Child Soldiers

Caught up in the Conflict:
International Student Video Conference on February 12/2013.

Read “We Got Trouble” by Invisible Children (Miss Mann has copies of this for you.)

Photo is taken from the Washington Post and is meant to serve as a basis for a lesson within class and does not, as is, reflect any specific ideas in this setting.

Photo is taken from the Washington Post and is meant to serve as a basis for a lesson within class and does not, as is, reflect any specific ideas in this setting.

Work through Child Soldier Booklets…
Students- read articles

********HOMEWORK for the Weekend:
(You may have seen this before… now I want you to look at it with a different lens.)
Please watch the following video and complete questions.

QUESTIONS for homework: (Feb 8-10)
(Please watch the KONY 2012 video (if you have seen it already- watch it again).
(Please answer the following questions on your binder and bring to class COMPLETED on MONDAY!)
1. What is humanities greatest ‘desire’ according to Kony 2012?

2. The Kony 2012 ‘movement’/’experiment’ is driven to get YOU, youth today, involved in something. What are they encouraging YOU to do.

3. How did every single person in the world START? Did they have choice? Did you?
What does this really mean for all people of the world?

4. Who is Jacob? How did Mr. Russel and Jacob meet? Where did they meet?

5. Explain what is currently happening in Uganda. Who is Joseph Kony?
Who are the LRA?

6. What is the said ‘mission’ of the Kony 2012 campaign? List all that they want to accomplish?

7. What do you think is the problem with a campaign like this? Why did it fail?
List as many as you can think of! Think of everything you can.

8. Why do you think this campaign target YOU, youth today?
Together we will watch the following videos to compliment our Feb 12 video conference.

Child Soldiers
By Isabelle Balot

Awash in the sun of timeless Africa
The beat-king goes robbed in light
A murderous heat stirs in his thigh
As he crouches in the brush or bed of a creek.

In the fire of noon when all seems
When everything sleeps in the
saffron haze
This warrior lurks in the deep bush
A glint at play in his lambent eye.

A sudden surge, and a great, tawny
Flashes up and descends in a
fantastic bound
Strikes and crushes the prey to the
Kills in one blow of sovereign

I know of other kings under African
They, of all hope and royalty bereft,
Warriors without helmets, armor or
Go ragged and shoeless, in leathery

Nomads without pity at the road’s
-Fatality write in their dark eyes
As in crypt where shadows drift-
Come to sow death, grenade in

Behold the child soldier, the
murdered child,
Send in battalions into the sun-
scorched light
For diamonds, for ivory, black gold
or white!
Pencil in hand, he would sketch
only death.

Under stubborn brow and crown of
black hair
What memories cling from the days
of innocence
-that balm that pours from the
flask of infancy-
Form a thread too fine for a mind to

In combat, there’s nothing can
thwart his will;
This more than a child, this man not
Is a god and a king, an unripened
Who thinks he is immortal, lives
only to kill

When the combat is over, he sits in
ashes; With a rifle smeared with blood and
He tortures a golden or silvery
Idly crushes a salamander or scarab.

Sprawled on a cartirdge sack what
doe he see
Behind wide open eyes, the
sleeping warrior,
What does he hear when he dies
under fire,
In the mortar’s blast and the
buzzing of flies?

Drugged, drunk, stunned by the
Does he dream of lagoons and a glittering source,
Does his forehead feel a mother’s kiss
Through his final sleep, what images run?

Pardon, Lord, but when this
battered Africa
Wants top bind up its wounds and
begin to yearn
For peace that sinks deep through
its dark domain,
When the altars light up at the hour
of prayer,

When peace is promised and even
I see amidst glittering
In spite of myself, a lion-god of
Whose fierce pagan eyes laugh from the dark.

(by: Isabelle Balot (2000))

    1. Begin by asking students what actions the global community might take in order to reduce the forced recruitment of children. Chart student ideas on the board. Then refer back to the list made during lesson 1.
    1. Give students a copy of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child. In 1989, world leaders decided that children under 18 years of age often need special care that adults do not. The Convention is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate a full range of human rights such as civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights for children.

      The Convention is an international document negotiated by Member States at the United Nations. Every Member State of the United Nations has ratified (or adopted) the treaty except the United States and Somalia, who have only signed it.

      The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children’s rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.

      Madeline Albright, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, signed the Convention in 1995. However, the United States Constitution requires that such documents receive a two-thirds approval by the Senate to be adopted. There are some articles in the Convention that the US Senate has yet to come to an agreement on.

    1. Ask Students:
      What is the difference between ratifying and signing a treaty?
      Why do you think the United States has not adopted the Convention?
      Answers can include:
      a. Signing does not create a binding legal obligation but does demonstrate the State’s intent to examine the treaty domestically and consider ratifying it. Ratification signifies an agreement by the state to be legally bound by the terms of the treaty.

      b. Some US legislators feel that the provisions or certain articles of the Convention could interfere with the role of parents in their children’s lives.

  1. Ask students to identify and highlight which Articles of the Convention are being violated when children are used in armed conflict.

    Answers are:
    Articles 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38.

Have students explore what is being done by the following organizations to combat the use of children in armed conflict. Encourage them to find organizations that are not on this list.

Amnesty International – Child Soldiers

The Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative 


United Nations SRSG for Children in Armed Conflict 

After reviewing the work of IGOs and NGOs, students should have an idea of how these organizations function. They should be able to form their own student group to contribute to the global effort to stop the use of child soldiers. Have them come up with a name of their own organization. Then break them up into small groups (5 groups of 5) and have them come up with the following:

    1. Their group’s mandate and mission statement
    1. Programs (for short and long-term goals)
    1. Education and Outreach activities
    1. Identify other partners to collaborate (IGOs and NGOs they have learned about and others they may have found on their own)
  1. Come up with publicity campaign to inform the public about their organization
    Note: Teachers can decide to limit the number of activities based on class size.

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