INTRODUCTION: THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
This paper purports to discuss the child soldiers forcibly produced and abused by the armed conflict between the National Army and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. Despite the fact that horrifying violence perpetrated against children in Africa has gained growing concern, most people assume childhood exploitation is an ‘inevitable tragedy’ inflicted by armed conflicts. Moreover, the children are approached in a holistic manner although each country with an armed conflict suffers unique problems with different contexts. Through a situated analysis of child combatants in Uganda, this paper will demonstrate that the issue of child soldiers is a national, political, and social crisis manifested in a systemic exploitation of childhood. Therefore, it will be argued that action plans should be country-specific and tailored to the unique contexts of Uganda in order to rehabilitate the victimized children effectively.
First section of the paper will start with depicting the general circumstances of child soldier problems across the world. Even though the paper argues for community-based rehabilitation systems, it is worth understanding the dynamic of the big issues in comparison with the situation in Uganda. In this section, various reasons and context behind the abuse of child soldiers receives scrutiny. Coupled with the international conditions of child soldiers, the paper will refer to the specific situations in Uganda, which is represented by Human Rights Watch in the article called Stolen Children: Abduction and Recruitment in Northern Uganda. In the second part of subsections, various causes of using child soldiers will be systemically approached. It will be emphasized that the issue of child combatants should be examined in the context of national, political and social problems faced by the government of Uganda. Cheney’s article, Our Children Have Only Known War: Children’s Experiences and...
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