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History of Child Soldiers - Article Example

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"History of Child Soldiers" paper argues that child soldiers today have become a reality, and are likely to continue to play a big role in future warfare. Child soldiers are no longer viewed as powder monkeys or drummer boys. Child soldiers are being used right on the front line…
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History of Child Soldiers
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Download file to see previous pages The Revolutionary United Front (RUF), in Sierra Leone famous for raping and mutilating the civilians often used children to commit these acts. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, of Sri Lanka, used children for their suicide bombing missions. These organizations found that children could more easily penetrate targets than their older counterparts. The presence of child soldiers in conflicts in the world is viewed as a global humanitarian crisis and often sensationalized by the media. Magazines and television show images of gun-toting and cigar-smoking 11-year-old child soldiers. There are two contradictory images of child soldiers put forward by humanitarian organizations and the news media. One image is that of a child soldier as an exploited victim and the other one is that of an angry killer or assailant. The most popular image is that of a pre-adolescent African boy wielding an AK-47 with anger in his eyes. Today child soldiering is a global phenomenon and not only an African one. There are more than 70 military organizations in 19 countries that have recruited and used them in armed combat between 2004 and 2007. It has been reported that Burma uses the largest number of child soldiers. Colombia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have used them in their battles. Britain and the United States have also recruited 17-year-olds in their forces. Sebastian Junger in his account of the battle for Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, says, “Teenage soldiers out of their minds on drugs, rounded up entire neighborhoods and machine-gunned them or burned them alive in their homes … They killed people who refused to give them money, or people who didn’t give them enough money, or people who looked at them wrong … They favored Tupac T-shirts and fancy haircuts and … had been fighting since they were 8 or 9, some of them, and sported names such as Colonel Bloodshed, Commander Cut Hands, Superman, Mr. Die, and Captain Backblast.” This then is the image which is the most popular. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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