Human Rights and Equality
Throughout ongoing conflict, child soldiers became a major portion of the fighting and human rights are continually violated. Children were often abducted from their homes or off the streets and forced to take up arms. Others were coerced into joining because they would be killed by the rebel forces pillaging their towns if they didn’t. Still, others found it their only escape from abuse. Young girls left in poverty because of the fighting would often times join because it was the only potential safe haven with food and shelter. Many girls would be raped by armed forces and immediately faced rejection from their families and community upon disclosing this information; with nowhere else to turn these girls joined with the armed forces for protection, “rebel” or not.
Female child soldiers varied from as young as age 8 to 18, in direct disobedience to both international law which forbids children under the age of 18 to be enlisted in armed forces, and African law which prohibits the use of children under the age of 15 . While in rank, the female child soldiers were often made “wives” of the men. They were subject to rape and other forms of sexual violence and exploitation. They performed many duties around the camps such as cooking, cleaning, providing medical care, and gathering information while also falling into rank as soldiers in combat.
The idea of actually taking a growing young lady and forcing them to follow command through kidnap, torture, and exploitation is one that should be absolutely beyond comprehension as the worst kind of act, yet has been and still is commonly accepted among many worldly communities. This is much further than a mere problem. The use of female child soldiers in warfare is a direct result of historical gender views still being used, whether consciously or not. In all past warfare, women were held as objects and therefore a continuum of the spoils of victory.
As such thinking continues, female child soldiers are brought into camps not just to actively participate in the line of combat, but to take over those chores which for centuries have been deemed “women’s work” and not suitable for men, or boys, to partake in. The young ladies are subject to continual sexual exploitation as a means of depriving them of any human dignity. They are viewed as sub-human and are treated as such: mere sex toys. At any age, but especially such a young one, these girls suffer from a distorted sense of authority, self, and trust. Men are supposed to be leaders, and those men who provided what seemed like protection, food, and shelter, where the very ones responsible for constant exploitation and demoralization. Not purely for the lust, the men used the young girls to tear down the future. After being constantly “used” by the men in the camps, the girls no longer hold any mental perception of themselves as humans, let alone beautiful young girls who hold the power to the future. Trust in anyone, especially men of authority, becomes null and void, debilitating the future by taking away any means of honest relationships or reasons to trust in any Politian or spokesman.
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