On Child Soldiers

A recent conversation I had with an (almost) former victim of child soldiers abduction from Uganda, proved to be rather enlightening. It has ensued in the realisation that education and economic development are viable alternatives, but they are not long-term solutions that address the root causes of Child Soldiers. These scenarios of the indoctrination of children in conflict-torn countries go beyond that of simple charity donations. Is education the answer?

No NGOs or advocacy networks are in the capacity to demolise these children from rebel armed groups and thus, international organizations like UNICEF and Amnesty International play a vital role in peeling off the first layer. However, NGOs can rally support and raise awareness amongst the community and in that way, a tripartite co-operation between international orgs, advocacy networks and the community is crucial in paving the way for a long-term solution, if any, for child soldiers.

Watch this disconcertingly real video by Amnesty International that depicts two disparate yet intertwined lives – one of a child soldier, and the other a normal child.

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About whenpenmeetspaper

Copywriter, travel writer, blogger, wanderluster.
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2 Responses to On Child Soldiers

  1. Paula Delgado-Kling says:

    Besides peeling the “first layer,” as you say, a thriving society needs so much more to ensure the protection of its children: a viable justice system, stable economy with jobs for its citizens, a government that invests in education, available psychological services, a community who has decided to uphold the rights of its children as one of its pillars … …

    And people like you who bring attention to the heinous crime of child soldiers. Thanks for this.

    I, too, have written about child soldiers:

    http://www.talkingaboutcolombia.com/excerpts

  2. Hi Paula,
    thank you for your generous comment and thank god for authors like you who have “the itch” to unravel what others may turn a blind eye to.

    You’re right to say that there needs to be so many other factors in place to “fix” the problem. It’s hard to demarcate the lines or rightly say, where do we begin? Is it merely an institutional problem? Will a top-down approach suffice? What about the trickle-down effects that are spawned by international conflicts?

    A boomerang effect that ensues in a tri-partite co-operation amongst state actors, advocacy networks and the community at large is perhaps the best way to “fix” the problem. And the first step is awareness. On my end, I did some pro-bono ads on child soldiers for UNICEF but I haven’t got around to proposing the ideas to the org.

    People need to know, feel and act.

    Cheers!

    P.S I read your article on child soldiers, very good stuff! 🙂

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