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A telecollaborative Project Between iEARN-Canada & iEARN-Sierra Leone


Our writings section features stories addressing the issue of ChildSoldiers written by youth in Sierra Leone

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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