Never the Same There are more than 200,000 child soldiers in Africa alone. What if it was your children participating in a war? A child soldier is any person under the age of 18 who is a member of an armed force or political group. Many are abducted or recruited by force, and often compelled to follow orders under threat of death. Others join armed groups out of desperation.
Alannah Francis All across the world, hundreds of thousands of children are forced to become child soldiers. They are numbed by the loud noise of gunfire and splatters of blood. They commit crimes to stay alive. Most importantly, when they come back from war, they face a dilemma. Recently, the new book, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier, has drawn attention to the issue of child soldiers.
The novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah is a book about the civil way in Sierra Leone which took place during the early 1990's all the way up until the early 2000's. During this civil war many human right were violated and some were even taken away from the innocent citizens of Sierra Leone by a group of men and children that called themselves the rebels. They were rebelling against the Sierra Leone government and their ways of showing their anger was by raiding villages and brutally attacking whoever was in the town at the time of attack. Then before they left the town they would burn down all the houses and buildings to ensure that no one could return to the village and survive. Some of the rights that were taken away from these citizens by the rebels were the right to life and the right to food and shelter for all.
Every night American family saw graphic pictures of Zippo raids, bombings and killings. Almost every town and village in the America faced the problem of their young men being either killed or wounded in Vietnam * Others faced physiological problems such as post-traumatic stress * President Johnson ordered heavy air force bombing raids which led to deaths of thousands of Vietnamese civilians including women and children * More than 11 000 died in 1967 a further 16 500 died in 1968 ( American soldiers) * The My Lai massacre resulted in the murder of 397-504 civilians mainly women, children and the elderly. Many of the victims were raped and tortured * The horror of death maiming, burning, terror and unthinkable destruction of a small country on the evening news, coupled with the threat of the draft made it feel like nothing
“Runaway Love” In the world today, there are several social issues affecting mankind. One major issue that disturbs our society is child abuse. Over the years, this horrific crime has increased and a number of people are trying to speak up and stop abuse from occurring. One method in which this transpires is through music. A particular artist by the name of Ludacris decided that enough was enough and determined that he would take a stand against abuse in his song, “Runaway Love.” This song, performed by Ludacris and featuring Mary J. Blige, voices their concern about the issues of rape, physical violence, gun violence, and unwanted pregnancy.
Whilst conflict merely involve two parties disagreeing over differences of opinion, this interpersonal conflict can bring out either courage or cowardice in people. We have seen throughout history that major conflicts in the form of war and international political unrest, lead many to experience horrific and life-changing conflicts of a larger scale. A recent global example of interpersonal conflict is Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban over her fight for universal education, urged people in war-torn countries to swap
War is inevitable, there will always be conflicts among people, countries and leaders. War affects children in all the ways it affects adults, but also in different ways. Children are dependent on their parents for care, food, water and shelter. War adversely affects the lives of the children when they lose their parents to the war, lack of opportunity for an education and the possibility of living in a refuge. Children are exposed to situations of terror and horror during wars, such experiences that may leave traumatic impacts upon the children.
For the progress and prosperity to prevail, the foremost requirement is peace in the country. Several militant groups still putting resistance and cause many incidences of violence, murders, killings and destruction of property in the country. All this required to be stopped, so that the humanitarian aid agencies, can resume the process of rehabilitation. It was the time when new constitution was taking place, every faction in Afghanistan must realize that any attempt by any of the factions and militant groups would again put the country in turmoil and all the sacrifices and hardships faced by the country will result in civil war. The elections due in June 2004, had given a chance to each group to assertion if through democratic process.
People stop trusting each other, and every stranger becomes an enemy.” Written by Ishmael Beah in A Long Way Gone, that quote represents complete devastation that the war in Sierra Leone had on the people. Truthfully, reading about Beah’s experiences in his home country kept me intrigued and excited for more, but at the same time made me think about how my life would have been as a young girl in a similar situation. The Sierra Leone Civil War began when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) attempted to overthrow President Momoh’s government. In Beah’s story, the military took control of villages and towns with ease using children as soldiers. Beah and his friends chose to run from both the rebels and the army, while both were corrupt and taking part in the same murderous actions.
By signing the treaty, a stance was taken that the Russian Federation is going to make the necessary provisions to keep children out of armed conflict. The Russian federation is adamant about the age requirements of those allowed to participate in war as 18. The use of child soldiers in armed conflict plagues our global society, as thousands of children continue to be recruited into armed conflict by both government forces and armed rebel groups in spite global efforts to combat the continued use of children. The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers believes that more than 120,000 children under 18 years of age are currently participating in armed conflicts , some no more than 7 or 8 years of age. Once recruited the child soldiers are often forced kill as a way to break them, they are often forced to kill, and sometimes rape, other children or even members of their own family.