The 21st century has ushered in an era of new wars. Children are greatly impacted by these new conflicts as their families are torn apart by violence, displacement, and disease. At a young age children are coerced, abducted and forced into armed groups against their will leaving their families and life behind. As child soldiers, children perform the duties of cooks, porters, messengers, spies, sex slaves, as well as fighting on the front lines. If, in the past, children were made to fight in spite of their youth, they are now being made to fight because of their youth.
The aim of “Six Stories” is to illustrate the impact that armed conflict has on the child and community at large. By focusing on the parent, the warlord, the humanitarian, the peacekeeper, the religious leader and the child we can see the many ways a community is affected.
Because of the adverse affects that conflict has on a child, the international community must make a rigorous and determined effort to raise children on the security agenda. By doing so, the Dallaire Initiative believes that preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers will contribute to the overall prevention of conflict worldwide.