Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Blog Blast for Peace: Child soldiers

Photo from Flickr user Carlos. Creative Commons licence.

For this day, 4 June, I wanted to highlight the fate of child soldiers, so I did a search, a fairly simple search, for instances of the words "child soldier" on the IRIN site over the last six months.

Theses are the results:

NEPAL: Reintegration of child soldiers "taking too long"
27 May 2008 (IRIN)
PAKISTAN: Child soldiers in Swat Valley
26 May 2008 (IRIN)
SRI LANKA: Children of war wait for better lives
21 May 2008 (IRIN)
SRI LANKA: Escalating war takes toll on children
20 February 2008 (IRIN)
AFRICA: Former child soldiers at risk of HIV
15 February 2008 (PlusNews)
CHAD: Captured rebels include children
14 February 2008 (IRIN)
COTE D'IVOIRE: Former child soldiers still at risk
13 February 2008 (IRIN)
NEPAL: Challenges of reintegrating former child soldiers
31 December 2007 (IRIN)
CHAD: Child soldiers forcibly mobilised not demobilised
26 December 2007 (IRIN)
AFGHANISTAN: Child soldiers operating on several fronts
19 December 2007 (IRIN)
DRC: Concern over conscription of children, human rights abuses in North Kivu
13 December 2007 (IRIN)

It shows the extent of the problem that still exists, just over these last few months. Even when children are released from fighting they have to have some sort of rehabilitation, which is far from straightforward. They are used to getting their own way with violence and threats. Many are severely traumatised. Personality disorders, eating disorders and depression are common after-effects of the sudden changes from normal childhood into life as a soldier and then back again.

One organisation which has been working on rehabilitation of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo is CRN. Here girls celebrate the end of a rehabilitation programme with their brand new sewing machines.

Photo from Flickr user cyclopsr. Creative Commons licence.

Only real peace can end these crimes against children.

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  1. A, I have heard so many things about these children. I think it is so sad that these children are given no choice and no childhood. There is much wrong in the world.

  2. The innocent and weak are not being protected in our society. This is devastating, we have to do something against it now!

  3. The more information/postings on this topic the better. Child soldier and former child soldiers need all the help they can get - and publicizing it is one way to help.

  4. I did a google search today and found this amazing article for the first time.
    I would be honored to include it in the Peace Globe Gallery for June 2008.
    Thank you so much for highlighting this heartbreaking situation.

    Mimi Lenox
    Founder, BlogBlast For Peace

  5. And thank you, Mimi, I would be the one to be honoured.

  6. No child should have to fight an adult's fight. No adult should have to fight another.

    Peace and happiness to you and yours x

    [your peace post will soon be linked into the patchwork peace quilt on my blog 'Peace Bloggers Unite' ]


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