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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:When a Child is Not a Child: The Scourge of Child Soldiering in Africa
Author:Singh, DivyaISNI
Periodical:African Human Rights Law Journal
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:child soldiers
international law
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Military, Defense and Arms
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Abstract:Human rights instruments and covenants all espouse the protection of the child with concomitant rights and State obligations. Yet, despite this, in several countries in Africa, one finds children being abused through the wholly unconscionable practice of child soldiering. Whilst this scourge is not only an African problem it is recognized that the dilemma is critical in Africa. This article examines the reasons why any country and/or military group/person would introduce children to armed conflict and the effect of such engagement on the child victim: physical danger, psychological trauma and educational stultification. The use of child soldiers has been expressly prohibited by various international treaties under international human rights law, humanitarian law, criminal law and even labour law. The consequences of child soldiering for Africa must impact, directly, on the growth, development and regeneration programmes earmarked for the upliftment of the continent, on the ability of Africa to take its place as a player in the global arena, and on the promotion of the human rights ethos underpinning the African renaissance. A priori, all States have a fundamental responsibility to end the use of child soldiers in Africa. To this end, the author makes recommendations for the elimination of the practice, at both national and international levels. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]