Analysis: Should Child Soldiers Be Prosecuted For Their Crimes

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When you picture war, what do you see? Is it people with tanks and Ak-47s fighting each other? Maybe adults in camo fighting in the desert? Or perhaps even an image from your Call of Duty video game pops into your head. But what most people don’t imagine is children, ages 9-15, fighting each other and dying at the hands of guns and other weapons. Although this might seem unrealistic, it is a reality for thousands of pre-adolescents around the world. Many places such as Sierra Leone have recruited hundreds of children to fight in wars. Some families die due to the violence, while other children are taken or come willingly and are brainwashed and drugged into thinking that what they are doing is normal. They refer to their commanders as father…show more content…
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…show more content…
They admit to what they did. Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier, got rescued from his previous service. Although it was hard for him to recover and he didn’t want to leave at first, he realizes what he did was wrong. He wrote a whole book on his experiences. “I will never be able to forget any of what happened to me. I’ve come to learn how to live with it… you forgive yourself and you forgive others.” Ishmael regrets what he did and doesn’t believe that any child soldier should be prosecuted. He forgives everyone so that he can be able to move on with his life. If anyone knows best about what happened, shouldn’t it be the people who actually went through it? They have first hand accounts on how cruel the commanders were or how their lives were being put in danger every second of the day. In the article, “CHILD SOLDIERS AND THE GLOBAL AGENDA” it says, “Children need be the victims of war only if there is no will to prevent it.” This helps show how children should not be involved in war in the first place. They aren’t the ones who have started the war. It isn’t their fault in the first place so why are people punishing the children for their involvement when it wasn’t their fault. They expect the kids to serve time or to get a death sentence when it was adults like them who brought them into this mess. The expect them to apologize when they

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