child soldiers - In the chaotic conflicts in todays world,...

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the age of 18 are involved in much of the fighting worldwide (“Fact Sheet: Child Soldiers”). There are various different reasons why children “enlist”, such as due to extreme poverty and violence. More often, children are kidnapped or taken from their families and are then forced into combat against their will. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warns that “this crisis could engulf the broader sub-regions” and beyond, and that the United Nations should find ways to “put the cycle of violence behind us” (“Recruitment of Child Soldiers a Growing Problem in Congo” 1). As a regional body that unfortunately contains many countries that employ the use of children in conflict, the African Union is committed to the solutions of setting 18 as the minimum age for recruitment, urging demobilizing programs, and expanding monitoring mechanisms to ensure less illegal recruiting. In the past, international efforts have been made, in the form of legislation, to outline children’s rights. In 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was quickly adopted, and serves as a significant treaty regarding human rights; its importance is not only in its wide acceptance by 190 nations, but its substantive clauses as well (“The Invisible Soldiers: Child Combatants” 1). To be specific, Article 38 calls for all states to refrain from recruiting soldiers who have not attained 15 years of age ("Convention on the Rights of the Child” 1). For those who have not reached the minimum age requirement, the Convention only stipulates that they are not involved in “direct hostilities”. This has led for many serious consequences in regards to the activities of child soldiers. Children are sometimes not called to fight, but rather assist in other dangerous and inappropriate actions such as finding and deactivating land mines or transporting ammunition across battle lines. Further, UNICEF currently defines child soldiers as “any child under the age of 18 who is part of any regular or irregular armed force or group in any
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2010 for the course ADA 1233 taught by Professor Watt during the Spring '03 term at Punjab Engineering College.

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child soldiers - In the chaotic conflicts in todays world,...

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