Introduction Itis evident that thousands of children are used as soldiers in most of the armedconflicts in some regions around the world. Both boys and girls some of whomare as young as eight years old areserving as soldiers in armed resistantgroups as well as the government forces. The work of the young soldiers in thearmy is diverse they may be found the fighton the front lines in the battlefield,taking part in suicide missions, used as spies, watch outs or even messengers. Itis quite unfortunate that most of thegirls who are recruited are forced into sexual slavery.
Most of the young soldiers are recruited by forceor abducted while some of them just joined because they were desperate and hadfalse of hope in the armed groups as the best chance of survival in the conflict-ridden regions. An estimated 250, 000 teenage,or rather children used as solder existedall over the world. Forthis case, the children were always sent into the battlefields as infantry so that they can draw fire away from theadult warriors. This has been a huge problem; therefore, in response, the most of the members of theinternational community has taken the initiativeto curtail the issue all over the world.
For instance, the USA implemented theChild Soldier Prevention Act of 2008. The law wasenacted with the primary purpose of assisting the target of eradicating childsoldier by restricting the United States from sending military aid to nationswith government-supported armed groups which comprised of militias, paramilitaries, or even the civil defenseforces which actively recruit as well as use children as soldiers (Denov, & Marchand, 2014). Thepaper discusses and expounds on the use of child soldiers across the globe andhow this issue can be eradicated. It is quite inhuman to use children as soldiers wherethey are expendable instead of caring and protecting them. HistoricalContext Theentire world has been witnessing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and some other regions in the globe,the impact of these armed wrangles have been undeniably tragic on human life. However, there is nowhere is the tragedy highlypronounced and visible than the effect the conflicts have had no children.
Most civilian kids are affected, but those influencesdirectly by the war are the child soldiers. In the world, the Asian and theAfrican continents are the ones who aremost affected by the issue of usingchildren as soldiers. Nations in these regions have been under conflict in thepast century and the beginning of the 21st century.
However, currently, most of the countries, which hadchild soldiers, are working with the international community to eradicate theuse of children as soldiers (Amone-P’Olak, Stochl, Ovuga, Abbott, Meiser-Stedman,Croudace, & Jones, 2014). Nations affected with the issue of a child soldier in Africa include Uganda, Chad, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Somalia, CentralAfrican Republic, Sudan and the DemocraticRepublic of Congo. In Asia, we havenations such as Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka,Burma, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. While only Columbia is affected by the issue inSouth America (Hamberg, 2013). Child soldiers have been inuse since the early 1980s for more than two decades. The young soles who are often forced to besoldiers have been found to be desirable as well as reliable as soldiers sincethey are easier to manipulate than adults are while they have an undevelopedsense of danger as opposed to their adult counterparts. Furthermore, thechildren do not ask for salaries and require fewer resources during the armedconflicts than the adults (Isaac, 2014).
Theoretical Perspective Socialconstructivism concentrates on the significance of concepts and ideas in the internationalrelations with the primary theory being the interdependent relationship between thesocial context and the players as well as the power of ideation. In this context, the nature of players may not be described without referring to their socialcontext basis. The main players in this issue are the countries. However, theyexist a wide range of players who determine the nation’s politics. Constructivismembraces the concept of change while challenging the primary materialistic idea if international relationship since itfocuses on the role of identities, ideas,as well as norms. While considering the issue of children as soldiers in armed conflicts, it is rational to assume thatconstructivists would oppose the fact that a global normative shift may berequired to guarantee the compliance of any regulations and laws concerning theuse of children as soldiers (Adler, 2013). Normsare concepts, which describe the social understanding of various standards of behaviour.
Hence, they matter a lot even thoughnorm does not determine the outcome.However, they define them as well as limitthe range of recommended choices of policy that are acceptable whilereformulating the understanding of interest. Therefore, there is a necessity toensure a global shift in the norms to achieve a realistic solution to the issueof child soldiers. Some players have tointeract in a way that can challenge the collective international understandingof the use of child soldiers. Also, thechildren who are at risk of becomingsoldiers must not be in a social condition that can force or lead them tobelieve that the only hope of survival is by being a soldier (Adler, 2013). The mosttangible solution to the issue is the robust involvement of epistemiccommunities.
Apart from the countries, instructions and other players, ideasplay a significant role the shaping of international politics. The international system can get this idea by organising conferences, seminars, public discussions,and press conferences to deal with the issue (Adler,2013). Canada’s History Of the Problem InCanada’s war effort the children have played a significant role.
The issue of a child soldier is directly associated withCanada since the country once used children as war tools. During the SecondWorld War almost 700, 000 Canadians under age of 21 served in uniform. At timechildren as young as 13 years would attempt to enlist in the military. Mostwere accepted while those rejected served in Merchant Navy and supported theefforts of the war by transporting the troops as well as materials overseas. Theyoungest Canadian soldier to die at war was 16 years old. This is a direct indication that Canada at somepoint utilized child soldiers (Veteran Affairs Canada).
Worlds Reaction TheUnited Nations and the InternationalCommunity signed a treaty to abolish therecruitment as well as the use of child soldiers. The agreementrequired that children under the age of 18 must never the recruited into themilitary. The reaction by the international community has managed to save over115,000 children from armed groups and forces.
The UN holds that the mostefficient way of offering protection to the children is by sustaining peace andpreventing as well as resolving conflicts. The international community has the obligation of finding the best ways of influencing the players in conflicts while illustrating the economic costsof war. When the process of peace is initiated,there must be a corresponding procedure to offer child protection from thebeginning (Poretti, Hanson, Darbellay, &Berchtold, 2014). Onthe other hand, NGOs such as the Child Soldier International do their best toensure that they have prevented the recruitment as well as use and exploitationof teenagers and children by armed groups. Human Rights Watch, Save the Child,and Amnesty found the organizationinternational with the primary purpose of campaigning for the human rightstreaty which abolishes the utilisation ofchildren as a soldier and also increasesthe legal age of military recruitment (Mackey, 2013). My Analysis Asalready mentioned I do believe the international community is responding to theproblem of the child soldiers in a legalistic as well as institutionalway.
However, these methods have notbeen effective, and one can argue that legalistic approach used in mostinternational debates has a limitedunderstanding of the issue of child soldiers. It is clear by the currentnumber of a child soldier that theinternational community has failed to prevent the targeting, abduction as wellas the suffering of children in warszones. Social constructivism theory seems to have the tools necessary to bringthe best approach to the entire issue. The argumentis based in the incorporation of theepistemic communities, which may be in a position to provide the concepts thatare required for the international community to progress in addition to theirclassical approach (Lasley, & Thyne, 2015). Theepistemic community offers the most neededadvice and guidance as well as specialisedinformation the international community. It is clear that the culturalspecification has been the major setback tothe international community as it seeks for a global solution to the issue. Thechild soldier’s problem can only be tackledif the cultures would be mindful of the way the international communityresponse will be engaging with the local context from the position of universalidealism up to the time of practical implementation of the solutions.
To effectively deal with the issue of childrenused as soldiers, Social constructivism holds that it is of utmost significanceto have global dissemination of knowledge having the topmost target of influencing a normative shift of ideas.Conclusion In conclusion, war disrupts the education and normal development of children. It is estimated that almost 40 million childrenare not attending school due to the conflictin various regions around the world. Some of these children are converted intochild soldiers and used as tools of war. It is clear that to achieve the best global solution to theproblem one is obligated to look beyond the mere treaty between nations tomitigate the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Instead, a robustcontrol has to be placed on the international community to regulate the flow ofweapons while the illegal trafficking of narcotics, diamond, and other products,which fuel the conflicts, must be eradicated or put on halt.