Children Rights Crisis
Human Rights Violation
- Everyday children are being taken away from there parents, forced to fight in combat, hooked up on drugs, and told to kill innocent people for the good of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Sierra Leone army. The two big human rights that are being violated against these children are Article 5 - "Freedom From Torture and Degrading Treatment" which is this case they are being told to do cruel and unbearable acts of violence (kill innocent people and family members) and if they do not comply to the orders, they will have to face serious punishments such as getting body parts chopped off, whipped, tortured, etc. Article 3 -"Right to life, Liberty, and Personal Security" which in this instance, the RUF or the Sierra Leone Military could simply come to the village of these children, attack the adults, and strip the kids of who they are and everything they had then transform them to their desire which is to become a solider.
(Above) A Sierra Leone Child Soilder
- People tried to end this violation by going over to Sierra Leone and documenting what is happening and showing people in America to raise awareness for this cause. One global response was when the United Nations decided to come up with a method called the DDR which stands for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration. This is used as a post treatment to children who have been given the opportunity to escape to be able to cope with what had happened over in Sierra Leone and learn to live a normal life again. GOAL is another non governmental organization which is in Freetown and provides informal education, social work, advocacy, and health care to ex male combatant who are under the age of 18. This really helps these children who have been dramatized to learn to think normally again and live another life in some sense.
(Above) Leader of the Revolutionary United Front during the Sierra Leone Civil War, Foday Sankoh
- The main target group for this human rights violation is the children in many African countries and around the world, especially Sierra Leone. The people doing the acts of abducting, killing, and torturing these children are government armies, paramilitaries, and civil militias (aka. rebels). These groups are using these child soldiers because they are simply easy to replace. What I mean by that is that there are so many children in these countries who are captured that if they sent 20 out to attack an army but died doing it, it would be so quick and easy to send another 20 out to destroy the other army. Child soldier = easy to replace.
(Above) Former RUF child named Johnny with the letters R-U-F carved in his chest
- Historical changes which led to the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone was the civil war in which occurred there. The RUF needed people to help overthrow the government but found it difficult to do so until they decided to start abduction children and changing their whole mindset and brainwashing them into doing what they wanted them to do which, in this instance was to help gather more child soldiers and help overthrow the Sierra Leone government and serve as a work force. The cultural changes that led up to this was the different lifestyle of the rebels or RUF. They think that it is okay to do these terrible acts to these children. They have a unacceptable lifestyle.
(Above) The Revolutionary United Front.
Help Prevent Violation
- We as Americans can give a helping hand by donating money to this cause which helps bring efforts to stop Joseph Kony (leader of the LRA), protecting vulnerable civilians, bring abducted soldiers home, and recover communities in central and East Africa. You can simply go on the internet to “Invisible Children.com” and place a donation of your choice.
Thank You For Your Time
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