Child Soldiers

The barbaric practice of child soldiers is still a prevalent reality in our world. This practice is stealing the innocence and youthfulness of kids and forcing them into a world of hatred they can’t hope to absorb at such a young age. There are some ugly sides to this practice which we must educate ourselves about so as to get involved and counter it. But as we will see, prevention can only be done on the family front.

As young as 10 years of age

Somewhere in every region of the world, child soldiers are recruited and used for fighting. What’s sad about this fact is that it is not uncommon for children as young as 10 years of age to be recruited for these purposes. It does not take an expert to see how damaging this is to the social wellbeing of a child. By taking away half of their youth, children will not fully develop into mentally healthy adults—especially if war is the only life they end up knowing.

The worst side of using children in the military

It is not uncommon for children to be kidnapped from their families and forced into military circles. What is worse about this fact is that some children are not captured for the purpose of fighting alone. Many are recruited for sexual purposes—resulting in the repetitive raping of very young children to satisfy the desires of older soldiers. Others will be seen as worthless in combat and instead, are recruited as suicide bombers. Cooking and cleaning are also common tasks given to children who are forced into this life.

A way out

However, some children are coaxed into joining a military group because of various reasons. Poverty plays a large role in getting youngsters to join. The army promises to feed and clothe them. They also promise to give them a sense of belonging. War also has a way of disrupting families, especially if the father of those families is not present. Families that are torn apart often leave children vulnerable to easy recruitment.

Imagine a ten year old child being recruited as a sex slave or a suicide bomber. This is the reality that faces many small children in countries where this barbaric practice is permitted. Prevention methods that counter poverty, family disruption and a low sense of self worth may be the only answer for these countries. Instead of throwing money at the problem, people need to get involved in these situations right where the real battle is taking place: the family.

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