Thursday, January 29, 2009

Between what ages were Child Soldiers usually? And what was the RARE age?

Child Soldier Statistics

Child Soldiers are children who were forced to leave their homes after their parents were either killed in a war or died, then when "the soldiers" came to war with their cities/villages, they were told to leave with them. So the children did.

Statistics on Child Soldiers:

*From ages 4-14 & sometimes even up to 18
*Said to be turned into "effective killers"
*Many girls were "sexually victimized" and forced to be "soldiers' wives"
*When on drugs, children "would do just about anything that was ordered"
*Most children said they "didn't want to fight," but yet, "just wanted to go to school"

What are three interesting facts you learned from reading my blog?

"Did you ever kill anyone?"

In many pictures, you see child soldiers carrying guns. Why is this so?, to protect themselves. And two, for usage in a war or fight. One of the many questions asked is, "Did you ever kill anyone?" Most research tells us that the most of the children did not kill anyone. Most said they were scared, and just did what they were if they were told to kill someone, they did. (I don't think I would want to kill anyone either, even if there was a punishment!) Camp directors (also the child soldier's "advisors") said that when children were put on drugs-most likely, amphetamines, children would "do just about anything that they were ordered to do." But some, as the director said, were proud of having been effective killers. (Probably because that's how they were raised...or so that's how I would hope it was!!!)

Why use Children??

Children were used because they were small, easy to distract enemies with, and also because they didn't question what they were told. For instance, 6 year olds were too afraid to question, they just did. And the soldiers used that to their advantage. And numbers weren't the problem...oh, 8 children died? Well, I hear there's a city 20 miles from here...we could send someone that way tomorrow...Once again, numbers weren't the problem. But other than that, children were abused. Sexually, mentally, emotionally, and just about every other way. Mostly girls were sexually abused, but boys were too...

How many are there?!

In Sierra Leone, there are 10,000 child soldiers,(and that's just Sierra Leone!) 60% of them are said to be females. Most child soldiers are between the ages of 4 and 14; but there are also child soldiers on up to the age of 18. (Which wasn't very common, unless you lived and served with them from the age of 4!! Sooo I guess you could ultimately call that rare.) Worldwide, there are 300,000 child soldiers. (Oh my goodnessss!) But to say the least, most of these children didn't actually have the choice to join. For most, their parents died in a war, and the soldiers told them to come with them. And so the children did. (Now if it were me, I think I would want to have a choice!!)