easily. Moreover they eat less and do not need much remuneration for their services for they are still immature to think about salaries. They are so innocent that child soldiers do not feel frightened of facing the enemy’s first waves of fire. They are sent into the line of fire to face the bullets and die before they know anything about life and the world. Another reason why child soldiers are recruited is that there is a constant supply of potential recruits.
Fact 4 Effects on Children
Child soldiers have a very miserable life ahead. Without any education, proper food and especially no one to go back to, they suffer psychologically and physically too. Sometimes they lose their limbs or eyes during battle and become very weak due to poor nutrition at the camps. They cannot find work to maintain themselves and are forced to return to the rebel groups. Since they have witnessed violence and miseries from a tender impressionable age they tend to become rude and violent and do not see anything good around them. Such psychological problems are hard to overcome.
Fact 5 Measures Taken By The UN
The UN set a goal in June 2013, to rid the world of child soldiers from the world by 2016. Many countries like South Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Chicago and also Afghanistan and Chad have joined hands with the United Nations to stop this evil. UNICEF has taken great initiative in this respect and since 1998, more than 100,000 child soldiers have been freed from armed groups. February 12 is a day of commemoration and campaigning across the world to draw the attention of people around the globe to the deplorable plight of child soldiers known as Red Hand Day.