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Investigating children warfare
Transcript of Investigating children warfare
Uganda Main Culprit
In Uganda alone (located in east Africa) the Unicef organization and other sources have estimated that nearly 25, 000 to 38,000 children have been forced into the “Lord’s Resistance Army” which is a resistance army fighting against the Ugandan & African armies. In 2012, the Youtube video "Kony 2012" received millions of views as their goal hope in efforts trying to stop the LRD’s (Lord’s Resistance Army’s) actions. 2 years later the LRD is still forcing children into slavery and soldier-ism.
Children can take a direct part in hostilities, be used as porters, spies, messengers, lookouts or even used for advantage as human shields. Since 1970 a number of international conventions have come into effect that try to limit the participation of children in armed conflicts. Still across Africa in scattered groups children are sold for as little as 14$ in different areas that practice child slavery. Typically the worst areas are also the most poverse. As of today, Kony is still active as ever and continues this illegal practice
This pic clearly shows unhappiness, despair, and agony
Then wars goes on, and children suffer......
It was either this, or watching their family die.
Africa, in its current state, is home to many issues that plague its continent. One of these is the controversial issue of children soldiers fighting local wars. This topic has been discussed and debated, as right after the Geneva Convention, the practice of utilizing young ones for war has been labeled a war crime.
Is the UK our answer?
The Child Soldiers International (formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers) is a UK-based non-governmental organization that was formed to prevent the recruitment and exploitation of children in warfare and to ensure their reintegration into larger society by means of research, advocacy, and capacity building. The primary function of CSUCS is to act as an informational resource center for related NGOs, child advocacy organizations, and international legislative bodies.
Their Mission Statement:
"We are a coalition to stop the use of child soldiers, both girls and boys - to prevent their recruitment and use; to secure their demobilization; and to promote their rehabilitation and reintegration. We work to achieve this through advocacy, research and monitoring."
Okay, this is bad. But what is the US doing to solve it ?
On October 14th, 2011 President Obama announced that he had ordered the deployment of 100 U.S. military advisors with a goal of training, assisting and providing intelligence to help combat the Lord's Resistance Army at a cost of $4.5 million per month. It was noted that the deployed troops from the United States would not purposefully engage in combat with the LRD but are only there to assist and help train the African and Ugandan troops in order to defeat the LRD. Unfortunately 3 years later the LRD is still active after countless efforts (many in 2011) from the United Kingdom, African Union and United States of America.
Across the world currently there are roughly 300, 000 children that have been sold and even forced to be Child Soldiers. It is a worldwide issue but according to the UNOCHA more than half (40%) of the words child soldiers are located in Africa.
“Child soldiers” are essentially anybody under the age of 18 participating or being forced to participate in an armed force.
On a day to day basis they can be exposed to various dangers at very young ages being the leading reason in the practices negative stereotype. Besides just fighting in combat child soldiers can face elements such as explosives, laying mines, domestic labor and sexual slavery.
Okay, so what is the rest of the world doing?
UNICEF in action
Since the mid-1980s, UNICEF has played a key role in advocating and securing the release of children from armed forces and other combatant groups in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda. UNICEF and its NGO partners have also provided care, technical guidance and, at times, financial support for the successful implementation of national programmes for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
- Kony back in 2012
"Bureau of Budget and Planning." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <http://www.state.gov/s/d/rm/index.htm#mission>.
"Central African Republic." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2013/215435.htm>.
N.p., n.d. Web. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Resistance_Army>.
"Uganda." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Mar. 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda>.
"What Is a Child Soldier?" Plan USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <http://www.planusa.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/2147>.
"Youth Lost: Ugandan Child Soldiers in the Lord's Resistance Army." Small Wars Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. <http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/youth-lost-ugandan-child-soldiers-in-the-lord%E2%80%99s-resistance-army>.
In the end, this issue will stay with us. Despite many people and organization's efforts, it will continue to haunt us. The average person is still unaware of this dilemma. However, it is not too late. Public awareness is our hope. We implore the United Nations to actively seek global policies and agreements with other nations to stop this problem. Together, we may see a future of peace , without children