The Children Of War: Amnesty or Not?

By Lily Myers

Hailey Fox, Editor

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When you think of war, what comes to mind? Grown adult men and women? But to some people, it is children. In some places of the world, such as Yemen there are children who are recruited to go into war with firearms that could be larger than the  children themselves. But, these children are being called on for their actions when some of them barely know what they are doing. These are soldiers who have little to zero control over their lives. Child soldiers should have amnesty. They did actions that adults forced them to do, while being in a life or death situation. Also, some children were too young to know any better. Children also have been put under the influence of drugs to change their mindset about certain situations.      

Young people all over the world deserve a world where they are free to live a fulfilling life and live away from terror. Some children are put into war and forced to do certain tasks by adults. While there is truth that child soldiers have done some awful things like mass killings(1996). Behind these killings are adults that have tied strings to these young minds. Some of these assignments are dangerous and could cost these children their lives. Around 2 million kids have lost their lives (1996). While some 10 million have been psychologically traumatized (1996). Trauma can last a lifetime of mental suffering. Some children are put into more confined tasks such as cooking or carrying water for soldiers. While others are used for fighting or as sex slaves (Morley,2017). The young child soldiers are being placed in very difficult and disturbing situations. These young minds are being pushed by an unstable jackhammer that could break them at any given moment.

 

Children have brains that are not fully developed so they might not know any better. To young kids, guns might be a Nerf gun with foam bullets you can play with. Yet at the same time, kids are playing with large firearms that have the ability to take a life. Weapons are all the time portrayed as toy. It could be a plastic sword to a mini gun that shoots a foam cylinder.  Although some people may believe that young children should be called on for their actions, these young minds are just too young to know any better. Children will range from around the age of five to eighteen.(Steel,2008) That is a young age that should be spent in school. But instead it is spent in an unsafe environment that is unsuitable. These kids have a very hard time leaving their stations because they start to rely on their commanders for food, drugs, money, and a place to live(Child Soldiers Should).

 

Kids have been exposed to drugs and alcohol far before the legal age of 18. They are forced to drink a mix of cane juice and gunpowder(1999). Also common are, cocaine and marijuana(1999). These drugs have the ability to change their mindset so they are going into dangerous circumstances unwillingly. While it may be true some kids go to these war areas by choice. Most children are recruited or taken. These kids are forced to use substances that have the potential to kill them. People of a young age have the rights to not form an addiction to illegal drugs and to refuse them by choice. Sadly, in these situations they don’t. But they all live in fear, and they are victims of horrible crimes(Morley,2017).

 

Child soldiers live very hard lives. They are constantly put under pressure to do illegal and guilt worthy tasks. All of these hardships will lead to PTSD( post traumatic stress disorder) which causes pain worth a lifetime. These kids are being soaked up with a dirty sponge and squeezed back out. They are constantly forced to do unspeakable acts by adults. While also having the possibility of death. These kids are far too little to know what they are doing. These young people are also put under drugs and alcohol that change their mindsets about difficult situations. These are the minds of our future. So, what will our future become.