What is behind the rising number of child soldiers?

Monday marks the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. It is a problem that shows no sign of ending, in fact many rights groups and the UN say it’s getting worse.

There are tens of thousands of children around the world putting their lives at risk. And the global effort to fight this, doesn’t have the money it needs.

In 2015, less than one percent of the estimated $174 billion dollars of international aid was spent on this issue.

But it’s not all gloom and doom; there has been some progress.

At least 5,000 child soldiers were released and integrated into society last year in places like Democratic Republic of Congo.

And 167 countries have now ratified the international treaty which bans the conscription of children under the age of 18.

But the UN has highlighted 14 countries where the problem is still a concern including Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and Iraq.

So, what should be done to stop the recruitment of children into conflict?

Presenter: Mohamed Jamjoom.


Ishmael Alfred Charles – Former child soldier who now works as a Program Manager at Healey International Relief Foundation.

Rachel Taylor – Director of Programmes at the UK based NGO, Child Soldiers International.

Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, Spokesman for the South Sudanese army.

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