Like Toy Soldiers: Stopping the scourge of child recruitment

Author: Stefano Saldi

With over 250,000 children involved in armed conflicts around the world, the scourge of recruiting child soldiers today continues to be a harsh reality in several countries, also among national security forces. Children in many countries[1] are used as combatants, messengers, porters, cooks, suicide-bombers and are even forced to have sexual relations. Sometimes, a village may be forced to provide a certain number of children as soldiers in exchange for protection against other gangs or militias; some children are volunteered by their parents due to extreme poverty and hunger at home, lured by false promises of an escape from extreme poverty. Continue reading

Books or bombs? The future of children in conflict situations in Africa

Author: Michael Addaney[1]

  • Introduction

It is believed that the underlying causes of armed conflicts in Africa are high levels of poverty, economic deprivation, socio-political exclusion, and bad political leadership (insensitive leadership, institutional weaknesses, and official corruption).[2] Upon a deep reflection of the situation, the only sustainable solution to all these causal factors lies in quality education. Meanwhile, available statistics and media reports indicate that children who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of this quality education to serve as bridges to address the prevailing and protracted armed conflicts across the African continent have abandoned their books for bombs.[3] These children have become key players and playing pivotal roles as child soldiers and suicide bombers across the deadly armed conflicts and insurgencies on the African continent. Continue reading

A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Child Abuse in India

Authors: Sreeparna Ghosh and Jyothsna Latha Belliappa

A 2007 study conducted by the Indian government revealed that every second child has been a victim of sexual abuse in the country.[1] Given that 41% of India’s population is under 18,[2] it is essential that the Indian state and civil society take a serious and a comprehensive view of their physical and psychological safety. About two years ago landmark legislation was enacted in this regard: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. Continue reading