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Banana Case

Essay by   •  March 29, 2012  •  Essay  •  831 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,191 Views

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A small nine year old little boy watches as a rebel shoots his father in front of his eyes. His mother tries to hold on to him, weeping frantically as the rebels try to drag him away. Eventually the boy is pried from his mother's cold hands, forced onto a truck and shipped off to a camp. A gun is forced into his hands, and he is thrown into battle, forced to murder those he once considered friends and family... In the world, this happens to thousands of children in Asia. [1] These children are forced to serve in government armies or a variety of other armed groups in the nation. They would be kidnapped at school, on the streets or even at home. Although several international laws forbid the use of children under 18 in armed conflict, several countries feel they are above such petty laws and still enlist children to serve their own interests of meaningless bloodshed.

According to the Asian Times Online, since 2004 at least 100,000 Asian children as young as eight are still being coerced to fight for government armies and armed rebel movements.[2] Asia alone is responsible for ¼ of the child soldiers in the world. [3] Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Indonesia, Myanmar are just a few that use them. In addition, Burma has the largest number of child soldiers in the world, and that number is still growing. [4]

But why do these children join the fractions of war? Well, armed conflict frequently ravage economic, social, community and family structures, leaving nothing left. Joining the ranks of the fighters is often the only mean of survival. [5] The children who join the army are able to earn a little money for their families. Although they are putting their lives at stake, it's the only way to feed themselves. Also, because of a complete absence of schools in some areas, joining the military is the only way to earn some sort of an education. Revenge is another factor. The horrors of war take split families apart, taking lives of loved ones. Children who watched their parents or siblings killed in front of their eyes often join up with the opposing group who murdered them, hoping to take vengeance.

In the Philippines, an army group known as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front recruits thousands child soldiers. [6] In a report issued early this year, the London-based Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers stated that 13 percent of Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in 2005 were children.[7] The UN placed them on their watch list for grave violations against children, along with the leftist rebel group New People's Army (NPA) and the more violent group Abu Sayyaf, all documented as parties that use minors below the age of 18 in armed conflict.[8]

In Burma, a child solider Maung Zaw Oo explained in the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers website, "They filled the forms and asked my age, and



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