Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

Children of

By Matt Ortwein

Land of the Child

At any given point, more than 300,000 children
under the age of 18 are fighting as soldiers with
government armed forces and armed opposition groups,
LRA, in more than 30 countries across the
world(Lalbiharie 1). This is a major issue faced across
the globe. Child soldiers that are being deployed are
being traumatized by their experiences that they face at
Nations such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and the
Central African Republic, a few places in which child
soldiers are found, all have democratic governments.
The U.S and other great nations have democratic
governments, but these nations dont deploy child
soldiers. This raises the question, what causes nations to
have children at war?
If the government type doesnt directly affect
weather a nation will deploy child soldiers then what
does? The answer is poverty! More than 90% of nations
with child soldiers suffer a problem with poverty and/or
famine. The majority of child soldier come from Africa,
the continent with the lowest sanitation and the most

The use of child soldiers take place in

many third world nations, showed by
the Red highlighting.

Another leading reason for the use of children in

war is religion. Nations with many indigenous religion,
such as the Central African Republic, have a high rate of
child soldiers. Communities in Bantu Africa believe
that that children that have killed are spiritually
contaminated and haunted. Not Childs Play.
Third World nations suffer the problem of child
soldiers because of their unfortunate economic state and
indigenous beliefs. This is no place to live. If you dont
join the army, you are most likely going to be abducted
and forced into battle. These nations are poor and the
children have nothing else to do. These nations are in
many wars and normally face a variety of problems.
Shockingly, some of the children look up to terriost
groups like LRA because they have nobody else to look
up to. The children in these nations are being
traumatized either way: staying in poverty or going to

Abductions and
More children are going on the battlefront every
year. This is a major problem some nations face.
Children join the battle for many different reasons. Many
have to join because their home life is too hard for them.
Although, most children are recruited forcibly, others
are driven into armed forces by poverty, alienation and
discrimination.(Lalbiharie 1)
The LRA is one of the biggest terriost groups
involved in the abducting of child soldiers. Shockingly,
the LRA has kidnapped more than 20,000 children since
the beginning of the conflict, with almost half of them
being take in the past 18 months alone according to Nutt
and Hoskins. These and other actions led them to be
declared a terriost group according to the U.S. More than
80% of the LRA soldiers are abducted children.
Although many children are abducted and forced
to fight, others chose to join because of their appalling
situation at home. The children are forced to make bad
decisions. They either stay at home in terrible condition
or go to war just to put a meal on their plate. Even
though the children werent forced to go it was really
their only escape from their dreadful conditions at home.

The kids dont know what war is like, but they couldnt
imagine to be any worse than how their living now. They
couldnt have been more wrong.
The children abandon their families and go off
to war. They have no clue on what to expect or any clue
on what to do. They are given guns with little to no
training and thrown into the front line. Only a few weeks
in battle after seeing their friends die, eating crappy
food, and living in the worst conditions possible they
usually want out. Some can go home, but if you join
groups like the LRA your only way out was death.

The Battle Front

Imagine a jungle or a dessert and its over 100
degrees outside. Now imagine bullets flying across you
and hitting your allies right next to you. Imagine you
return from the battlefront after a long day and all you
get to eat is a piece of stale bread or old meat. This was
the appalling life of a typical child soldier on the front.
Child soldiers being forced to fight off
enemy forces with no training.
Child soldiers are forced to fight on the front line with
little to no training

Child soldiers have to do some of the most

disgusting and despicable thing at war, like murdering,
torturing, and looting peoples house. Unfortunately,
some governments and terriost groups recruit kids
because their easier to use and turn them into their
guinea pigs. Many governments and armed groups
claim to use children because of a shortage of adult
recruits children, sometimes perceived to be

inexpensive, expendable and easier to condition into

fearless killing and unthinking obedience (Lalbiharie 2)
Bienvenu was a terrified boy that had to do
dreadful things. He killed people just because he didnt
know what to do. The children that go to war arent the
same when they come back. During one raid on a
village, he recounts, our commander told us to start
looting. I was with a friend in the home of a rich family
and we found $500. The mother, father and six children
were hiding in one of the rooms. The father confronted
us and said we should give back the money. I shot him
(Nutt 1) He ended up killing the whole family because
he didnt want anyone to find out.
Many children commit crimes against the
friends, neighbors, and even familys. There are child
soldiers who lined up their family and gunned them
down without shedding a tear. The war turn these
children into killing machines that had nothing on their
mind but there orders. According to Reynolds atrocities
such as rape, watching families being murdered, or being
forced to be child soldier have left lasting trauma.
Another effected boy was Ishmael Beah. When
Beah was a kid the Sierra Leone army recruited him to
fight against rebel forces. Beah was a machine, he
committed to many crimes to count. According to
Aldhous when he was rescued in 1996 he was high on
drugs, pumped up on a diet of war movies, and numb for
The use of children of war is becoming a major
problem across the world. The children that go to war
arent the same people that come back. Tragically, they
are changed people, and not in a good way. They have
lost their innocence, became killing machines, and lost
their emotions and feelings. They lost the part that
makes them different, they lost the part that makes them