To a child in a country of war, life can change “rapidly in a matter of seconds and no one [has] any control over anything. [They have] yet to...implement survival tactics, which [is] what it came down to” (Beah 29). Children who become soldiers are given hardly any choice because their families are usually dead, and without the army they have no family or way to survive during the war. The book “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah tells the story of how Ishmael became a child soldier in Sierra Leone during the war. The title “A Long Way Gone” can be taken in three different ways. The first being that it could mean his family is away from him, the second is him losing his humanity as a child soldier, and the third is after being saved, and not
How would you feel if you were recruited as a soldier during war? Since 2001, the participation of child soldiers has been reported in 21 on-going or recent armed conflicts in almost every region of the world. The importance of this is portrayed in Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone. The author believes that innocent kids should not be selected to fight as soldiers, lose their innocence killing people, witnessing violent scenes and suffer because of war. This is seen throughout the symbolism of the novel.
A child, not any older than 13, walks through the remains of a city. With an AK-47 in his hands and cocaine in his system, he is alert and ready to do what he has to in order to survive. As he walks through the gravel and sees civilians crying on the ground, he remembers his family, his friends, and his other lost loved ones. This child grows sad yet angry at the same time--he wants vengeance. The next thing he knows his commander is standing at his side giving him one simple order: kill.
Most are younger than fifteen and do not know what they are getting themselves into. In the article, “Should Child Soldiers be Prosecuted for Their Crimes?” by Johannesburg, it states “Children are often desired as recruits because they can be easily intimidated and indoctrinated. They lack the mental maturity and judgment to express consent or to fully understand the implications of their actions… and are pushed by their adult commanders into perpetrating atrocities,” the report said. This quote shows us why so many armies are recruiting children to fight. Children of younger ages don’t really have the power to fight back adults and with undeveloped minds, they can be easily made to do something that they don’t really want to do. Ishmael Beah a former child soldier was on The Hour and recounted what happened to him during his time in the army. “They forcefully trained me, learned how to use the Ak-47s [sic]. Perfection came by actually being in war… You do what commanders want you to do if not they will kill you and then you’re fed drugs and then… You’re given more drugs after.” This account from Ishmael Beah shows us a direct source of what really happens. It also shows us how kids are easily influenced to do whatever the commander wants and if not they would be killed. In one way, this shows how the children were only trying to save themselves. He also explained how people were killed in front of him to
Although child soldiers have done many horrendous things like kill innocent people and forcibly recruit more children, there is a reason for everything and in this case is being forced and the influence of drugs and alcohol. These children may seem dangerous in every aspect but always remember that they never choose to commit these atrocious crimes. In fact, as you finish reading, keep in mind that they are just like every other normal human being out there except they were not as lucky as you are because they unfortunately were those who became child
There are thousands of child soldiers in the world today. These children are stripped from their homes and sent to fight with people twice their age. Many haven’t even had their 11th birthday yet. Although some people say that child soldiers should not be granted amnesty, evidence shows that these children do deserve amnesty, except in cases when the former soldiers show violent behavior after war because children are forced to commit acts of violence and are force addicted to illegal substances so they won’t want to leave.
They might suggest that instead of taking others lives, they could decide to not follow orders. But this would result in the child soldiers most likely getting shot. That sacrifice is really too much to expect of kids, and would even be a tough decision for adults who are already matured. So we should most definitely not judge child soldiers on their violent acts, because to expect them to give their own life is far too
One reason I think child soldiers should be forgiven is because maybe they were forced to join and kill. “Most of the kids are forced into fighting”. This tell me that there were actually kids that were forced to join so they can fight. “ Their choices are minimum they are just following orders,rather than making their own choices.” This tells me that they might be afraid to make their own choices that’s why they do what they are asked to because if they don’t do what they are asked to they might get killed. “Children are forced by commanders through false promises,drugs, and things which you can’t even imagine, to kill innocent civilians, other children and even their own families.” This tells me that they force
The first time Ishmael was ever touched by war was at age 12. At 13, he was picked by the Government Army and brought to a vicious and brutal world. He woke up everyday with fear of dying. He tried his best to look the toughest and satisfy the rebels by fulfilling their demands. Ishmael took a dose of drugs daily to keep him energized and to keep him awake. There are hundreds of young boys like Ishmael, recruited and refined to exceed the leaders’ commands. Nice normal boys are modified and turned into murderous drug addicting killers who no longer know what’s right from wrong. These child soldiers are forced into a world of ominous leaders and commanders who don’t have an alternative. If child soldiers do try and escape they are killed on
Child soldiers should be given amnesty because they are not fully responsible for their actions. Often, child soldiers are doing what they do because of drugs or because they are being forced to. Most times child soldiers are not doing what they want. In the article, "Child Soldiers Should Be Prosecuted", the text says "Children are often forced into fighting and have little choice over whether or not they enlist. After that, they are following orders of adults rather than acting on their own free will. The recruiters of child soldiers also use drugs and alcohol to make children
Where many children all over the world merrily and freely live under the protection of the law, for others, this is a distant reality, they live in a world where they’re battling poverty, stripped of their childhood and basic human rights are expunged, they’re the innocent victims of conflict, and war is made to seem their one and only duty, not to mention that these are children no more than 10 years of age. They are put into a situation where it’s to kill or be killed. The United Nations defines a child soldier as, “Any person under 18 years of age who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity.” Since the past 15 years, child soldiers are being used in almost every region of the world. Unlike most children, who go to school, they’re abducted from their families and forced into becoming a child soldier, where living conditions are beyond imaginable. This has an adverse impact on their mental, social, and physical health. Many may presume that once the child’s gun is confiscated, the problem is solved; however, this is far from reality; getting a gun away from a child is one objective, and the rehabilitation process is another. Amnesty International is running a campaign to raise awareness of this major underlying issue.
Rationale: In this essay I will be writing a biography about Ishmael Baeh a child soldier from Sierra Leone that wrote the book ‘A long way gone.’ I have chosen a biography because we were reading this book in class for a very long time and that’s how I got interested in the life of Ishmael. In my essay I have tried to get on a personal level with Ishmael which makes the essay more interesting. I’ve done this by writing in a lot of detail. In my essay I also talked about the child soldiers that are active now, because of the main topic in the book ‘A long way gone.’ This essay is aimed at people that read on of the books of Ishmael or are willing to read a book of him, with this essay they will understand the writings of him better because they know more about his personal life. The challenges I got during this essay was the research about Ishmael because there wasn’t much information available of him from after he left Sierra Leone. I solved these problems by searching for newspaper
There is a problem in the world and something needs to be done of it. There are children, primarily in Africa, that are forced to massacre innocent men and women. These kids are called child soldiers. Child soldiers are kids who are associated in war. A popular book about child soldier is an autobiography by Ishmael Beah called A Long Way Gone. It is a story about an African child who is forced to serve in the war. He is ordered to assassinate innocent people and burn down villages. This is how I was introduced to this problem, and now I want something to be done about it. These children that are forced to kill, raid villages, and steal, are innocent. The kids were drugged, brainwashed, and were forced to do these things.
In the article Should Child Soldiers be Prosecuted For Their Crimes it says,“if a child is under the age of 15 is considered too young to fight then he or she must be considered too young to be held criminally responsible for serious violations.” This explains how that they are easily manipulated and targeted because they aren't legally responsible to take responsibility for their actions. Each child were held in hostilities and couldn't have to opportunity to not fight. Also in Should Child Soldiers be Prosecuted For Their Crimes a report within the article it says, “ The report says child soldiers should not be prosecuted simply for the association with an armed group of having participation in hostilities.” Children are targeted to be recruited to war because nobody can take responsibility for the
Have you ever imagined growing up on a life of drugs, war, crime, and seeing things that many adults won’t dare to ever see? In many countries around the world, this is what many children have to deal with. There is an occurring issue of people across Africa and parts of Asia using children as soldiers in war. They act and take upon the roles of real combatants, causing the people of the public to act in different ways. 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.