child rebel soldiers in africa

Currently, the UN employs three different strategies: “deterrence, naming and shaming, and criminalisation of the recruitment of child soldiers.”40 While every strategy has proven to have severe limitations, and even the effect of the prosecution of military leaders for war crimes and the employment of child soldiers is questionable,41 it can be agreed that even slow progress is, nonetheless, progress. [4], Although the majority of child soldiers in CAR have been demobilized as a result of the peace process, many remain involved with armed groups; poor access to education and jobs leave children with few alternatives to being soldiers. By early 2004, 2,000 child soldiers that had been involved with the Ninja militia had registered for demobilization.[4]. Some are abducted, threatened, coerced or manipulated by armed actors. Healing of traumatic experiences, emotional abuse, protection from re-recruitment, education and the gradual reintroduction into society all play key roles in the successful rehabilitation of child soldiers and even then the process is not easy. Collier, Paul et al. Military service is performed on a voluntary basis, and can only be performed when one has fulfilled one year of National Youth Service, after reaching the age of 16. Dealing with the highly complex issue of recruitment and the reintegration of child soldiers – and, possibly, even the future prevention of their employment – is a very challenging problem with significant consequences and impacts. [22] In a 2004 study of children in military organizations around the world, Rachel Brett and Irma Specht pointed to a complex of factors that incentivize joining an armed group, particularly: Many times the children recruited remain in the armed forces as they are forced into acts of violence against their own families to ensure they cannot go back to their communities. Conflict around the globe especially Africa has affected children adversely, including their exposure to the six grave violations including being recruited and used as child soldiers, thus creating a negative environment for children. African Union-UN mission in Darfur welcomes rebel group order to ban recruitment of child soldiers . cit., p. 184. cf. [8], Overall, incidences of child soldiers appear to be concentrated within Central and North Africa. While the four children mentioned were eventually released, Amnesty said Mali has continued to arrest children believed to be involved in militias. cf. [4], Burkina Faso: Child refugees in Burkina Faso have reportedly been recruited by armed groups in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the early 2000s. [52] In Sudanese culture, adulthood is believed to reached as young as 11 years of age, but on average most people reach it at the age of 15. Morocco: Moroccan national legislation, Article 16 of the Constitution, states that citizens must be 18 years of age to be recruited into the armed forces. [4], Liberia: All sides in the Liberian civil war used child soldiers extensively. [28], Niger: There is no official national legislation listing recruitment requirements. [1] By 2017, Chad was considered by the United Nations to have put in place the necessary framework to end the use of child soldiers. [28], Past conflict shows no evidence of using or not using child soldiers. [56] As of 2018[update], children are no longer recruited by state- or non-state armed forces in Uganda. However, the United Nations Children and Armed Conflict report of the Secretary General (CAAC) provides numbers on verified cases of grave violations against children. [28], Eritrea: Though Eritrea has been known to use child soldiers in the past, it is unclear whether child soldiers are currently being used by the country's armed forces. It will have been worth it for the betterment of humanity and the protection of our youth.43, Receive latest updates, news and analysis from ACCORD, they are abducted, or conscripted through coercion or severe threats; or, Achvarina, Vera and Reich, Simon (2010) No Place to Hide: Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Child Soldier Recruits. War or any form of violence against children is not an opportunity to make a better future but rather a devastation. Progress in a few countries, but vi One international organization is “Free the Slaves.” Free the Slaves is an advocacy group that speaks for those throughout the world who have fallen victim to such atrocities. In Gates, Scott and Reich, Simon (eds) op. Preventing recruitment, use of child soldiers in Africa: A key element to sustainable peace Conflict around the globe especially Africa has affected children adversely, including their exposure to the six grave violations including being recruited and used as child soldiers, thus creating a negative environment for children. Thousands living in poverty and inhumane conditions are forced into slavery for their survival. [28] These soldiers were used to collect information for the army. Given the age which international law has set, countries like Burundi and Rwanda do have their minimum age of recruitment set at 15. To understand the living situation of many African children, it is essential to recognise the risk involved with a post-conflict society relapsing into conflict. [70], Being forced to become a soldier at an early age often results in changes in personality and mentality, as well as changes in physical appearance. [54], In 2015, it was that 15,000 to 16,000 children may have been involved in the South Sudanese Civil War–which is currently still ongoing. [33], Several high-profile cases of child soldier recruitment into government forces occurred, which contradicted governmental claims of no child soldier recruitment. Support from the World Bank and UNDP helped reintegrate these child soldiers at the end of the crisis.[36]. According to an article by Vision, a child's underdeveloped ability to assess danger makes them the perfect candidate to take risk and difficult assignments that adults would normally refuse. The number of people enslaved are staggering, with approximately 193,000 in Ghana and about 762,900 in the Congo. Becker, Jo (2005) Child Soldiers: Changing a Culture of Violence. What’s more, UNICEF links children and families to mental and physical health services, education, catch-up classes and vocational opportunities. Girl soldiers, the “ultimate victim[s] in need of rescue”. My biggest fear was children, high on drugs, wielding AK-47 riffles, Progress in a few countries, but victimization still widespread, States vow to ‘spare no effort’ in freeing child soldiers, African Union-UN mission in Darfur welcomes rebel group order to ban recruitment of child soldiers, Safeguarding children from armed conflict, The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Warring parties use children not only as fighters, but as scouts, cooks, porters, guards, messengers and more. Article 38 states that "state parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." What’s more, families and communities may be coping with their own challenges and trauma from conflict, and have trouble understanding or accepting children who return home. It makes no sense to simply let it happen and then provide aid after the damage has occurred. Former child soldiers are often subject to stereotypic beliefs, which can work in tandem with other factors, such as poverty, in giving former child soldiers a reason to return to the battlefield. [84][85] UNICEF, for instance, seek to raise awareness by placing emphasis on the "association" with armed groups, for the term "child soldier" lacks the capacity to encapsulate the variety of potential roles that children can fulfill in military affairs. They conclude that psychological trauma and social dislocation are the major consequences of child soldiering. [53], Children have been used in the military for decades in Sudan. According to Ishmael Beah he was told by his commanders to "visualize the enemy, the rebels who killed your parents, your family, and those who are responsible for everything that has happened to you."[25]. [90] Children are defined as anyone below 18 years of age according to the charter. For some children, joining a guerrilla movement might be the most attractive alternative to stay alive, given the social, structural and political conditions. First, a country’s leadership finds itself confronted with large stocks of so-called “surplus weapons”, which could pose a serious security threat if they fall into the wrong hands.18 Second, “enormous numbers of weapons remain or fall in the hands of ex-combatants”19 because disarmament programmes might have limited success – many combatants own more than one weapon and are suspicious about turning them in, in case ceasefires do not hold. Retributive justice is characterized by the punishment of criminal offenders by means equal to their crime,[65] ideally preventing future offenses from occurring. Many enslaved people are those who make the products we use every day. Some children are forced into becoming child soldiers, while some, along with women, are sold into sex trafficking. [28], Mauritania: There is left over tension from conflict with Senegal in 1989 and in 1991, Article 18(1) of the Constitution went into effect, stating that every citizen has the responsibility to protect their country. It is in these types of environments that we are most likely to encounter the use of child soldiers.”8, Moreover, the end of the cold war left some armed forces or groups without further financial support – before, they had been supported by either the United States or the Soviet Union fighting proxy wars.9 The result was that “[g]roups no longer able to finance their conflicts pursued peace negotiations, were defeated militarily, or started recruiting or abducting relatively cheap child soldiers”.10.

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