Child Soldiers in the Philippines

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The issue regarding child soldiers is one that is familiar to most persons, yet the progress in the process of addressing such problem moves at a very slow pace due to its increasing depth in the past twenty years. According to past reading, women and children were involved in many battles conducted during the time of the American colonization (Camacho, 2003, 5). However, it was a case in February, 1999 that truly opened the public’s eye towards the issue of child soldiers for it was regarding a 17-year old member of the New People’s Army. The victim was apprehended alongside several others who were minors as well. This being said, if people take immediate action in order to alleviate this issue, its occurrence will lessen in society. This must be done because children recruited as soldiers in militant groups in the Philippines are subject to long-term psychological effects. The sooner this issue is addressed, the more beneficial life-changing experiences will come forth. Child soldiers are commonly defined as minors who partake in any form of armed conflict. A child soldier is either invited or some coerced. No one claims responsibility of who exactly involves these children into such situations and it continues to remain as one of the main issues being tackled. Another issue is voluntary participation of the minors in armed conflict. The US Child Prevention Act restricts any form of aid to countries that make use of child soldiers, which jeopardizes the international military aid to the Philippines (Uy and Rosauro, 2010, A4). In camp, they are each assigned a role to fulfill. The girls are given roles that live up to their stereotype such as the housewife or doctor of the camp meanwhile, boys are tasked with jobs that involve combat (Lumactao, 2005, 80-81). Another experience that deserves focus is the one regarding torture because it is the most evident, alerting and unavoidable of them all. It uses extreme means in attaining obedience, respect and loyalty


References: Camacho, A. Z. (2003, June) Prevention and Reintegration of Child Involved in Armed Conflict: The Philippine Experience Lumactao, M, ed. (2005). Dead Playgrounds: The Phenomenon of Child Soldiers in the Philippines Makinano, M. (2002, February) Child Soldiers in the Philippines. Feb. 2002. Retrieved from http://www.childprotection.org.ph/monthlyfeatures/mar2k2a.rtf Protacio-Marcelino, E., et al. (2000). Torture of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict: The Philippine Experience Quitoriano, E., and Francisco, T. M. (2004). Their War, Our Struggle: Stories of Children in Central Mindanao Uy, J., & Rosauro, R. (2010, May 25) UN Child warriors report may affect US aid to RP. Philippine Daily Inquirer, p

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