Child Soldiers
The Full Picture
First stereotype
All children take part in active
combat.
Child Soldiers
Not the whole story…
Not all children are engaged
in active combat.
What else are children used for
by fighting forces?
• As porters - carrying
• As cooks
• As spies or decoys.
• As wives and mothers
• As sex slaves
Second Stereotype
All Children are fighting
for
Rebel Groups only
Not the whole story…
Government Forces too
Rebel groups use child soldiers often to fight
the government.
Governments use child soldiers in armed
conflict.
Some countries actively recruit children as
young as 7.
There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers.
Countries Where Child
Soldiers Exist Today
» Country
Country
•
Who is Recruiting
Est. Numbers
Burma
Burma’s National Army
70,000
Sri Lanka
Rebel Forces
6,000
Iraq
Insurgent groups
Unknown
Afghanistan Taliban Militias
Unknown
Colombia
Guerrilla Forces
14,000
DRC
Government and Rebel
Forces
30,000
Third Stereotype
All child soldiers are
abducted or forced into
conflicts.
Abducted or forced
conscription
Not the whole story…
Some children are recruited
voluntarily.
Why join?
•
•
•
•
•
Paid
Promises of a better life.
Revenge
Prestige/ honour
No other choice.
Why abduct children?
• Easier to brainwash
• Easier to coerce
• Torments local community
• Dispensable.
Fourth stereotype
All child soldiers are boys.
Just boys
Not the whole story…
Many girls too
40% of all child soldiers are
female.
Life for girls particularly hard because of
the shame attached to what happens to
them. They often find it difficult if they do
return to their communities because they
are less visible they often get ignored after
the conflict.
Fifth stereotype
All Child Soldiers Kill.
Everyone kills
Not the whole story…
It varies from
conflict to conflict
But all of the children are likely to suffer
trauma and abuse. They have to deal with
malnutrition and exposure to drug taking.
Violence is a part of their daily life, they
are often forced to kill and will see and be
forced to do horrific things.
Pros and cons
• Sense of belonging
• Status and power
• Livelihood
• Ostracised from family and community
• Exposure to violence
• A life that involves drug taking and abuse.
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Lesson_ 3.2 - Powerpoint slideshow