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child soldiers in words and pictures

Child Soldiers in Words and Pictures

Jeremy Aldrich

Global Citizenship

Quotes from

central africa
"I feel so bad about the things that I did. I still dream about the boy from my village that I killed. I see him in my dreams, and he is talking to me, saying I killed him for nothing, and I am crying." - A 16-year-old girlCentral Africa
democratic rep of congo
Democratic Rep. of Congo

"When they came to my village, they asked my older brother whether he was ready to join the militia. He was just 17 and he said no; they shot him in the head. Then they asked me if I was ready to sign, so what could I do - I didn't want to die." - 13 year old soldier

democratic rep of congo5
Democratic Rep. of Congo

"They gave me a uniform and told me that now I was in the army. They even gave me a new name: 'Pisco' They said that they would come back and kill my parents if I didn't do as they said." - 17 year old


“He was 14 when he first held a gun in his hands. He said he loves to go to school but for the poverty of his family he has to lift a gun. Now he is earning enough money with the help of the gun for himself and send money for his family also." - 16 year old boy


“They give you a gun and you have to kill the best friend you have. They do it to see if they can trust you. If you don't kill him, your friend will be ordered to kill you. I had to do it because otherwise I would have been killed.” - boy who joined at age 7


“I joined the Mahdi army to fight the Americans. Last night I fired a rocket-propelled grenade against a tank" - 12 year old boy


“On a nightly basis we were raped. The men and youths would come into our dormitory in the dark, and they would just rape us. If we cried afterwards, we were beaten with hosepipes. The youngest girl in our group was aged 11 and she was raped repeatedly." - 19 year old girl


“They explained to us that all five brothers couldn’t serve in the LRA because we would not perform well. So they tied up my two younger brothers and invited us to watch. Then they beat them with sticks until two of them died. They told us it would give us strength to fight. My youngest brother was nine years old.” - 13 year old boy

definition of child soldier
Definition of Child Soldier

Any child - boy or girl - under 18 years of age, who is part of any kind of armed group in any capacity, including, but not limited to: cooks, porters, messengers, and anyone accompanying such groups other than family members. It includes girls and boys recruited for sexual purposes and/or forced marriage. The definition does not only refer to a child who is carrying, or has carried weapons.