Children and violence: An introductory, international and interdisciplinary approach
Children and violence: An introductory, international and interdisciplinary approach

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Children and violence: An introductory, international and interdisciplinary approach

4.3 Children and the armed forces

The dual role of children as both perpetrators and victims of violence becomes very clear when looking at child soldiers. Despite international treaties, thousands of children worldwide fight in armies and paramilitary forces. Article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that no child under the age of fifteen should fight; supplementary international treaties, such as the 1999 Maputo Declaration on Child Soldiers and the 2000 Optional Protocol to the UNCRC on children in armed conflict, state that children under eighteen should not be involved as combatants in armed conflict. However, in 1999 Amnesty International claimed that there were at least 300,000 children under eighteen actively involved in armed conflict in countries as diverse as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Burma (Amnesty International, 1999). The increase in smaller, lighter weapons has made it easier for children to go into combat and fight alongside adults. Many others are not actual combatants but are used to plant or clear mines, as reconnaissance, as bearers and suppliers to the front line or as general ancillary workers, cooking, cleaning, keeping guard or delivering food.

U212_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus