Currently around the world, it is estimated about 250.000 thousands child soldiers in at least 14 countries worldwide. However, it is yet believed that such numbers can easily go up to 300,000. Figures are shown as females been 40% of all child soldiers, been sexually abused as well as been threaten by the combatants. In many of these cases, family members can be murdered and yet the girls are forced to go to the battlefield (see here).
Besides the female threat, family murdering are also applied to the underage boys. Children under 18 are imposed to register and recruit to serve armies in the front line are part of their national duty. Training are been held at school time as ‘patriotic education lesson’ and they are easier manipulated rather than an adult to fight. Such an atrocity, has been brutally used for jobs such as couriers, porters, cooks or spies (see here).
Whenever used as spies, children are seen to be playing both sides in a conflict, passing on messages to whoever its better worth it. A report shown by the a Russian TV, for example, reports two ‘underage soldiers’ (see here)serving alongside separatists in Donetsk do not fear using heavy artillery, and also forced signing up as suicide bombers or volunteering to kill Ukrainians in the region. Also, they are seen as heroes by their commanders and Russian TV.
It has been happening also in Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic(see here), Chad, Colombia, DR Congo, India, Iraq, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan (see here), Sudan, Thailand and Yemen. Each one of them on its different ways and intensity, however all facing the same problem. Children losing their humanitarian rights and childhood.
Recruitment of underage soldiers are considered as illegal and strongly prohibited by The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
According to the UNICEF, “reintegration of these children into civilian life is a complex process” (see here) . They are submitted to serious mental and psychological consequences after series of killing witnessing, bombing attacks and slavery sexual violence.
Organisations such as UNICEF and Peace Direct are fighting against children soldiers around the world, trying to return them to their families, sponsoring them with psychological care, a daily regular meal to avoid poverty and a volunteering rescue programme, which has returned back in 2011 around 650 children soldiers from their life of violence. A rebuilding of communities and disarming rebels are also taking place. It is not up to The International Law rules. It is a humanitarian issue, a right of a favourable way of living and a civilian welfare.
Can be checked on the online sources over the post.
PS: I have created a personal blog account by mistake when I first register. So, these are the dates and posts I have done so far. I do apologise for the inconvenience.