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Child soldiers

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marine lachkar

on 6 November 2016

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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.
United Nations
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
Accelerated development
See things they should not see
Do things they should not do
No educations opportunities
Sexual abuse
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

Main features

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
Who ?
NGO's, NU & States

What ?

Rehabilitation & reintegration programmes : education, medical assistance, psychological & psychiatric follow-ups...

Why ?
Rebuild their lives & learn to be a child

How ?
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.
By "volunteering"
Responding to economic, cultural, social and political pressures
By force
Coercion, abduction...
By obligation
Military draft
Child soldiers
Pressure factors for children to "volunteer" to become child soldiers
Need of protection
Identity reasons
3 categories
Depend on the environment, the proximity of violence....
Intelligence service
Child soldiers
Gathering firewood
Varied between armed group
Human shields,
Economic & Organizational
Religious belief
Physical, emotional and social development
Physical effects
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
their body)
Low self-esteem / feeling of guiltiness
Full transcript