Children in armed conflicts Essay

1054 WordsNov 18, 20085 Pages
Use of children in armed conflicts In many developing countries were the political situation is unstable, children are often used as soldiers in government forces, in paramilitaries, and in opposition forces like the armies of rebels. This happens in countries like Burma, Cambodia, Colombia, Congo Rwanda, and we can go on like this for a very long time. The UN estimates that about 40 countries worldwide use child soldiers. They serve as soldiers, human mine detectors, sex slaves, spies, messengers, lookouts or they participate in suicide missions. The organizations who they fight or work for often need children in their ranks, because they are handy if there has to be done some kind of dirty work, or when somebody who is very small is requested. The older children often fight in the front ranks of a fight, because that way they distract the enemy and provide cover for the “normal” soldiers. The children, especially the younger ones, are forced to live under harsh conditions. They often don’t have enough food and the majority of the medicines for the injured goes to the adult soldiers, because they have more value in military operations. They are almost always treated brutally, and have to suffer under the violence of their adult militia members. They receive on almost regular base beatings, and the punishments they receive for mistakes or desertion are very severe. amputations aren’t an exception. As an example of this we will read the next testimony of a young Peruvian woman: "They beat all the people there, old and young, they killed them all, nearly 10 people... like dogs they killed them... I didn't kill anyone, but I saw them killing... the children who were with them killed too... with weapons... they made us drink the blood of people, we took blood from the dead into a bowl and they made us drink... then when they killed the people they made us eat their

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