Why Armed Forces Recruit Children

According to Beber & Blattman10, “the young are more malleable, adaptable, and obedient”. This argument is also widely supported by many scholars, including the leaders of the rebellion groups. As such, a Congolese rebel leader interviewed by The Economist distinguished the same three reasons why children were good soldiers: “they obey orders; they are not concern getting back to their family; and they don’t know fear”3. Also, in the most recent study by Tynes7, it is stated that child soldiers are used by forces as ‘tactical innovations’ with the aim to embarrass, and thus, to demolish  the opposite group.

In the following sections, we will explore more deeply the causes of child soldiering and the impacts on children, and the society. Also we will refer to some of the theories that would help us to understand and explain the following phenomena: What are the rationales to recruit child soldiers? Why forced recruitment? Why children volunteer to join the rebellion groups? What makes children stay in the rebellion group?

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