20 Child Amnesty The issue of child soldiers came to a worldwide attention when the strongest, and most relentless child soldier army the LRA, killed thousands of people. These child soldiers and this army, performed actions that many people cannot easily just forgive and forget. From rape on young innocent women, to cruel and unusual punishment, the possibility of freedom for these young children was slim. What the main leaders of the LRA did to the accused was inescapable. However, many are not informed that behind all of the inhumane actions, are clear reasons of why this all occurred which also proves how these innocent minors deserve amnesty.
An insightful author states that “Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers,” child soldiers without punishment have the potential to grow up to become a generation of killers (O’Neill). This shows how obvious the need to hold child soldiers accountable for their actions really is, and why the adults in this situation need to be held accountable so actions like this do not happen again. In addition, a second article elaborates on this idea. In the article, she states that “child soldiers are both victims and perpetrators” (Leahy). With this in mind, it is important to state how child soldiers that seem innocent can have worrying truths.
These people often fill their articles with words intended to evoke a strong feeling of resentment towards child soldiers for their readers. For example, according to IRIN News in the article “Should Child Soldiers be Prosecuted for their Crimes?”, chooses words such as perpetrators, criminal and atrocities to describe child soldiers (Johannesburg). Their word choices connotate the seemingly violent lives of child soldiers. It is as if they are trying to imply that the actions carried out by child soldiers are done by their own accord, but they fail to realize that the children are under the influence of drugs, abuse, and their
First of all, child soldiers undergo malnourishment, causing them to be less likely to survive in war. They don’t have as much stamina, strength, or resistance, all things that are crucial for surviving war. These children are also forced to go out and explore minefields. More often than not, children end up triggering, or setting off the landmines. The explosions can lead to either death or permanent disabilities (Physical
Also, according to the Invisible Children Association, “...child soldiers are often forced into fighting through false promises. They are also forced into fighting through drugs and alcohol.” This shows how they are forced and they think what they are doing is okay because they are brainwashed. These children are being misled and sometimes threatened to commit horrible acts, that they wouldn’t do if they knew what was happening. But these children were never taught what is right and wrong. Also, there are better things than
War and soldiers. Again, another perfect pair, but what about soldiers and children, or actually... children soldiers. War torn countries are everywhere, but they are starting to act out of desperation, and this leads to child soldiers. There are many issues with this, from being inhumane, to breaking several laws of war. Child soldiers are a big topic at the moment, but not the children themselves, but if they should or shouldn’t be given amnesty.
In conflicts throughout the world “two million [child soldiers] have been killed, over one million orphaned, over six million have been left seriously injured or permanently disabled and over 10 million have been diagnosed with psychological trauma” over just the past ten years (Invisible Children). Not everyone will be familiar with the issue of the use of child soldiers in wars across the world. Universally, child soldiers are generally frowned upon for use in combat for being inhumane and barbarous. Especially in third world countries, child soldiers are used for conflicts extensively. They are known for committing some of the most brutal acts in wartime in countries like Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, etc.
It’s been well documented that these children have used guns and war tactics, and committed various illegal and illicit acts of violence. However, what they’ve done doesn 't come with the fact that child soldiers live with rugged conditions, drugs, the influence of others. Even though some people believe that child soldier’s shouldn’t be given amnesty, overall, it becomes clear that these children should be given amnesty because many adults influence their actions, they live in inferior conditions, and children who enlist as child soldiers enlist for multiple reasons other than violence. First, in many areas, it can be clearly seen that child soldiers are influenced by their superiors. No one is ever born dangerous, it’s always their parents and environment that shape a child into who they are.
I have a motto: Everything is a spectrum. I find that it is true in many cases and it helps me see things not as black and white, but as a gradient between the two. The issue of child soldiers’ prosecution is complex and doesn’t have an easy answer. Child soldiers must be assessed individually for their responsibility for their actions and their threat in the future and should be given options other than freedom or prison. Responsibility should fall on whoever knowingly, willingly, and with intent carried out or caused the crime in question.
Child soldiers are forced to commit much more gruesome acts then the hitler youth were made to. For example, the hitler youth were forced to shoot people but, the child soldiers are not only forced to do things like that but much worse. This list of deeds forced upon them consists of things like, maiming, decapitation, killing there own families and much, much more. The child soldiers are usually very young and living in far from the best conditions. Because of this it is easy for the militia to convince these children that they are protecting them and that they belong there.