Do Child Soldiers Deserve Amnesty?
Child soldiers have been around for many years. These children are found in multiple different countries including Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, etc. According to the Borgen Project, child soldiers are drugged and forced into horrific crimes. Children are often targeted as soldiers because they are cheap and easy to manipulate. These children are usually targeted more in rural areas and this is because there is less education or job opportunities. Child soldiers deserve amnesty because they were kidnapped and drugged.
One way to illustrate this is by looking at the fact that many child soldiers usually don’t just join into a group of fighting and commit these crimes but Children are usually Kidnapped from their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. After these children are kidnapped they are also drugged which is affecting the choices these children make. So child soldiers should not be held responsible for these actions when they were under the influence of drugs that mess with the child's brain/decisions.
During his article author Edward Guthmann wrote, Child Soldiers have force-fed a mixture of cocaine and gunpowder that the commanders call ¨brown brown¨. In his article, the author also states how a boy named Beah was given these drugs and was transformed into a killing machine. According to another illustration, “Coercion and Intimidation of Child Soldiers to Participate in Violence” it says, ¨in some situations, commanders supply child soldiers with marijuana and opiates to make them, ¨brave¨ and lessen their fear in combat¨. These Articles are trying to tell people that child soldiers deserve amnesty because they are not just doing these crimes out of their own choice but they are making these decisions while being brainwashed and under the influence of drugs. Though child soldiers are being drugged before doing these crimes they are also being forced at gunpoint to commit them.
Child soldiers are drugged before they are forced into crimes but they are also forced to commit them. According to the site ¨hrw.org¨ it states that a former child soldier said, ¨it was not my wish to go fight, it was because they captured me and forced me.¨ This is showing that not all child soldiers are wanting to commit these crimes but it is just the fact that they don't want to die so they must do them to save themselves. Another article off of the website, ¨dw.com、 states how a young former soldier boy was forced to kill his younger sister. The boy said, "The commander pointed the barrel of his gun at me and said: 'Cut her and do it quickly!' I thought: 'Please let me die.' Then I heard the rapid-fire right over my head. That's the moment when my heart sank and I knew I was going to do it. I raised my arm to haul out, and my sister started to cry. And I started to cry as well and said: 'Please forgive me, Juli. I have to do this.' The commander tapped my shoulder once more. And I raised my arm and I drove the machete through my sister's neck.". This is a horrific story that shows how crucial the life of a child soldier can be. This is also showing how much pressure these children are under when they have to commit these crimes.
Child soldiers go through a lot of trauma every day but others may believe that child soldiers don't deserve amnesty. They feel this way because some child soldiers do more than just killing innocent people, they also go around terrorizing them. This includes demolishing buildings and brutally killing people. This is shown in the article “Armed and Underaged” when it says, “Its ranks are filled with boys brainwashed to burn down huts and pound newborn babies to death”. This article shows that these children are often taught to kill freely without thinking about their actions. It is because of this that many feel they should be punished, but if they looked at the whole situation, where these soldiers are put into they may think differently. Many child soldiers are forced to commit these crimes, for example, in the article “Coercion and Intimidation of Child Soldiers to Participate in Violence “ it says, ¨Many are pressed into combat, where they may be forced to the front lines or sent into minefields ahead of older troops. Children have also been used for suicide missions. In some conflicts, girls are raped, or given to military commanders as "wives." This quote shows that these children are not only used for killing but are also used as if they are just objects. These children face Traumatizing things every day and this will eventul]ally ess with their brain even more, which can lead to mental illness where these children give up and continue committing these crimes freely without force.
Most of the time, child soldiers are kidnapped and forced into crimes but sometimes they will join on their own and willingly kill innocent people and this is when a child soldier would need a punishment.
An example of this is shown in the article “Konys Killers' ' when it says, “Like many others, he had an opportunity to defect. But he didn’t surrender for all those years” This shows that some child soldiers will have their opportunities to have amnesty But some of these children won’t take it. This is where a child soldier should be charged with their crimes because this could mean that these children enjoy what they are doing and they don't want to stop terrorizing people. So child soldiers should not receive amnesty if they are continuing to do these crimes even if they are offered to walk away with no punishment.
Child soldiers deserve amnesty because they are kidnapped, drugged, and then forced into crimes. When these children are committing these crimes they are first given drugs by their commanders and not only does this mess with the child's brains but it also can affect the choices a child soldier makes. But Not only are these children under the influence of drugs while committing these crimes but they are also forced at gunpoint to commit them. This is showing how a child soldier doesn't make these decisions on their own but are brainwashed and forced into these traumatizing events. So child soldiers deserve amnesty because they aren't doing this on their own will and for those
Who doesn’t believe in delivering amnesty to these children should one day acknowledge how traumatizing every day can be for a child soldier.
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