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Children at War 3 - Chapter 1"Children and War What is...

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Chapter 1, "Children and War" What is the "law of innocents" and to whom does it apply? o The law of innocents states that soldiers will fight and kill for civilians. Soldiers were given honor and in return the unarmed would be protected. It applies to the unarmed, with special immunity given to the old, infirm, women, and children. How is the distinction between combatants and civilians different today from what it was in ancient times? o Civilians always have suffered in war but today they have become the primary target. How has the percentage of civilian casualties in war changes since World War I? o In World War I it was under 10% of the total, since then the majority of deaths are civilian. How does the modern concept of war differ from the way it was defined in the past? o In the past war were two established states fighting each other with trained armies. Today war is takes place in one state, fought by irregular forces for the purpose of pillage, rape, and/or ethnic slaughter. Aside from death, how have children been affected by modern wars? o They can be disabled and/or orphaned. They can also be traumatized and forced to leave the only homes they know. Worldwide, how common are child soldiers? o In over three fourths of the armed conflicts of the world, there are now significant numbers of children participating in active combatants. Under what age is someone considered a child soldier in international law and in common practice? o Under the age of 18. Chapter 2, "It's a Small World After All: Child Soldiers Around the World" Historically, what role have children played in war? o Children did not have a role in war. They were not able to participate until a certain age, always after puberty, except for Spartan boys. They helped out warriors but never did any actual fighting. How has the "lapir" system in Uganda changed regarding the role of children in war? o Women and children were not to be targeted by warriors. The only ones that could decide to go to war were the elders. Today abducted children are the major source of fighting. They also attack civilians. Historically, what was the role in war for children in Europe and America? o In Europe, they played the small role of: drummer boys, ran ammunition to cannons, and helped arm knights. In America you had to be 21 unless you had parental permission to serve. That was later changed to 18. If you were under 18 you had to a musician, this ended in 1916.
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What is it about the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone that makes that country a particularly disturbing example? o 80% of fighters were age 7 to 14, most of which were abducted. They were recruited by the rebels and the government! Are there any continents in the world in which there have been no child soldiers?
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