The main purpose of the United Nations, (UN), is to bring all nations of the world together to strive for and promote global peace, security, development, and human rights based on the principles of justice, human dignity, and the well-being of all people. A major issue in the world today is the use of child soldiers in Africa. A child soldier is basically anyone under the age of eighteen who directly or indirectly participates in an armed conflict as part of an armed force or group. The major cause of kid soldiers is due to the fact that many countries in Africa, like Sierra Leone and Uganda, are undeveloped nations that suffer from political instability and corruption. This in turn, leads to violent revolutions and civil wars. As a result, innocent children are recruited (abducted) by both government armies and armed opposition groups because they are valuable resources that are relatively easy to acquire.
After being kidnapped, these children, soon to become miniature killing machines, are brainwashed, drugged, and trained how to shoot. The concept of using child soldiers as a type of warfare first emerged in Africa around the 1980s in Mozambique. Currently, more than 120,000 children under 18 years of age are participating in armed conflicts across the continent. It may be argued that the UN can’t resolve the issue of child soldiers in Africa without force and violence. However, the United Nations obtains multiple advantages that can aid the cause and help bring it to an end. The United Nations should continue to intervene in the crisis regarding child soldiers in Africa based on a three-point strategy.
Firstly, the UN needs to take initiative by maintaining development not only in Africa but around the world as well. This can be accomplished by increasing global awareness of the issue of child soldiers in Africa. Also the UN should continue to supply more educational services for the poverty stricken part of Africa. They also need to continue to repatriate refugees and money to Africa in order to construct a foundation that is sustainable for growth. Primarily, people must be educated on this issue in order for them to realize and comprehend the terrible, traumatizing situation many children in Africa suffer from. Educating people is the first crucial step the UN must make to bring about international awareness. When people are conscious of the issue, they will support the abolishment of the use of child soldiers. That is how raising international awareness can assist in the continuation of development across the globe
Furthermore, by raising global awareness, it will build international pressure against the use of child soldiers. This may cause some African countries, who utilize children for combat, to become receptive and give in to this international pressure that is created by the expanse of global awareness. Consequently, they may sign and implement action plans to end their use of kid soldiers.
Secondly, the United Nations should intervene through the improving of human rights. It requires this type of action because the child soldier conflict in Africa contravenes the basic principles the UN was founded on. These principles are those of justice, human dignity, and the well-being of all people. In order to improve human rights, the UN should impose sanctions on the governments and armed opposition groups that have violated international laws banning the use of child soldiers.
In addition, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon identified some 56 governments and armed rebel groups from over 14 different countries who are accused of violating international laws prohibiting the recruitment and use of child soldiers. If enforcement of human rights takes place it could greatly improve situation of kid soldiers in Africa.
Finally, the UN should ensure international peace and security as its last step of action in the intervention of the child soldier issue. It is necessary to ensure this type of action because many African countries that have this conflict are unstable, undeveloped, dangerous, and are a threat to society. The UN should send peacekeepers over to find the underlying reason of controversy and settle disputes. Therefore, it is essential to enforce the ban on the use of children in armed conflict in order to guarantee and assure world peace and security.
Indeed, if the United Nations continues to follow through to its responsibilities by providing peacekeeping, educational, financial, and medical services throughout Africa, the issue of child soldiers can be ceased. Additionally, f the UN can resolve these controversies; the endless use of child soldiers may no longer be needed.
In conclusion, the United Nations should continue to intervene in the crisis concerning the use of child soldiers through the maintenance of development, advancement of human rights, and assurance of international peace and security. It is the UN’s responsibility to resolve this matter on the use of child soldiers. The goal of this UN intervention plan is to prevent the use of children in armed conflicts and ultimately stop it once and for all. It relates to major goal of the UN because it is their responsibility to promote and work to achieve world peace by assisting nations in need of aid. People should care about this global crisis because it has been one of the longest running conflicts on the continent and very little has been done to abolish it.
Central Intelligence Agency. 2 Feb. 2010. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.
Gettleman, Jeffery. New York Times (The Perfect Weapon for the Meanest Wars). 29 April. 2007. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.
O’Neill, Ann. CNN (Stolen Kids Turned into Terrifying Killers). 12 Feb. 2007. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.
United Nations. n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.