Child soldiers

Issues > Children in conflict zones > Child soldiers

Key initiatives & reports

Private Security Companies and Children's Rights
UNICEF, 25 May 2011

International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers – Nyon Process
Information on Initiative by Swiss Government compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
The Code includes provisions prohibiting use of child soldiers, child labour.

Do No Harm: A guide for companies sourcing from the DRC
Global Witness, 8 Jul 2010
A guide on due diligence for companies sourcing from the Dem. Rep. of Congo to prevent their trade from financing conflict, including the forced recruitment of child soldiers.
  full report A guide for companies: Do no harm: Excluding conflict minerals from the supply chain

Rebuilding the lives of Congo’s child soldiers
Mary Riddell, Telegraph (UK), 16 Jul 2009

New report: Conflict Minerals in Cell Phones Perpetuating Use of Child soldiers
Child Soldier Relief, 29 Apr 2009

Recruiting Child Soldiers: Why Children Fight in Wars
Victor Mobley, International Affairs, 20 Jul 2008

Context:

[video] Child soldiers fighting in the DRC
“On the Frontlines”, WITNESS and AJEDI-ka/PES, Feb 2009

[video] Child Soldier
19 Dec 2007
A report on child soldiers, UN action and the problem of female child soldiers being sexually abused.

Indepth: Child Soldiers: Africa: Too small to be fighting in anyone’s war
IRIN, 12 Dec 2003
An overview of the problem of child soldiers, why children are recruited, and what the consequences are for them.

Case examples

How Your Cell Phone Secretly Recruits Child Soldiers
Amanda Kloer, Change.org, 17 Nov 2010

Demand for “conflict minerals” endangers Congo’s women and children
Shawna Templeton, World Vision US, Jun 2010

Ex-child soldiers step into fashionable world [Sri Lanka]
Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka), 29 Nov 2009

Burmese junta increases forced labour and child soldiers
asianews.it, 26 Nov 2009

[video] Children of Conflict – Congo
AlJazeera English, 24 Aug 2008

Ex-child soldier urges business to be responsible
Romana King, Business Edge, 11 Jul 2008

[video] The boy who killed for diamonds [Sierra Leone]
Claudio von Planta, 25 Feb 2008

Africa: Conflicts and mining-induced displacement
War resisters, 1 Feb 2008
Article says mining-induced displacement is one of the most underreported causes of displacement in Africa – also that diamond mining financed the war in Democratic Republic of Congo and related human rights abuses, including use of child soldiers.

Afghanistan: Child soldiers operating on several fronts
IRIN, 19 Dec 2007
Child soldiers found working for private security companies.

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Related stories and components

Article
19 December 2007

AFGHANISTAN: Child soldiers operating on several fronts

Author: IRIN News

Under-age males have also been seen working for private security companies, particularly in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, said a senior government official who insisted on anonymity…"The auxiliary police and private security contractors widely use...

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Article
1 February 2008

Africa: Conflicts and mining-induced displacement

Author: War resisters

Mining-induced displacement...was one of the most underreported causes of displacement in Africa, and one that was likely to increase”…conclu[ded]…report by…the Southern African Development Community…In Africa…mining is associated with human rights...

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Article
25 February 2008

[video] The boy who killed for diamonds

Author: Claudio von Planta

This clip shows the effects of wars financed by blood diamonds. Two ex-child soldiers are interviewed by Sierra Leon journalist Sorious Samura. One of them experiences flashbacks when taken to the location where a few years back he killed a man who had...

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Article
11 July 2008

Ex-child soldier urges business to be responsible

Author: Romana King, Business Edge

Last month, a coalition of socially responsible investors...responded to a report submitted to the UN by Prof. John Ruggie...on the "fundamental challenge" for business "to narrow and ultimately bridge the gaps in relation to human rights." These...

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Article
20 July 2008

Recruiting Child Soldiers: Why Children Fight in Wars

Author: Victor Mobley, Intl. Affairs

The existence of child soldiers will not come to an end until the world attacks the root causes: poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and social inequality...it has become too easily for a young child to become a well-trained killing machine. The...

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Article
24 August 2008

[video] Children of Conflict - Congo

Author: AlJazeeraEnglish

Children of Conflict looks at the Democratic Republic of Congo where child soldiers have been used in fighting between tribes and many have had to carry the guilt of rape, murder and pillage...

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Article
29 April 2009

New Report: Conflict Minerals in Cell Phones Perpetuating Use of Child soldiers

Author: Child Soldier Relief

The GrassRoots Reconciliation Group, a non-profit dedicated to bringing together “local community members and ex-child soldiers of the LRA who have escaped from rebel captivity,” has co-written a report with the Enough Project linking the demand for...

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Article
16 July 2009

Rebuilding the lives of Congo's child soldiers

Author: Mary Riddell, Telegraph [UK]

For Congo’s child soldiers, brutalised and forced to kill, rehabilitation is a long journey. Yet in war-ravaged eastern Congo one transitional centre is slowly helping them rebuild their lives. Mary Riddell sees it at work, and talks to Congo’s...

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Article
26 November 2009

Burmese junta increases forced labour and child soldiers

Author: asianews.it

50% increase in complaints of forced labour and more than half involving children and young people enrolled in the army...Defence of human rights groups confirm that the Burmese military junta continues a campaign of forced recruitment of minors into...

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Article
1 June 2010

Demand for “conflict minerals” endangers Congo’s women and children

Author: Shawna Templeton, World Vision U.S.

The protracted war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) amounts to one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II. More than 5 million lives have been lost since the war began in 1998. Civilians — especially women and children — are targeted as...

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