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Child soldiers in Afghanistan
Transcript of Child soldiers in Afghanistan
“I have learned to live with the past. I could never forget; but I have learned to live with the memories and I’ve learned to transform them. . . .”
—Ishmael Beah, Vision Video Interview, 2007
At least 200 boys under the age of 18 are currently being recruited to the Afghanistan National Police (ANP). Children all over the country are being used as many different things such as sex slaves, cooks, cleaners, even fighters.
Many groups within the Taliban have kidnapped and trained young children, mostly boys, to carry out suicide bombings against the ANP. Many teens have suffered and died from this tragedy.
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"Humanitarian News and Analysis." IRINnews. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.
At least one third of the child soldiers in Afghanistan are girls under the age of 18. They are mostly used as cooks and "wives" for the older men.
Children are most likely to become child soldiers if they are poor, separated from their family or live in a war zone.
"Facts About Child Soldiers | Human Rights Watch." Facts About Child Soldiers | Human Rights Watch. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.
"Child Soldiers." Child Soldiers. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.
"Humanitarian News and Analysis." IRINnews. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Child Soldiers experience trauma every day whether they are refugees, or still fighting. Rebel
Armies use children to do many things, such as being cooks, soldiers, and even sexual slaves.
They drug them, arm them, and send them to villages in their countries to cause confusion and
destruction. They do this to get the world’s attention on the cause they are fighting for.
Afghanistan sits at an important geologic location that connects the Middle East culture
with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The land has been home to various peoples
through the ages and witnessed many military campaigns, such as modern era Western forces.
Such western forces have progressed a 1990s civil war, the rise and fall of the extremist Taliban
government, and the 2001–present war. Afghanistan has endured a long history of invasion and instability.Three decades of war made Afghanistan one of the world's most dangerous countries.
Afghanistan wars have huge effects on, not only the country, but their people as well, especially children. A child growing up in Afghanistan today means growing up surrounded by violence, poverty and exclusion. This means entire generations have never
seen peace. Thousands of children have been separated from their parents, abandoned in national orphanages or forced into labor. Girls make up an estimated 10 to 30 percent of child soldiers used for fighting and other purposes. Child soldiers are any children under
the age of 18 who are recruited by a state or non-state armed group and used as fighters, cooks, suicide bombers, human shields, messengers, spies, and for other purposes
"Central Intelligence Agency." The World Factbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.
Some reasons why children join armed forces because they are either willingly or forced to join. Children who are poor are displaced from their families and have limited access to education, or live in a combat zone are more likely to be forcibly recruited. Children who are not forced to be soldiers volunteer themselves because they feel societal pressure and are under the impression that volunteering will provide a form of income, food, or security, and willingly join the group
This is why large-scale armed conflict in Afghanistan dates back to the Cold War because
both ends know see use with cheap, free, child soldiers. In the last 13 years, the use of child soldiers has spread to almost every region of the world and to every armed conflict . In the last 2 years, 20 countries have been reported to have child soldiers in government, government-affiliated, and non-state armed groups. The following countries have reported use of child soldiers since 2011: Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Thailand, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and more.
"11 Facts About Child Soldiers." Do Something. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
The child soldiers in Sierra Leone relate very much to those of Afghanistan. The child soldiers in Afghanistan are used as cooks, fighters, sex slaves, spies, etc. and so are the child soldiers in Sierra Leone. The ANP (Afghanistan National Police) are very much like the rebels in the book "A Long Way Gone" in many ways, such as how they fight against the government.
The two ways of joining are being forced and willingly joining.
- Being Forced
may get worse treatment than the individuals that willingly join.
- Willingly Joining
Many think it is better to join willingly because they may get benefits such as food, water, or money but they will not
Children are treated the same as being forced to join
Girls make up 10-30% of all child soldiers in Afghanistan.
Being poor, separated from family, or in a war zone will strongly increase your chances of being a child soldier
By: Ido Shani, Leah Zarzour, Parker Rawlins, and Jack Peterson.