recorded in the DRC 60 involved victims between the age of 11 and 17 Boys and

Recorded in the drc 60 involved victims between the

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recorded in the DRC, 60% involved victims between the age of 11 and 17; Boys and girls are being abducted from their homes on an unprecedented scale vi . Implications on Child Soldiers 4
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In his review- the ‘Impact of Armed Conflict on Children’- Graça Machel (1996), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG CAAC) from 1994 to 1996, discussed the reasons for which children fall victims to armed groups. In comparison to adults, children can be cheaply and easily recruited by armed groups because they are uniquely vulnerable, innocent and easy to be impressed. They are either forced or enticed to join armed groups. Still some of these children consider the armed men as the only role model to emulate in the community. Others may be encouraged by their parents or may ‘voluntarily’ join for security, social and material provisions or sometimes to have an identity. Hunger and poverty may drive parents to offer children for service or attract children to volunteer as a way to guarantee regular meals, clothing or medical attention. Some children become soldiers to protect themselves or their families in the face of violence and chaos around them, while others, particularly adolescents, are lured by ideology. The lure of ideology is particularly strong in early adolescence, when young people are developing personal identities and searching for a sense of Social meaning vii . Children’s participation in armed conflict has impacted negatively on them. The United Nations identifies six grave violations against children during armed conflict; killing or maiming, recruitment or use of child soldiers, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, attacks against schools or hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access viii . It is estimated that over 2 million children have been killed in armed conflicts; another 6 million have been rendered permanently disabled; and increasingly, children and women are the primary casualties of war ix . In the DRC, all these six offenses have been committed against children due to continuous civil wars; millions of children are killed by armed conflict, but three times as many are seriously injured or permanently disabled by it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), armed conflict and political violence are the leading causes of injury, impairment and physical disability and primarily responsible for the conditions of over 4 million children who currently live with disabilities x . In the same way, certain brutal techniques employed by armed men such as forcing children to fight and kill even a member of their own family as part of their training , bears serious implications for their psychological and emotional well-being. Child soldiers have been robbed of their childhood and as such, their future may be equally at stake.
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  • Summer '16
  • Ramon Wawire
  • United Nations , Democratic Republic of the Congo

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