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Child Soldiers: Part 1
Episode 49th December 2021 • Speaking for the Silenced • Hopewell Valley Student Publication Network
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Hopewell Valley Student Podcasting Network 

Show Name: Speaking for the Silenced

Episode 4: Child Soldiers: Part 1

Tune into this week’s episode of #SpeakingfortheSilenced!

You are listening to Speaking for the Silenced podcast with your host(s) Jacqueline Sun.

In this episode of Speaking for the Silenced, we will begin a two-part segment discussing child soldiers and their roles in wars. A child soldier is someone who is under 18 years old who is compelled through force or fraud to engage, directly or indirectly, in armed conflict. They may work under the military or a non-government organization.

Segment 1: Background of Child Soldiers

  • 93000 children found to be soldiers around world
  •  South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • First use in Iran-Iraq war

3 causes

  1. Poverty/Bad Home Conditions
  • Find food/income/home
  1. Survival/Protection in Warring Zones
  • Outside threats of attack/organizations coerce families or child themselves
  1. Force, Coercion, or Indoctrination (as seen in the Iran-Iraq war, where it all started)
  • Young, weaker, and more easily manipulated.

It is an extensive form of trafficking

Never a truly voluntary choice

Segment 2: The Experience of the Victims

Not always used in direct combat.

3 main uses:

Fighting: 

Child more vulnerable, experience chronic injury or mental illness

Sent on suicide missions, talk about the Iraq-Iran war experience

Reconnaissance: 

Due to unassuming nature, act well as spies

More trustworthy, experience less resistance, bring information back to their organization

Sexual services: 

Girls are frequently targets, given to adult soldiers as compensation

Suffer physical and mental trauma, highly susceptible to STIS

Segment 3: The Aftermath

PTSD plays huge role :

Adults more likely to find help, children more likely to shut down

Grow up believing in a life of violence

Important to welcome child back into comfort and normality, which often doesn’t happen

Provide physical comfort and aid, psychological support

Music Credits:  

Brooklyn and the Bridge by Nico Staf

  • At the Restaurant by Monolog Rockstars

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Sources:

  • https://www.aft.org/periodical/american-educator/winter-2005-2006/child-soldiers
  • https://ecommons.udayton.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1174&context=stander_posters#:~:text=Child%20soldiery%20can%20be%20a,sexual%20exploitation%20by%20armed%20forces.
  • https://www.unicef.org/protection/children-recruited-by-armed-forces

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