Child soldiers

Started by lkanneg, Mar 21, 2006, 12:23 PM

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lkanneg

:(  My best friend is heavily involved in nonprofit organizations trying to help these kids, and asked me to post these three articles anywhere I thought they might be of interest to anybody.  This is a problem that doesn't respect gender lines.  If anybody has a thought or prayer to spare, spare it for these poor kids.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/world/03/18UGANDAWAR.html
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/14039790.htm
http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20050308-094129-9853r.htm
quot;Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

"Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade."
-- Constance Baker Motley

"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got."
--Janis Joplin

jaketk

I'm going to add these to the links I've been collecting over the past year or so about this problem. It's been largely ignored, probably because it's in Africa and most of the soldiers are boys. Every few months I send the articles to the Tribune and Suntimes here in the hopes that one of them will actually carry the story and bring some greater attention to the problem.

slayton

Quote from: "jaketk"
It's been largely ignored, probably because it's in Africa and most of the soldiers are boys.


That is true. That's why -say- in Rwanda the extremists killed boys and not girls, because they knew, boys are far more likely to be recruited and become their enemies;

Quote from: "African Rights, Death, Despair and Defiance, page 815, 798"
The extremists were determined to seek out and murder Tutsi boys in particular. They examined very young infants, even new-borns, to see if they were boys or girls. Little boys were executed on the spot. ... Many mothers dressed their little boys as girls in the hope-too often vain hope-of deceiving the killers. ... Little Tutsi girls were spared with the comment that 'they can be married off to our boys'


This goes very well together with very common scenario in such conflicts - girls are far more likely to be forced to sexually serve adult soldiers, while boys are far more likely to be forcefully recruited (or killed).

There are numerous reports describing this practice at the ICRC page, UN page, HRW and AI page. But, as always:

Quote from: "[url=http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList388/30A551D054FB2375C1256E4A004C82C3
ICRC: Promotion of international humanitarian law through cooperation between the ICRC and the African Union[/url]"]4. States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure that no child, especially girls under 18 years of age, take a direct part in hostilities and that no child is recruited as a soldier."


Interesting, eh? Once again we see, that that special will to protect especially females, even when they are less affected, is unrelenting.

That being said: I agree this is terrible (for both, boys and girls). But this problem certainly respects gender lines more often than not.

slayton

A few quick examples (to back up my claims in my previous post):

Quote from: "[url=http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/index.htm
HRW: Stop the use of child soldiers[/url]"]In southern Lebanon, boys as young as twelve years of age have been subject to forced conscription by the South Lebanon Army (SLA), an Israeli auxiliary militia.


Quote from: "[url=http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/facts.htm
HRW: Stop the use of child soldiers (facts)[/url]"]Both girls and boys are used as child soldiers. In case studies in El Salvador, Ethiopia, and Uganda, almost a third of the child soldiers were reported to be girls. Girls may be raped, or in some cases, given to military commanders as "wives."

(meaning that more than two thirds of child soldiers there are boys. But notice, that yet again, despite the majority of child soldiers being boys, the focus is on the worthy female victims = girls. (by me))


Quote from: "[url=http://www.unicef.org/sowc96/2csoldrs.htm
Unicef: Children in war[/url]"]This was true in Liberia, where a quarter of the combatants in the various fighting factions were children--some 20,000 in all. Indeed, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia had its own 'small boys unit', ranging in age from 6 to 20

...

In the 1980s, the Ethiopian army would kidnap boys of 15 or younger from the villages and the poorest quarters of the cities, as well as from schools.

jaketk

There have been some instances of rape being used against boy soldiers as a tool for terrorizing them. One that I remember vividly was on Real Sports about two years ago.

Regardless of the gender, I think the major reason no one cares is because these kids are black. The same thing happens with child soldiers in the Middle East, we hear nothing, but it does happen.

whome112

Part of the sad thing about child soldiers is that the major charities pulled their money out of programs to help child soldiers to put it into education for girls. Education is great ... being alive is more important. But, they're only boys and to the major charities boys' right to life is not relevant.

whome
ay what you mean: Mean what you say.
http://jwwells.blogspot.com

jaketk

Do they even get the money? The funds are passed to governments that are either fighting conflicts against other countries who use child soldiers, or are the actual government themselves. If they are sent $1.5 million dollars, what are we doing to make sure that money doesn't get funneled into their war effort?

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