Washington Office intern Fithe Heramo writes about child soldiers for Third Way Cafe:
Every parent hopes to see their child go to school, graduate, have a first date and marry. Most child soldiers’ parents, however, are not fortunate enough to see their children lead a normal life. According to the United Nations, there are 250,000 child soldiers around the globe. These children carry an AK-47 instead of a book bag and go to rebel and government camps instead of school. War significantly impacts communities, particularly when children become directly involved. The international community must work collectively to help stop the next generation from fighting this generation’s war, for children are the future.
In 2002 the UN banned the recruitment of child soldiers. The signing of the law opened doors for the prosecution of child solider recruiters in the International Criminal Court. The United States government also took another step in October 2008 when President Bush signed a law concerning child soldiers. The law is called the Child Soldiers Accountability Act and it makes the recruitment of child soldiers a federal crime even if the recruitment happened outside of the United States. As a result, an individual who recruits child soldiers will have difficulty coming to the U.S. either to make a living or as a refugee of war. Collective actions such as this law contribute towards the efforts of stopping child recruitment.
As Christians it is important to become involved in this issue. The Bible encourages us to give special attention to children. Jesus allowed children to come to him when the adults were trying to stop them. He became a voice for them and provided what they needed. We can follow his lead and be aware, pray or advocate on behalf of child soldiers around the world to eliminate further recruitment.
The full article is available at thirdway.com.