Committee: 1st GA-DISEC
Topic Area: Strenghtning actions to end the recruitment of child soldiers
Delegate Name: Olga Doulgeridou
Even today in the 21st century one of the most notable phenomena is the recruitment of child soldiers .The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations declares that everyone has the right to life as well as security of person, showing that using children in conflict zones is a clear violation of their rights. Losing their life before entering adulthood or suffering from emotional traumas are some of the most dramatical consequences of child recruitment. Thus, this dreadful problem that plagues our modern ,democratic society must be tackled as effectively as possible, since it has a profoundly negative effect not only on children who serve as soldiers but on the whole country as well.
The recruitment of child soldiers is a practice that occurred in various nations throughout the centuries. One striking example is Ancient Sparta, where children especially boys endured harsh physical discipline and deprivation to become strong and skillful soldiers. As far as modern world is concerned, child soldiers are fighting in at least 14 countries some of which are: Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, India, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand and many others.
Hungary is a country which is most concerned about issues like humanity or respect of human rights, and has signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention of the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, on 11 March 2002. According to OPAC the conscription of children under the age of 18 and their participation in hostilities is prohibited. Therefore, Hungarian legislation complies with the provisions of the Convention and has ensured that no children under 18 years will be recruited into the Hungarian Defense Forces in peacetime or during the situation of an armed conflict (art.3, § 2). In our opinion this Treaty should be signed by all countries as it is driving the world towards banning the use of children in warfare.
It is undeniable that child recruitment has destructive consequences for the whole community. Firstly, an entire generation of young people is at risk of being lost, which, in its turn affects population growth. Furthermore, fighting in the front line can damage the children’s psychical and psychological well –being as it leads to missing out on precious moments of their childhood and education, which once lost, is gone forever.
We firmly believe that it is immoral for adults to use children in war, so certain steps must be implemented for this issue to be solved. First of all, campaigns must be launched through the media or in schools to raise public awareness of the issue of child recruitment and its repercussions. Moreover, professional counseling and psychological support must always be available to help child soldiers cope with their traumas. Lastly, schools should promote a culture where collaboration and respect are of primary importance, so as to overcome prejudice against other cultures and as a result avoid war.
All in all, recruitment of child soldiers is a problem faced by societies throughout the world and one which can be solved with the combined efforts of governments and organizations so as children live free from military exploitation and harm.