How Children Get Involved in the Armed Forces

Children in most of the cases are recruited by force, or some join the military groups voluntarily due to several reasons. First, according to Wessels8 children that are experiencing problems in their families, or children who are left without parental support-orphans are more likely to volunteer with the intention of accessing food, security, and health care. Second common argument is that children are more willing to join forces if they have poor outside options, such as employment or educational opportunities 6, 10.  Third, children become soldiers, because they are easily manipulated by the rebellion groups. Fourth, in case of Sri Lanka, it was found that the mass media, public system, and the literature were also encouraging children to become fighters11. Furthermore, from the same case study, it was revealed that children volunteered because of the following reasons: hatred of enemy, virtue of being a freedom fighter, experience of a family member being killed by the enemy. And lastly, in case of girls, as noted by Wessles8, and  Keairns9, the decision was made with the intention to escape forced marriages.


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