Child soldiers

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Child soldiers

  1. 1. WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN YOU WERE 5 YEARS OLD?
  2. 2. OR MAYBE
  3. 3. Hundreds of thousands of children are used as child soldiers all over the world
  4. 4. Some are as young as 5
  5. 5. Children are vulnerable because of their emotional and physical immaturity. They are easily manipulated and drawn into violence that they are too young to resist or understand.
  6. 6. ITS NOT JUST BOYS…
  7. 7. In Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uganda, a third or more of the child soldiers were reported to be girls. Girls may be raped, or given to military commanders as "wives."
  8. 8. Modern lightweight weapons and small arms are accessible and simply operated, allowing children to use them in place of adults
  9. 9. Child soldiers are given cocaine and other drugs to help take the edge off…many become addicted
  10. 10. Children are killed and wounded at far higher rates than their adult comrades.
  11. 11. Those who survive often suffer trauma, injury, abuse, and psychological scarring from the violence and brutality they experience. Some are rejected by their families and communities.
  12. 12. Children are sometimes forced to commit atrocities against their own family to help ensure that the child is "stigmatized” and unable to return to his or her home community.
  13. 13. WHEN THE SURVIORS ARE RE-ENTERED INTO THE REAL WORLD…
  14. 14. • Withdrawal • Disruptive Behavior • Nightmares • Irritability • Regressive Behavior • Pain of no medical basis • Depression • Anxiety • Guilt • Flashbacks • Emotional Numbing • Substance Abuse
  15. 15. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) physically alters the brain of children Specifically the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and the amygdale
  16. 16. THE STORY OF ONE CHILD SOLDIER
  17. 17. Ishmael Beah At age 11, he witnessed the death of his family At age 13 he became a child soldier
  18. 18. In 1997 Ishmael Beah was saved by UNICEF He wrote a book about his experiences called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
  19. 19. How can you help?
  20. 20. Visit www.ChiSol.org for more information

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