Gayatri Singh, reports about the child refugees in Africa.
There isn’t any place where children are not found. Children are everywhere, they are there to spread joy and brighten the future of the nation they’re living in. But the children of Africa are not educated, their future isn’t made bright, they’re made child soldiers or they get married way too soon.
They are hindered. And this is exactly how Africa will develop.
A diverse continent, Africa has the highest growth rate in the use of children in conflict, and on average, the age of those enlisted is also decreasing. Children obviously, are easy to manipulate and being uneducated they are ready to go on the battlefield and kill a person as casually as it is to drink a glass of water. Why hasn’t the government ever thought what must be going inside the head of the child? Well, apologies, not only one child, 120,000 African children there on the Warfield. They obviously would be so traumatized; this is too much for them.
And the government can’t just say that being the ones to make the final decision, they can illegally do whatever they want.
In 1989 the United Nations passed the Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 38 states that "state parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." Who is the one who isn’t following this law? Yes, you heard me right, the government of Africa itself.
Childhood is a time when children learn and grow into adults who shape the future of their countries, but these ‘soldiers’ on the battlefield are used and brainwashed to fight at the battlefield and getting introduced to bloodshed and war. It is disturbing to think about the psychological state of these children. It was rightly said by a delegate, “Dialogues don’t work. Everything seems better on paper, but it isn’t in real life.” And I strongly believe that this should be followed for the betterment of the African child soldiers.
Some rebel groups, such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, offer opportunity—food, shelter, and survival—to vulnerable youths, enticing them with incentives hard to get in fragile and unstable societies. It’s not just children, as said by a famous personality. “Parents see this [their children becoming child soldiers] as a way to make money too.”
Coming to the reckless parents, isn’t it ironical that the ones who get you into this world to take care of you, to nurture you are the ones who actually use you for money? Yes obviously, there is a time when we do have to take care of them but it’s obvious it isn’t that time when we’re 12 years old, with barely any education.
Child soldiers have no voice to raise their issue. But we, journalists can do whatever we can to get their situation to light. There is still a little ray of hope in the minds of those soldiers that they will be freed of this distress. Let’s do our bit and give them the childhood they deserve.