FACING CHILD SOLDIERS, MORAL ISSUES, AND “REAL SOLDIERING”: ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PROFESSIONAL ARMED FORCES*

  • Eyal Ben-Ari

Abstract

In today’s world, adolescents and children sometimes act as combatants whodirectly participate in hostilities. Yet more often they are deployed as auxiliaries (forexample, as lookouts or messengers) or in various support roles (as gardening, roadmaintenance, delivery of food, cleaning, cooking, conveying goods and providingsexual services) (Boothby and Knudsen 2000). Finally, under certain circumstances,adolescents and children may be used as human shields or for propaganda purposesby government or opposition forces (Boyden and De Berry 2004:xii; United Nations2002:13). Since the late 1970s, a number of international conventions have beenpromulgated to limit the use of these young people, but children continue to bedeployed in parts of the world and overwhelmingly in sub-Saharan Africa. Estimatesas to their numbers vary. Human Rights Watch (2007), a human rights lobby,estimates that there are between 200 000 and 300 000 such youngsters in armedconflicts in over twenty countries.
Published
2011-08-08
How to Cite
Ben-Ari, E. (2011). FACING CHILD SOLDIERS, MORAL ISSUES, AND “REAL SOLDIERING”: ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PROFESSIONAL ARMED FORCES*. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.5787/37-1-57
Section
Articles