Child Soldier Awareness

Let's Make a Stand

Narrative Letter

I Bet u can't even imagine the kind of horrors I've had to witness. I saw a man carrying his son that had been shot dead, but he was trying to run with him to the hospital. There was also this woman who had been running with a baby that was tied on her back. She'd been running away from the fighting oblivious to the fact that her small child had been shot by a stray bullet and was already dead. A while back I came across a small base that I believed to be a army camp. At the time I was only looking for shelter from all the war but then came to understand that the price for my brief sense of safety came at a hefty price. Little did I relies that I stumbled upon a battalion of breakaway Sierra Leonean soldiers. The splinter group opposed the RUF but were pursuing similarly vicious fighting tactics, including the deployment of child soldiers. I was taken in ant trained to kill at the young age of 12. Over time somebody being shot in front of you, or you yourself shooting somebody became just like drinking a glass of water. Children who refused to fight, kill or showed any weakness were ruthlessly dealt with.

We weren't even allowed to show any kind of remorse or Emotions for things we had done. A nine-year-old boy made that mistake by crying out for his mother and was shot dead where he stood. Didn't really matter what age we were, as long as we were able to hold a gut they sent us to battle. No one really understood what we were fighting for. The grown ups said that all would be ok because the enemy always hesitates to shoot a child. They said that would give us a chance to kill them first. We were also used as live bombs sent off into enemy camps as we'll as a mule for carrying drugs across borders. This was not the life I imagined for my self. All I wanted was to get away from it all.

Our petty problems are nothing compared to others

Child Soldiers Around the World

Victoria Aitken

Mrs. Grubbs

English IV Honors

5 December, 2014

We have War going on all around us. What people don’t realize is that War is corrupting our children. Today child soldiers are present in every conflict zone around the world. Most of them are found more in third war countries from Afghanistan to the Philippines. The History of child soldiers dates all the way back to the medieval times. In Sparta children weren’t used as soldiers, but instead they were used for cooks, pages for the knights, and other small jobs in a military environment. This has been going on for thousands of years but was brought to the public’s attention during World War II. It was at that time where children were known to be used as spies on the battle field.

Now “kids from the ageof seven to seventeen are marching, fighting, killing, and dying in conflicts between countries” (Miller 5). This problem became clear during operation Barras in Sierra Leone in 2000. “British SAS troops fought a pitched battle against the West side Boys (a teen militia) that had taken hostage a squad of British army troops.In that battle one British soldier was killed and 12 wounded. However the estimate number of deaths among the West side Boys ranged from twenty-five up to one hundred- fifty” (Singer 4). Among the dead was a small boy around the age of five.

Kids are good soldiers because they are both emotionally and physically immature. They are either too young to resist or just too young to understand things around them. Militaries benefit from child soldiers because they last longer. Children can fight in the army up to twenty years before they are released. Children who are beaten too severely to continue in combat are often piled with drugs to smuggle across borders, but more commonly kids are used as suicide bombers, sexual slaves, sent to the front lines, or forced to go into minefields as a suicide mission. The stronger soldiers are sent on combat missions into enemy base camps. They prove effective because no adult wants to shoot a child.

Children are often introduced to the army through “Press gangs” or they areabducted from their homes (Use of Child… 1). Their families are usually killed during the home invasion to prevent the children from returning home. Poverty is a prime reason children voluntarily join army. They join to gain a home, food, or a chance to avenge a lost family member. Others are forced into war hoping that they can send extra food and meds to their families. Most children lie about their age so that they may be eligible to join the army. Others are sold to the army by their parents. Most local authorities try to stop the trafficking of child soldiers but they tend to run into problems. Most Children tend to become violent and end up loving the thrill of war. The Change in weapon technology has tremendously benefited the child soldier problem. The production of lighter automatic weapons has made it possible for children to become more active in conflicts.

The current state of child soldering is at its all-time high. More kids are pushed into to war because of poverty than anything else in the world. People tend to become desperate when they don’t have much to live for. Another prime reason for the increase in child soldiers is HIV and AIDS. More than forty million African children will lose one or both of their parents to HIV or AIDS. This results to millions of orphaned children with no home or chance of survival. They are forced into becoming soldiers in order to gain what they have lost. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees estimates that more that twenty-five million children worldwide are now homeless war refugees.

We are living through the most prosperous period in human history, yet many are being left behind. Demographic changes, global social instability and the legacy of multiple civil and sectarian conflicts entering their second and third generations all act to weaken states and undermine societal structures (Singer 4). This has been a global problem since child participation has been active in 21 on-going armed conflicts in almost every region of the world. At least thirty suicide-bombing attacks have been carried out by youths since Israeli-Palestinian fighting broke out in 2000 (Vallely 6). Children who survive often have a difficult time rejoining society. A child having spent years of his life running and fighting will be unfamiliar to interacting within a social community.

For years now the U.S. lead efforts to block the development of the Optional Protocol on child soldiers. Many countries didn’t approve with the fifteen year standard and wanted to create an instrument to protect all children under the age of eighteen from participation, conscription, and recruitment (Use of Child… 1). The U.S. thenpassed a law that “All recruitment of youth under the age of 18 is banned from armed services”. Some U.S involvement has benefited child soldiers. U.S forces find child soldiers around the world and take them to rehabilitation centers to help them re-enter a society. They also teach them a combination of math skills, English, art, and science.


"Use of Children as Soldiers." Foreign Policy in Focus. 01 Nov. 2001: 1. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Hughes, Lisa. "Can international law protect child soldiers?." Peace Review 12. 3(2000):399. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Wessells, Michael. "How we can prevent child soldiering." Peace Review 12. 3(2000):407. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Singer, W, P.. "CHILDREN AT WAR." Military History. 01 Sep. 2007: 50. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Miller, Rose, Sarah.. "Child soldiers." Humanist. 01 Jul. 2002: 28. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

Vallely, Paul.. "WHERE THERE'S HOPE - LIFE AFTER TERROR." Independent - London. 03 Jan. 2013: 15. “eLibrary”.

Web. 25 Apr. 2013

Beah, Ishmael. "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier." Macmillan Audio, 2007.

Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

"KONY 2012." Vimeo. Invisible Children, 2012.

Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Juliet's Story: Child Soldier to Global Campaigner

Poems about Child Soldiers

A Child's Eyes

Their eyes tell silent stories.

Stories that would shock even the darkest of hearts.

These eyes have seen worse than some could even dream of.

They’ve seen killing and death, and pain and suffering to extents that can be hard to imagine.

Eyes that should be learning how to read are instead being taught how to fight.

Emotionless eyes are being forced to kill in gruesome ways.

Eyes that seem to have run out of tears, because crying never helped.

Their sobs are unheard, their tears are unseen.

Children who are innocent are being ruined by men who see no hope in their government.

Men who are willing to take advantage of an irreplaceable innocence.

The eyes are deep brown.

A brown so deep you could get lost in it.

Eyes that catch attention for their beauty.

They silently tell of innocence lost and of silent tears cried.

These are the eyes of a child soldier.

Courtney C. Eaton


Little girl, hidden in the bush,

Why aren’t you with your mother today?

Little boy, so far from home,

Who put that gun in your hand?

Child soldiers, what do you understand

Of rebels’ causes and governments,

Broken cease-fires and armaments?

You only know you are a slave

For sex, or killing, or running away.

You are here to fight and die

For adults who never tell you why

As they steal your childhood away.

Your uniform should be some school’s;

You should sleep safe in a fresh, clean bed,

No horrors to torment or numb you,

As Mother’s song sings in your head.

Oh, children! May you find a home,

Where you remember how to play!

May you recall times before it all

Came undone on an evil day

When soldiers carried you away.

Dr. Carole R. Fontaine

Cry No More!

Dear mama,

I hope you cry no more.

I miss you so much, my heart has a sore.

My arms hurt, but this is just a small pain.

Nothing to fret; must be something broken, or maybe just a big sprain.

I used to fuss at the sight of blood, remember?

But guess what mama,

now I am stronger.

The ink I use is another boy’s blood.

The Captain shot him down; it was in cold-blood.

He was my friend, just turned ten like me.

Now when I sleep his dead body is all I can ever see.

Captain says we’re men and must be strong.

But no one can tell him that he’s so wrong.

It’s so scary here mama,

I Just wanna go home.

I’ve learnt to use other weapons and guns.

I’ve even learnt to kill men and other mothers’ sons.

The Captain calls us soldiers,

but treats us real bad.

He says our country needs us,

but I have no idea why.

As days go by all my friends seem to die.

We often seek answers,

but no one says why.

Dear mama,

tonight before you go to sleep,

pray for me, less to death I bleed.

I’m so afraid mama;

I grow real tired and weak.

I want to leave, this place is too bleak.

What I wouldn’t give for some good food

or maybe even a nice place to sleep,

to be able to throw this gun and play with toys;

toys that won’t hurt nor kill other boys.

Can you sing for me tonight?

It would make me happy,

Just knowing that one song is meant just for me.

I’m so tired mama; I just want to lie down.

I want to be like all my friends who seem to sleep on the ground.

They don’t seem like they’re in pain anymore.

But please promise mama that you will cry no more.

Victoria Aitken

Child Soldier Awareness Video


Big image
Big image

Persuasive essay

When you look at your child, what is the first thought that pops into your head? Is it what collage they may go to when they grow up? Or maybe it's what toy you should buy them for their 8th birthday. Now, imagine living in an environment revenged buy war. Every day fearing for your baby's life praying to any one that's listening that they won't come for your child like they've done to other families in your village. Every day seems to slowly chip away at your thin wall of sanity. This is what most parents on the other side of the world are thinking about. In countries like Africa children are being taken from their homes and forced to enlist into a war that they should never have been apart of. Day by Day kids from the ages of 7 to 16 are being forced to murder, rape, and terrorize people. The same kids who use to play soccer in the fields are now behind trained to kill thinking that it's just another game. Because of their young age they don't know any better and grow up believing that life is nothing but killing and war. They will never know what it's like to have a birthday party or be able to walk into town without seeing corps everywhere. Even though there are many young children who are taken everyday, there are people and organizations who are working together to rescue these same kids. Everyday children are being brought into living environments that are war free and are slowly being rethought every day activities. There are a lot of former child soldiers who are now Olympians or world class doctors. With just a little bit of donation and advertisement on our parts these children in other countries can get the necessary help to change their lives for the better.
KONY 2012