Child Soldiers Still in Use

The United States State Department released a new snapshot of how governments around the world are doing in putting an end to their use of child soldiers. Its 2015 list names eight governments – Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen that are recruiting or using children in their armed forces, or supporting militias or other armed groups that use child soldiers. The number of countries named is down from a high of 10 in 2013, and the State Department notes that child recruitment is decreasing in several countries. But there’s bad news too. Nigeria was added to the list for the first time this year because a government-affiliated militia, the Civilian Joint Task Force, has recruited and used child soldiers – sometimes by force – in the fight against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. President Barack Obama now has about two months to decide whether to let military sanctions go into effect against the five governments that are slated for US military assistance next year. The US should send a clear message – governments using child soldiers will not be let off the hook. To receive US military aid, they need to stop the use of child soldiers. What do you think should be done?

"Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child's eye - it is very beautiful."- Kailash Satyarthi

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