Isis ClarkeDecember 4, 2017Child soldiering More than 300,000 victimized children are recruited into 36 armies around the world. Child soldiers are children under the age of 18 forced to fight in government forces. Many child soldiers are children who are poor, separated from families, abducted or kidnapped, born in the forces or lack education. Being that children can be easily manipulated and emotionally vulnerable shows how they are not mature enough to fight in the war. The advancement of weapons and technology increases the use of children in these armies. Even though many children are legally recruited, many are also kidnapped, forced to participated in the army, and forced to take on life-long diseases and memories (Facts about Child Soldering). “Children are considered an economically efficient alternative to adult combatants. They are easily indoctrinated and are efficient fighters because they have not yet developed a concept of death” expresses that children are less to understand the idea of death and won’t have much of a memory of the traumatic situation. Children 5-12 may not remember most events but they may put it in the wrong order or assume that another traumatic situation may happen. They often believe if they pay close attention, they can avoid trauma. 5-12 year olds may also show their trauma in play and reenact it. It is estimated that somewhere around 40% of all child soldiers universally are active on the continent of Africa (Understanding the Recruitment of Child Soldiers in Africa).WeaponsIn past wars children were not allowed to be the frontline fighters because they were not strong enough to hold the weapons. The most they could carry would be swords or machete. In most cases, children could use AK-47s because they could be stripped far down for a 10 year old to use. Using these AK-47s were cheaper and more available, also having few moving parts made it very durable and easy to use during wars. Smla arms are now used because the children can carry them easily and they are easily replaced because the price is cheaper than a bigger weapon. One specific gun used a lot in the army is called the, Micro Uzi. This small weapon can fire up to 1,250 rounds per minute which is 20 rounds per second. Because of strong, fast and sometime larger weapons, there have been an estimation of 500,000 deaths each year, which is about 1 death per minute (Children as soldiers).Impact on Children In recent studies researchers found that children that were previously in the war were less depressed, and more confident and also children who were able to stay in school had positive attitudes and better behavior. In the second study in Uganda, children who adapted the best in the war were the ones who picked the most violent houses and communities to live in. The same children also had fewer feelings of guilt, less reason to seek revenge, better socioeconomic situations, and more grasped spiritual support. Some children that were soldiers may have also been raped, resulting in high hostility and anxiety. This suggests that war trauma is highly toxic to children’s psychological and social alteration. This study also found that children who were abducted at younger ages were more likely to report symptoms of depression over time than those who were older. Studies also show that almost 90 percent of the child soldiers continued to be uncovered to violence once they returned home. This includes caning, burning, being locked up, and being raped. And two thirds of them suffered from significant mental health problems. Researchers discovered it was the qualities of the child and the home environments where they returned. Including less exposure to domestic and community violence, better family class situations, less motivation to seek revenge, and more perceived spiritual support. (Studies explore effects of war on former child soldiers)Children are very dependent on the care, empathy, and attention of adults who love them. Children’s attachments are often disrupted in times of war, due to the loss of parents, extreme concentration of parents in protecting and finding maintenance for the family, and emotional unavailability of depressed or distracted parents. The child may be in substitute care with someone who cares for him or her only slightly. This can sometimes be relatives or even an orphanage. A certain proportion of war-affected children lose all adult protection. Children who lose the opportunity for education during war, children who are forced to move into refugee or displaced person camps, where they wait for years in miserable circumstances for normal life to resume, are very well affected by the war and this affects their later years in life. Consider a child disabled in war; they may, in addition to loss of a limb, sight, or cognitive capacity, lose the opportunity of schooling and of a social life. A girl who is raped may be sidelined by her society and losing the opportunity to marry. Children also suffer a range of many war injuries. Certain weapons affect them particularly such as a landmine explosion. A landmine explosion is more likely to kill or seriously injure a child than an adult. Children who survive landmine blasts rarely receive implants that are able to keep up with the continued growth of their limbs. Millions of children are disabled by war, many of whom have heavily lack of access to rehabilitation services. A child may have to wait up to 10 years before having a prosthetic limb fitted. Conditions for maintenance of child health deteriorate in war. Such as nutrition, water safety, sanitation, housing, access to health services. There may be loss of immunity to the disease lines with population movement. Refugee children are particularly sensitive to the deadly combination of malnutrition and infectious illness. There is also a cutoff of population immunization programs by war which may be responsible for increases in child destruction. Rape often occur in situations of war. Ethnic cleansing, and refugee life leave lasting physical impacts in sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, psychological impacts and changes in life range. Children are exposed to situations of terror and horror during war. These experiences may leave permanent impacts in posttraumatic stress disorder. Harsh losses and disruptions in their lives lead to high rates of depression and anxiety in war-affected children. These impacts may be extended by exposures to further disadvantages and violence in refugee situations. They may have to change their moral structure by lying, stealing, and selling sex to survive. They may have their moral structure forcibly demolished and replaced in training to kill as part of a military force. Children lose their community and its culture during war, sometimes having it transformed in refugee or dissolution situations. It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of young people under 18 serving in forces in about 60 countries. (Joanna Santa Barbara)Post Traumatic Stress DisorderAccording to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), a PTSD diagnosis is blocked to individuals who have experienced or witnessed at least one traumatic event in their life, an aggravation that involved actual or threatened death, serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or other, and the subjective impression of intense fear, helplessness, and/or horror. Traumatic events can be man-made or caused by phenomenons. After repeated exposure to traumatic inconveniences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most likely deranged condition that emerges among a range of possible trauma-spectrum disorders including depression, suicidality, and substance abuse. Second World War veterans or political prisoners, found that PTSD has a high long- term stability, up to 40 years after the trauma. Presently, we know that the suffering felt by survivors of violence will last a few months, but a countless number of severely traumatized individuals, especially those who have gone through cumulative traumatic events, could suffer for the rest of their lives. Some research suggests that a demanding mass of survivors never recover from PTSD, but this can be much higher after exposure to extreme, multiple, or knowingly inflicted psychological trauma. Child soldiering can result in much higher rates of PTSD, some report rate up to 90% of survivors being affected. A study found that the more violence children had been forced to commit against others, the more PTSD symptoms could be conventional (Elisabeth Schauer and Thomas Elbert). Drug Abuse. Standardized drug taking is reported among West African-based militia movements. Some consider delusive drug absorption a critical factor that has contributed to the numbing of boy soldiers during their delayed exposure to violent aggression and to prepare them for combat. In Sierra Leone most fighters use drugs in plenty: crack cocaine, smoked heroin, ephedrine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, etc. Drug abuse may also develop as a means of coping with PTSD. Researchers say that substance abuse can be seen as a way to escape the emotional difficulty associated with extreme shortage and unemployment. Also being an attempt to cope with trauma-related symptom it’s a form of self-medication. In several instances with Somali combatants, researchers found that those with PTSD used more drugs to ‘self- medicate,’ especially those who indicated that drug use helped them forget stressful war experiences. The main drug used in Somalia are leaves of the khat shrub that contain the amphetamine-like cathinone. In these studies, it was clear that PTSD leads to higher khat intake and this leads to a higher risk for the development of psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia. It was observed that 12 years after the end of the war and 6 years after the last war, 16% of the ex-combatants were severely damaged by multiple psychological suffering, mostly severe psychotic disorders combined with drug abuse, trauma-related disorders, and emotional problems. In most cases, uncontrollable behavior, like aggressive outbreaks, was directed to the situation that helpless family members had chained them for years to concrete blocks or trees in the backyard of their compounds or that they had ended up in prison (Elisabeth Schauer and Thomas Elbert). With almost 80% of the fighting forces organized with child soldiers, the dominant form of violent conflict has emerged only over the last few decades. Child soldiers are children under the age of 18 forced to fight in government forces. Many child soldiers are children whose families are not in high social classes or have any type of education. For centuries children have been involved in military campaigns. Even though many children are legally recruited, many are also kidnapped, forced to participated in the army, and forced to take on life-long diseases and memories.