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Indoctrination of children to child soldiers - Essay Example

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The use of children as soldiers has become a global problem today that requires urgent solution. Post notes that the use of children as militia has rapidly increased since the end of the cold war in 1990s…
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Indoctrination of children to child soldiers
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Download file to see previous pages The use of children as soldiers has become a global problem today that requires urgent solution. Post notes that the use of children as militia has rapidly increased since the end of the cold war in 1990sThe increase is mainly attributed to the intra-state conflicts witnessed in various countries around the world particularly in developing countries.Estimates show that more than 300,000 children used as soldiers in 36 conflicts across the globe (Singer 6). At the same time, reports indicate that National Military and rebels groups are both recruiting children as soldiers in armed conflicts. The most recent involvement of children in armed conflict has been witnessed in countries such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Uganda, Congo DRC, Angola, Liberia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Rwanda, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan and Sierra Leon just to name but a few (O'Neill par.2). Findings indicate that some of the children participating in these armed conflicts were forced to participate while others voluntarily joined the fray as an escape means from social problems such as poverty and abuse, or as revenge against their families. However, the daunting statistics show that most of these children become victims of the war itself. This paper seeks to explore how children are indoctrinated to become child soldiers. The use of children as soldiers in armed conflicts has rapidly increased over the last ten years. Most of these children have been subjected to all sorts of dehumanizing atrocities. Tiefenbrun notes that these children are often abducted from their homes by armed militias, tortured and indoctrinated with intimidation and coaxed to take mind-altering drugs, threaten with dire consequences such as death or dismemberment (423). Others are forced to return to their villages to witness or participate in the killing of their friends and family members who fail to comply with the commander’s directives. The abducted children are also forced to watch how children who attempt escape or disobey commander’s directives are punished. Tiefenbrun claims that child soldiers are normally brainwashed meticulously and brutally until their morals and ethics becomes completely distorted to the extent that they are made to believe that doing evil is luxurious (423). For Example, a twenty-year old Colombian who happened to have been indoctrinated to become a soldier stated that, once a child is introduced into the paramilitary, his or her first duty is to kill. According to the child, commanders tell the children being recruited that they are to engage in killing (Chancellor Par.8). As a result, they are trained how to kill. This implies being given someone to kill by either chopping off hands or head or jabbing with a knife. This directive must be followed even if it means killing a friend or a family member. Tiefenbrun noted that brainwashing is normally accompanied by desensitization of children to the sight and commission of murder and other forms of atrocities (424). Children who dare escape are boiled a live according to a report. The boiled body of the murdered child soldier is used as a meal for the other child soldiers, who are forced to eat the human flesh as part of their training, according to Tiefenbrun (424). Child soldiers who have managed to escape reveals that they were being forced to beat dead bodies of a captured escapee. Additionally, they are forced to smear themselves with the blood of the murdered escapee. According to Beah, rebels ensure that child soldiers remain obedient through frequent beatings, death threats, and threats against retaliation against the family members of the children on training as child soldiers (22). Despite boys being the main targets of rebels for recruitment as a child soldier, girl child are also victims. Tiefenbrun observed that 40% of child soldiers worldwide are girls who are abducted and indoctrinated to child soldiers (424). Report indicates that young girls make up a third of child ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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