The termination of the Cold War ignited an era of ethno-political conflicts that became increasingly internal with characteristic atrocities against neighbors, gender based violence, and butchery. In this era, over 80% of the…
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Lightweight assault weapons increased these children’s lethality while others participated in politically motivated, though unstructured, violence like planting bombs or hurling rocks. While the use of child soldiers is a widespread phenomenon in global conflicts, the case of Sierra Leone was the first case that received widespread media coverage.
The issue of child soldiers in Sierra Leone defied gender boundaries with girls joining military drills and activities. Girls made up at least 25% of the rebels in Sierra Leone’s Civil War with typical sexual victimization being rampant as they were forced to service soldiers with sex (Williams 80). This had an especially negative impact on their lives as they were found to be unsuitable for marriage since they were considered impure. Because of desperation, most of them became prostitutes to earn a living. Most child soldiers in Sierra Leone were enlisted through coercion; forced recruitment and mandatory conscription. Whenever the rebels had a shortfall in numbers, they found it convenient to ignore birth dates with no birth records used, except to find out the tribal allegiance of a particular conscript. In fact, even the government turned to the use of child soldiers to counter their use by the rebels. A child who stood as tall as a rifle was considered eligible for conscription into the army. Village headmen were instructed, by local authorities, to provide a specified number of Sierra Leoneans with children being easier to find and conscript (Williams 81).
Some militias in Sierra Leone abducted the children, especially from schools, at gunpoint. Surrounding a school, they would arrest children without explanation and herd them to the forest for training. In other areas, armed militia surrounded public spaces like marketplaces and ordered its occupants to sit before trucking away anyone found “eligible” for service (Maclure & Myriam 120). Those who were most at risk were teenage boys
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War has an effect on every development aspect of a child. Children who are affected by armed conflict often get injured, killed, and uprooted from their communities and homes and end up as refugees or internally displaced persons. Some of these children become separated from their parents and families or orphaned and are subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse.
This war, in effect, was like any other civil war, save one thing- the brutalities inflicted by the rebel army known as the Revolutionary United Front was of a massive scale and of unprecedented devilishness. "The first major crack within the RUF was connected with the indiscriminate violence and terror against civilians in areas under their control” (Abdullah, 33).
As the demand of various resources is sky-rocketing, MNCs which focus is profit maximization at any cost and which want to increase their inventories, fail to put into consideration the circumstances and situations under which they acquire such resources.
The current report aims at highlighting the issue of child soldiers and relates to the extent to which this problem is gaining pace and the measures that are being done to address the issue world over. Background The overall conditions of unrest and poverty in the world specially in nations belonging to the central African regions and other under developed countries such as Uganda, Sudan and developing nations like India, Sri Lanka ("Child Soldiers", 2) etcetera have prompted children to become subjected to all kinds of hardships that are not in line with their basic needs and rights.
According to the report the civil war drove thousands from their homes to establish slave labor in the mines while others were coerced into joining the rebels. This resulted in enormous migration away from the rich agricultural countryside towards the capital, which was considered as haven for most internal refugees.
A child soldier is an individual below the age of 16 involved in an armed conflict around the world. In the past three decades, armed conflicts have involved children under the ages of 17, fighting in the frontlines as combatants. Examples of countries where child soldiers have been involved in conflict include Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia.
This is because of the psychological and physical damage afflicted upon these children through the various training techniques and images of war. Even the reasons given behind using children in rebellions and