Child Soldiers

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Facing The Horror Of Child Soldiers

Some 31,000 women are currently pregnant inside the Islamic State. These children born out of conflict will form the future ranks of the group. School curriculum is being altered and reshaped to support extremism and strict adherence to the Islamic State's view of religion and philosophy. Children are desensitized to violence and trained for combat from an early age. This presents a complex, yet vitally important, challenge for any nations engaged with the Islamic State.
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A Changing Battlefield Complicates the Fight to Help Child Soldiers

Every day we witness the power of young people to transform their communities and the world. The potential lost when a child is handed an AK-47 instead of a schoolbook or soccer ball is one of the greatest tragedies imaginable. But as governments stop recruiting children, over the past year militias and terror groups like the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in Nigeria, have horrifyingly indoctrinated thousands more. And the way these militias use their children is changing in terrifying ways.
World Vision Canada

Many of Today's Wars Have Smaller Soldiers

Today's conflicts are smaller in scale than the world wars on which we normally focus come Remembrance Day. But tragically, so are many of the soldiers. There are some 250,000 child soldiers in the world today, mostly in Africa. Children the age of my school-aged sons are shoved headlong into a hell that's unimaginable for most adults, let alone a child.
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The Ugandan Radio Show That Saves Lives

In the Luo language, John Lacambel says, "Hello! This is Lacambel here at 102 Mega FM. It is Thursday and the time is now 10 p.m. This is Come Back Home." During the height of the 20-year-long brutal war with the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, Lacambel was broadcasting Come Back Home up to three times a week to counter LRA propaganda. During the height of the 20-year-long brutal war with the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, Lacambel was broadcasting Come Back Home up to three times a week to counter LRA propaganda.

Children Should Not Be Pawns for Violence

Some of our ultimate values as a civilization have swirled around children. They have prompted our drive towards education, health, training and opportunity. What does it say about us, then, that we are willing to accept the increasing death of millions of children in conflicts in which they have had no responsibility?
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For Some Children, War Is No Video Game

"But all my friends have them!" implored by 11-year-old son Derrick, arguing once again for the purchase of M-rated video games (for "Mature"). How do I explain that there are children all around the world who don't play games like these -- their actual lives read like an ESRB warning?

Roméo Dallaire's Fight to Make Child Soldiers an Oxymoron

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children humanizes the global struggle to end the use of children in armed conflict. Pushing aside the morass of international norms and NGO reports -- important and useful as they are -- Dallaire asks a simple yet harrowing question: how is it that we can go "apeshit" -- to use his word -- when our own children's rights are violated, but passively accept the reality of child soldiers throughout the world?

Roméo Dallaire Is Fighting to Get Children off the Battlefield

More than 250,000 children under 18 are involved in at least 17 conflicts around the world today. In 2008 Romeo Dallaire, now a Canadian Senator, founded the Child Soldiers Initiative to raise awareness, pressure world governments to take action, and train police and military forces from around the world to protect children and prevent them from being recruited as soldiers.
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Omar Khadr: We Let Him Down, Let's Bring Him Home

New efforts are being made to return Omar Khadr to Canada. There had been a diplomatic agreement (not a legal one) that he would be returned, but the Canadian government has yet to respect it, despite urgings from American officials. Why the delay? As a Canadian citizen, a minor, and a child soldier, Omar Khadr deserved better from his country.
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Why Are Child Soldiers Romanticized?

Hollywood has immortalized underage soldiers in countless films. Contemporary warfare is still fuelled by "the brave young men and women overseas." Tragically, children in war zones are neither romantic nor relegated to the past. We should confront the hard truth: some recruits have no choice.