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What You Didn’t Know About Child Soldiers

What You Didn't Know About Child Soldiers

While the thought of forming rebel groups of soldiers made up of young children may be a startling and upsetting thought for Americans, it can be normal in other countries. While there is no firm statistic about how many child soldiers there are in the world, the Coalition To Stop the Use of Child Soldiers has estimated that there are thousands of child soldiers in many foreign countries.          
The Coalition To Stop the Use of Child Soldiers is one of the main organizations that exists to try and eradicate the use of child soldiers all over the world. By their standards, anyone who is in government armed forces or any other type of armed force and is under the age of 18 is a child soldier. This includes membership in an unofficial political rebel army.
Child soldiers have all the responsibilities that adult soldiers have and more. Both male and female child soldiers are required to engage in combat, lay explosives, and perform forced sexual acts. Many child soldiers are recruited into rebel armies rather than governmental ones.
This is only one of the reasons why getting statistical evidence of child soldiers is impossible. Government armed forces will hide the use of children from the public. Also, because a child soldier may not be recruited officially, there will be no documentation on their enrollment.
Some countries are well-known for using a large number of child soldiers. The region with the most child soldiers is Africa. There, enemy countries with child soldiers will be expected to engage in combat with one another. There are also many child soldiers spread across Asia and Afghanistan. 
There is some conflict over what the punishment of a child soldier who commits a heinous crime should be; while the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers does believe that a child soldier should be protected from punishment on the basis that he or she is a victim of the armed forces recruiter, they do recognize that there should be consequences for child soldiers who joined an army or political rebel group voluntarily.
However, they believe that any criminal prosecution should be kept at a minimum and that most child soldiers should be returned to their communities and families.
While there are laws made to prevent children from joining any armed forces group, protecting these child soldiers is not an easy task. Countries that are constantly at war will gather as many soldiers as they can to fight, whether or not the individual is a child soldier.

Read This About International Legislation

Read This About International Legislation

The parents of the children that are sold into slavery are usually pro, not anti-human trafficking. In fact, these parents are usually the ones who sell their children. This will usually happen in poor countries since the parents are desperate for money. 
While there is legislation against human trafficking, children are still subject to it in record numbers in poor countries. Statistically, the United States Government has estimated that anywhere from 700,000 to four million people are bought, sold and held against their will on a yearly basis. 
Third world countries are not the only areas that have a problem with human trafficking. In the United States, an estimated 20,000 women and children are bought, sold and forced to come to America yearly. The Government is fighting back, though, with the help of anti-human trafficking organizations and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
In 2003, former United States President George Bush signed a law to fight against human trafficking called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. This Act brought on several new anti-human trafficking programs, such as a toll-free national hotline that allows victims of human trafficking to be sent to a reputable organization in the victim’s area that can help them immediately. Other resources to help fight against human trafficking include public awareness ads, such as television commercials and websites.
Many children are the victims of human trafficking that leads to forced prostitution, sexual slavery, illegal adoption, and forced labor. 

Forced Labor At A Glance

Forced Labor At A Glance


In many countries forced child labor is still common. Some children are forced to do factory work, but others may be forced into prostitution, as tourist guides, and working in sweatshops. The majority of forced child labor occurs in the informal sector, resulting in minimal pay. If your rights have been violated contact a labor lawyer to consult your case.

Forced child labor, even if it does not involve trafficking or slavery, threatens the well-being of children. Many children grow up malnourished, never reaching their physical potential. Child labor also damages children mentally and emotionally, often scarring them for life as a result of abuse.

Approximately 60% of forced child labor occurs in Asia, with Africa a close second. Forced child labor is an abuse of inherent human rights. Regardless of the area in which it takes place, child labor is an exploitation of the world's most vulnerable individuals.

The issue is global in scope, as the majority of countries in the world suffer from some sort of child labor abuse. In addition to exploiting and putting children in danger, child labor also restricts the development of proper employment in countries that already struggle economically, including the United States.

What You Didn’t Know About Child Slavery

What You Didn't Know About Child Slavery

Child slavery is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, children have been sold off into slavery to pay off family debt. Sometimes the children were sold in hopes of the child having a better life. 
For more than a century, however, slavery has been abolished. Although the abolition of slavery has reduced the prominence of child slavery, it still exists – primarily in third-world, foreign countries.          
Child slavery comes in many different forms. Some victims of child slavery may be forced to do simple labor such as farming or manufacturing. Children may also be enslaved to work as prostitutes.         
Children are more exploitable than adults. This simple fact allows adults to trick vulnerable children and their impoverished parents. Child slavery in Asia has seen growth as a result of the economic boom in Asia. However, the subsequent bust of the economy has caused a growing gap between the rich and the poor, forcing families and villages into desperation. 
Child trafficking is closely tied to child slavery, as children are gathered and sold in an underground market. Child slavery exploits the most vulnerable individuals in the entire world. Children are unable to protect themselves and are easily manipulated, leading to their exploitation by child traffickers. 
With more and more families struggling to make enough money for survival, the problem of child slavery is not likely to go away on its own. If there are individuals poor enough to consider slavery a better alternative to their current life, slavery will always exist. If slavery exists, children, the most exploitable individuals in the world, will always fall victim to it.