The Issue Of Child Soldiers Essay

1769 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 8 Pages
Every day, thousands of children around the world wake up in the morning, grab their shoes and backpacks and head to school. Thousands of other children pick up their AK-47s and head to battle. The issue of child soldiers is as complex as it is atrocious, and its heinous nature has prompted the international community to pour vast amounts of time and resources into finding a solution. Despite humanitarian and government organizations’ best efforts, the numbers have remained relatively static over the decades, with over 300,000 underage combatants worldwide (Vautravers 96). Many scholars have declared the U.N.’s current policy as a failure and offered up proposals of their own, ranging from placement of sanctions to international diplomatic pressure to criminalization of recruiters. However, what all these suggestions lack is an understanding of the fundamental differences between each conflict that involves child soldiers, and the need for a localized solution. Broad, sweeping legislation won’t solve anything, and instead the environment that allows recruitment of children must be changed by addressing issues of infrastructure and education at a local level. Child soldiers have enlisted in numerous conflicts throughout history, and some would argue that the international effort to end the use of child soldiers is a Western political agenda that ignores the culturally different definitions of childhood and replaces it with an “idealized” Western standard. Those scholars,…

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