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Children are the ultimate expendable frontline weapon.Peacekeeping goals: Through the centuries many societies have articulated through laws, religions and philosophies that all human beings are equal in species and evolution.
Girls are sought since they can become sex slaves or because they can manage the cooking and other care-giving needs of their group.
(b) In many instances the child has been separated from the rest of the family, is desperate, totally alone and seeks security.
These are children who are nine to sixteen years of age. I went to several authors to get answers: Roméo Dallaire, Canadian Senator and retired Canadian Lieutenant-General, who participated in United National peacekeeping expeditions and tried to prevent the 1994 massacre in Rwanda, wrote They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, (Random House, Canada, 2010); Ishmael Beah, a child soldier in Sierra Leone, wrote A Long Way Gone:, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, (Douglas & Mc Intyre, Vancouver/Toronto, 2007); Ian Brown, who interviewed child soldiers, wrote Khomeini's Forgotten Sons:, The Story of Iran's Boy Soldiers (Great Seal Books, London, 1990); and H. Shin, a Korean child soldier, wrote Remembering Korea, 1950:, A Boy Soldier's Story (University of Nevada Press, 2001).
This essay describes some of the results of my search for reasons why and how children are being used as weapons of war and what becomes of these children.
Keywords: agents, child soldiers, child worriers, conflict resolution, demobilization, drugs, expendable, illegal activities, military, moral judgement, peacekeepers, public action, punishment, re-education, rewards, Roméo Dallaire, sex slaves, war, weapons The use of child soldiers: How many of us are aware that about 250,000 children are being used as soldiers in conflicts around the world?
In addition children are used by street gangs in the drug trade, by the drug lords in Brazil, as slave labourers moving illegal diamonds, drugs, precious woods and coltan, a mineral used in cell phones, in African areas where there are weak states, and as intelligence agents elsewhere in the world.
Can't we drop the thought of "them" versus "us" and find ways to be friends, friends who see the needs of others and strive to fulfill those needs?
Public action can eliminate the practice of employing child soldiers: (1) Ensure that your priorities are known to your government and are passed on to other agencies such as the UN.
Leaders like Desmond Tutu, Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. taught that we have an ethical obligation for the larger social good, to advance the quest for peace. Dallaire refers to Archbishop Desmond Tutu who said that it is the essence of being human that you cannot diminish the worth of others without diminishing yourself.
(Dallaire - 242) We are interdependent on this earth.