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Transcript of Child soldiers
Definition of a child soldier :
A child soldier is a child associated with an armed force or armed group. It refers to any person below 18 years of age who is, or who has been, recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity. It can include boys and girls used as fighters, cooks, porters, spies, or for sexual purposes.
Roles of child soldiers
Girls serve as sexual purposes, medics, cooks, spies and/or fighters.
40 % of child soldiers are girls.
Consequences of armed conflicts on child soldiers
See things they should not see
Do things they should not do
No educations opportunities
Perpetuation of cycle of violence
The stakes in the conflict for the governments and/or armed groups
Means of child protection in armed conflicts
Child soldiers :
"Their war, our lives"
1. Recruitment of child soldiers
2. Roles of child soldiers
3. Stakes in the conflict
4. Consequences of armed conflicts on child soldiers
5. Means of child protection in armed conflicts
6. Rehabilitation & reintegration of child soldiers
Judge government armed forces of the countries that had ratified the protocol.
Cannot judge government armed forces from non-ratified countries.
Can easier judge non-government armed forces from any country.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
= many protocols regarding children
Ratification by 193 states : the whole world except United States, Somalia and Southern Sudan.
1st optionnal protocol :
"the recruitment and the use of children in armed conflicts is prohibited".
"the minimum age of recruitment is 15 years old." Under 15 = war crime.
152 States have ratified
20 States have signed but haven't ratified
22 States haven't signed & ratified
Have to follow the protocol
Don't have any real obligations
International criminal court (ICC) : judge recrutors
& reintegration of child soldiers
NGO's, NU & States
Rehabilitation & reintegration programmes : education, medical assistance, psychological & psychiatric follow-ups...
Rebuild their lives & learn to be a child
Icebreaker tools : danse, music...
Lack of funds
This rehabilitation process takes time
Fight against mental traumas and indoctrination
Big pressure to stay in armed groups : blackmails, threats
Temptation : In some countries, States cannot meet needs of child soldiers = they prefer to stay with armed groups.
Responding to economic, cultural, social and political pressures
Pressure factors for children to "volunteer" to become child soldiers
Need of protection
Depend on the environment, the proximity of violence....
Varied between armed group
Economic & Organizational
Physical, emotional and social development
Lack of shelter, medical attention, family and role model…
Behavioral problems (canning, rape…)
Death /lost parties of bodies
Lack of medical attention
Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS
Related mental health and social problems
Anxiety and depression
Sleeping disorders / hallucinations
Feeling of abandonment
Lack of interest in play
Feeling of guiltiness/ blamed by the community
confusion (role as a child, gender identity rights over
Low self-esteem / feeling of guiltiness