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Child soldiers

Child soldiers miss out on the safe childhood that many of us take for granted, but to which every child is entitled according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Child soldiers miss out on the safe childhood that many of us take for granted, but to which every child is entitled according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Imagine being given a gun at the age of seven and told by soldiers to shoot your family or the soldiers will shoot you.

Imagine being kidnapped and forced to marry a soldier, cook and clean for him, and have his children when you’re only fourteen.

Imagine fighting in a war you don’t understand, forced to kill and rape innocents in order to save your own life.

You only have to imagine these atrocities, but 300,000 child soldiers in over 30 countries around the world have to live them every day.*

What is a child soldier?

Why do children join combat?

What are governments doing to stop the use of children as soldiers?

What is Plan doing?

What can you do?

Facing combat around the world

Child soldiers a "ticking time bomb": Plan is calling for urgent action to defuse the ticking time bomb of traumatized former child soldiers who often face rejection by their communities when they return after years as unwilling conscripts.

Plan interviews acclaimed filmmaker, Newton Aduaka: An interview with Newton Aduaka, director of award-winning film “Ezra” — a film about a former child soldier which has won the top prize at the 2007 African Film Festival, FESPACO, as well as Plan’s Special Child Rights Award and the United Nations Peace Promotion Prize.

Uganda Abductions (BBC Radio Broadcast): The Northern Ugandan civil war has resulted in thousands of children being abducted to serve as soldiers, servants and wives. Children in the villages are most vulnerable to abduction. Listen to personal accounts of children who have been abducted, how they were treated, and what they had to do in order to survive.

You must do what he says: The life of a girl soldier

You can either join us or leave: The life of a boy soldier

Visit our film library and borrow a film to watch and share with friends and classmates.

*Data provided by UNICEF and Save the Children


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