250.000 With gun instead of satchel

Their use is officially outlawed, but the reality is different: Around 250.000 children worldwide are abused as soldiers. Aid agencies are trying to help them find a way out of violence – but they are missing the support of politicians in the process.

More decisive intervention against the use of child soldiers has been called for by Caritas international. It must not be "that children are educated and abused to kill," the Caritas relief organization stressed on the international day of action against the use of children as soldiers (12.02.2010). "Our work to rehabilitate former child soldiers can only be successful in the long term if we receive political support," said head Oliver Muller. The International Criminal Court must take action against governments and militias that use children in war. Caritas international says it supports numerous projects, for example in Liberia, Uganda and Congo, in which former child soldiers are given a way back into civilian life. Forcibly recruited and underage Aid agencies estimate that there are more than 250 child soldiers worldwide.000 child soldiers. Kindernothilfe even ames that in every war in the world children are abused as soldiers. Often, however, their use remains hidden. Most child soldiers are in Burma (Myanmar). The children's aid organization "terre des hommes" estimates that there alone 77.000 minors are fighting in the government army and armed opposition groups.A large part of all child soldiers are forcibly recruited. Others are lured by official armies or rebel groups with false promises and low pay. Fear of assault and the hope of protection also drive boys and girls to take up arms.But it is not only the use of weapons that makes a child a soldier. Minors are also recruited as cooks, scouts or sex toys. For many the situation is hopeless. If reintegration into society is successful at all, it often takes years. UNICEF calls for more efforts to free child soldiers Also the child welfare organization UNICEF calls the world community to the intensified fight against the use of child soldiers. There must be more efforts to disarm and reintegrate minors serving in armies and rebel groups into society, he said. The use of child soldiers is a cynical violation of human rights, said the chairman of UNICEF Germany, Jurgen Haraeus. The children would need support to return to a normal life. "These children are victims who are turned into perpetrators by unscrupulous adults," Haraeus said.

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