Kindergarten Killers: Morality, Murder and the Child Soldier Problem

Citation:

Faulkner, Frank. 2001. “Kindergarten Killers: Morality, Murder and the Child Soldier Problem.” Third World Quarterly 22 (4): 491–504.

Author: Frank Faulkner

Abstract:

The argument advanced refers to the problem of children serving as soldiers in various military or quasi-military groups around the world. It looks to international law for guidelines on how this situation might be brought to an end, examining legislation currently in force, and also why enforcement has proved to be problematical. Given the apparent inadequacies of legal instruments to prevent this type of issue occurring, this article takes a closer examination of the conditions that create underage combatants, together with analysis of the effects this has on the young people involved. In support of these observations, the text offers a real world look at the problem in Sierra Leone, a country that has suffered years of divisive internecine warfare featuring the extensive use of children in combat roles. In a postwar situation, the study includes analysis of the difficulties of rehabilitating Sierra Leonian children traumatised by combat experiences, which reflects on the larger dilemma of national reconciliation and peace building.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2001

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