The Child Soldier: Our Writing
Giving Voice to Youth Affected by War


Child Soldiers: A Violation of Child Rights
by Alpha Sesay, a student of the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown

The issue of child soldiers still continues to be an
issue of vital importance. We at IEARN SIERRA LEONE-
FOURAH BAY COLLEGE BRANCH are now directing a special
attention to addressing the rights of children
especially those involved in armed conflicts.

We are of the firm conviction that the involvement of
children in armed conflict i.e. child soldiers is a
flagrant violation of the rights of the child.

The most important instrument addressing the rights of
the child is the United Nations Convention on The
Rights of the Child (CRC). This instrument defines a
child as any human being below the age of 18 years and
this document makes it clear that children should not
be given arms. Any person who does this will be
violating the rights of the child. It is no
overstatement to say that children have been the most
vulnerable in conflicts especially that which has to
do with the RUF in Sierra Leone. Children have been
subjected to forced labour, sexual abuse, drug abuse
and most of them have committed very serious crimes
ranging from rape to maiming, burning of houses,
massive killings etc. Those therefore getting children
involved in armed conflict are violating the rights of
these children as well as the UN's CRC. They should
therefore be brought to book. The children, to whom
the future belongs, have had a battered childhood,
most of them without their wish. The stage of
childhood is a very delicate one to which everyone
belonged at one point in time. If they are not
protected therefore, they will have no good culture to
pass on to other generations. It therefore makes it
very important for their rights to be protected in
order to enhance a decent society.

Alpha Sesay
Fourah Bay College-USL
FReetown,Sierra Leone.


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