Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Currently there are twenty-seven (27) countries worldwide that employ the use of child soldiers, fourteen (14) of those countries being in Africa. How can anybody, in good conscience, sit by while such horrors to humanity are taking place? Here are some facts regarding the issue from http://www.child-soldiers.org

-In 2006 the UN estimates that more than 250,000 children are actively involved in armed conflict in government armed forces, government militias and in a range of armed opposition groups.

-The majority of the world's child soldiers are involved in a variety of armed political groups. These include government-backed paramilitary groups, militias and self-defence units operating in many conflict zones. Others include armed groups opposed to central government rule, groups composed of ethnic religious and other minorities and clan-based or factional groups fighting governments and each other to defend territory and resources.

-Most child soldiers are aged between 14 and 18, While many enlist "voluntarily" research shows that such adolescents see few alternatives to involvement in armed conflict. Some enlist as a means of survival in war-torn regions after family, social and economic structures collapse or after seeing family members tortured or killed by government forces or armed groups. Others join up because of poverty and lack of work or educational opportunities. Many girls have reported enlisting to escape domestic servitude, violence and sexual abuse.

-Forcible abductions, sometimes of large numbers of children, continue to occur in some countries. Children as young as nine have been abducted and used in combat.