Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences

Year: 2007
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Page No. 85 - 91

The Phenomenon of `Child Labour` and Child `Soldiering` in Conflicts: The African Dilemma

Authors : Lanre Olu-Adeyemi and Bonnie Ayodele

Abstract: Child labor is a global phenomenon, especially in the developing countries of Africa and Asia. Children work for a variety of reasons, the most important being poverty and the induced pressure to make a living. However, an emergent culture of `child soldiering` has added a new dimension to the phenomenon of child labor in Africa. The problem is escalated by incessant fratricidal conflicts rampant in Africa and Asia. The dimension of these conflicts has exposed children to the theatre of war in which they have become not only spectators but also actors. Children are forcefully used as soldiers by governments and armed groups in many countries of the world, including Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East. While most child soldiers are aged between 15 and 18, many are recruited from the age of 10 and sometimes even younger. This paper conceives the phenomenon of `child soldier` as an aspect of child labor because of the hazardous nature and the psychological implications on the growth and development of a child. The study reveals that children are at risk of not only being exploited as laborers but also in danger during armed conflicts. It elucidates the absurdity of child soldiering and constitutes as abuse on the rights of a child. Finally, the study deploys data from essentially secondary source to demonstrate that today`s warfare in Africa, exploits, degrades and abuses children.

How to cite this article:

Lanre Olu-Adeyemi and Bonnie Ayodele , 2007. The Phenomenon of `Child Labour` and Child `Soldiering` in Conflicts: The African Dilemma. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 4: 85-91.

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