SILENT WARRIORS - Child Soldiers in Armed Conflict
With all the talk of the various conflicts and wars throughout the world, there is little said about the unspoken atrocities that plague children in these battle-struck regions where children, boys and girls young as 8 years old are recruited and more times than not, kidnapped to serve in battle. This story is my attempt to fill the void in bringing this grave concern to the forefront.
The exploiting of children as soldiers has been universally condemned as repugnant and deplorable but every year, tens of thousands of children fight in armed conflicts. Just over the last ten years alone, hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in various conflicts throughout the world.
Children drawn into armed conflict are regularly killed or wounded during combat or while performing other duties. They are forced to participate in risky and dangerous activities such as laying mines or explosives, including using weapons. Child soldiers are forced to live under harsh conditions with very little food and insufficient or no access to healthcare. They are usually treated brutally, subjected to humiliating harassment and beatings including punishments for mistakes and desertion, which are often very severe. Girl soldiers are predominantly at risk of sexual harassment, abuse and rape as well as forced to be involved in combat and other dangerous tasks.
Throughout the world, civilized people have been calling for an end to the utilization of children in wars and related armed conflict. Links have been provided for those who would like to know more and take action to end this atrocity once and for all.
These are but a few of many that are trying to put an end to the utilization of children as soldiers in any type of conflict. There are many more.
"I would like you to give a message. Please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children. So that other children don't have to pass through this violence." (15yr old girl soldier in an interview with Amnesty International after being rescued from her military captors.)
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