Children At War: Child Soldiers Essay

2076 words - 8 pages

In the United States the idea of children serving as soldiers is an unfathomable concept; in many countries around the world, however, child soldiers perform tasks such as robbery, torture, and even murder for people such as drug lords, and political activists. Things like this are tragic even for adults; dealing with death everyday, knowing that one could be killed any second by an opposing force can really hurt someone mentally, and physically. This tragedy is not really even thought of that much, even though the effects are severe. Kids who have not even had the chance to raise a family, fall in love, or even go to school are either joining or being forced to join a war effort that can ruin their lives.
Child soldiers are kids whose ages are under 18 who are used in any aspect of war. From the front line to cooks kids are used in many different ways, some might be safer than others, but the underage use of child solders is still frowned upon. Most of the time boys are used as cooks, soldiers, and horrible, human shields. (Child Soldiers International Charity) This is cruel and shouldn’t be brought upon anyone. These kids are used for things that most soldiers would not do because of how gullible kids are, they honestly do not know better, so the kids are manipulated and pushed around to do things that the average soldier either is too scared to do, or to risky for them to do. (Child Soldiers International Charity)
On the other hand girls are used for totally different things, sometimes they are used in the field of battle, sometimes they cook for the army, and sometimes they even use them for sex. (Child Soldiers International Charity) The troops really abuse these kid’s; another huge thing that impacts these kid’s lives is how young they are when they get recruited. When one gets put into a force of killing, fighting, and even drugs if really affects one mentally, and physically. The turmoil these kids undergo is probably worse than most people deal with in ones daily life. According to Kaplan the youngest account of a child soldier was seven and the range goes up to eighteen, which is the age one can legally join an armed force. (Kaplan)
Many of these kids are forced into the fight, either by the soldiers, or their own families. Also some kids join buy themselves, for food, money, drugs, or any of their own wants or needs. But when they are forced it is horrible, they make them kill their friends (O'Neil), they force them not to cry no matter what, and sometimes they even kill their family in front of the kids. In one account the soldier made the kids watch other soldiers abuse women, by getting the ones with kids, killing the women, and then slamming the babies heads on rocks, if they cried over that then they would have to undergo much more “training”.
Kids that do join by themselves most of the time have to undergo less training since they actually wanted to be in the armed force. Not only did the ones who did not join by...

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