Children within war-torn and deprived countries often fall victim to the horrors attributed to human trafficking. Hundreds of thousands of such children across more than forty countries around the globe are recruited as soldiers through forced conscription to serve in armed forces by militias, police or army cadres, whom seize young recruits typically without consent; from surrounding streets, schools and orphanages (Tiefenbrun, 2007).
Within Regions of Africa where child soldiering is very prevalent, there are some 120,000 child soldiers under the age of 18, with a number consisting of children no older than 7 years old being used (Fight Slavery Now (ND). For example, it has been estimated by Amnesty International that over the last 15 years 10,000 children have been abducted and trafficked for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda (Fight Slavery Now (ND). These children are subjected to daily degradation and dehumanising atrocities and are victims of inhumane brainwashing and merciless combat training which distort their moral and ethical compasses and removal all shreds of their childhood innocence. Some of these degradations include children being exposed to terrifying initiations that usually consists of rape and murder of family members, as well as being forced to participate in acts of extreme violence and barbarity which include beheadings, amputations and burning people alive in order to desensitize these children. Children follow these orders to ensure their survival …the price of loyalty, coupled with their captors instilling fear so as to maintain blind obedience among them (Tiefenbrun, 2007).
It is an issue that needs to be addressed! Children have no business fighting and dying for causes they cannot begin to comprehend. Too many children each year are killed as a direct result of armed conflict, malnutrition and disease caused by such increasing conflicts globally within these impoverished countries (Fight Slavery Now (ND).
In order to eliminate child soldiering, the global community needs to address the protection of child victims by ‘strengthening compliance and implementation of international humanitarian laws, human rights norms, slavery and trafficking conventions, and international criminal laws that are applicable to children’s rights and child soldiering’ (Tiefenbrun. 2007). By ensuring global collaboration countries will be able to provide services such as rescue missions, financial aid, health and psychological assistance, rehabilitation to child victims of war, and reintegration programs for abducted children (Tiefenbrun, 2007).
Only when united to the cause can we begin to make significant improvements in attempt to eradicate trafficking for child soldiers for good!
Fight Slavery Now:
Tiefenbrun. S. (2007). ‘Child Soldiers, Slavery & the Trafficking of Children’. Fordham International Law Journal. Vol. 31, Issue 2, Article 6. Berkley Electronic Press.