Despite efforts to curb the recruitment of child soldiers, there are still thousands children used by armed forces and rebel groups around the world. While the use of child soldiers by the Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda is perhaps the most well known case, children are recruited in many armies and militias across Africa. This month, Unicef raised the alarm about the recruitment of children in the conflict in northern Mali. The organisation believes armed groups in Mali are using hundreds of children for military purposes. Efforts are being made to force governments to act and to assist with the rehabilitation of former child soldiers, but this is a daunting task.
Former Sierra Leonean child soldier Ishmael Beah, renowned for his book A Long Way Gone, has just returned from a trip to the Central African Republic, which he visited in his capacity as Unicef Advocate for Children Affected by War. Here numerous armed groups, including the LRA, use children, often recruiting them by force. They are made to work as guards, combatants, domestic servants, and sex slaves and are subjected to violence, abuse, injury or even death.
In this seminar Beah will share his thoughts and experiences in conversation with ISS Senior Researcher David Zounmenou.
- Ishmael Beah, author and Unicef Advocate for Children Affected by War
- Dr. David Zounmenou, acting Programme Manager, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, Institute for Security Studies
- Andrews Atta-Asamoah, Senior Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
note discussions occur under ISS Rule
Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed without his/her express permission.
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