Child soldiers: 300,000 tragedies

Child soldier in Myanmar (AP Images)
Despite international efforts, the number of child soldiers has remained constant for 25 years. (AP Images)

There are 300,000 child soldiers in the world today, roughly the same number as in 1989. When a child grows up surrounded by war, he or she starts to accept violence as a way of life.

Why do children continue to be abused in this manner, despite the efforts of the international community?

  • Length of conflicts. When a war lasts longer, child soldiers are more likely to be recruited.
  • More nonstate armies. Armed groups such as ISIL or Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army have expanded their recruitment of children.

If you think children should be in school instead of on the battlefield, then read about the Child Soldier Prevention Act (CSPA), a tool to bring about that change. In the past few years, thanks in part to the CSPA, governments have stepped up and reduced the number of child soldiers in their armies.

But often it isn’t enough to simply remove children from the battlefield. Children forced into combat require therapy to be able to live normal lives again. The facts below tell a disturbing story. Get involved today by learning about what groups around the world are doing to end this tragedy.

Infographic on child soldiers