Physical Impacts

Children are one of the most vulnerable groups due to their immature physical conditions. However, opposition groups in some countries use these innocent children in order to commit the most dreadful acts and tasks through ways of force or brainwash.

In the process of military training, children are treated like their adult peers while there is inadequate food and medical care to keep them full and healthy, not to mention enough nutrition needed for growth. As a result, these child soldiers die from starvation and preventable diseases1.

According to a study conducted by UNICEF2, drugs are used to desensitize and encourage children to commit atrocities. Because many girls are treated as sex  slaves, they become pregnant and return to society with small children. Sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS have spread amongst groups of children soldiers.

Children are also commanded to explore landmines which may have a toy-like shape. Landmines lead to death or permanent disability for numerous child soldiers3.

However, after bad injuries, the only herbal medicine is available1. The high cost of resources and low-income prevent  injured children from being treated properly. For example in Mozambique, children have to keep bullets and shrapnel in their bodies since their family cannot afford operations.

See Psychological Impacts

See Educational Impacts

See Impact on Society

 

Footnotes:

1 The Children and Armed Conflict Unit. (1997). The invisible soldiers: Child combatants. Weekly Defense Monitor, 4(26).

2 UNICEF. (2006). Former child soldiers. Retrieved on 20 November 2012 from http://www.iiep.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Research_Highlights_Emergencies/Chapter9.pdf

3 Tamashiro, T. (2010). Impact of Conflict on Children’s Health and Disability.

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