Blood Diamonds & Child Soldiers
Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of children under 18 have been affected by armed conflict. Girls and boys illegally and under force, participate in combat where often they are injured or killed. Others are used as spies, messengers, porters, & servants - they are called child soldiers. The problem is mostly in Africa, where children as young as 9 have been involved in armed conflicts. This problem exists in some Asian countries and in parts of Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Back in 1989-2003, Liberia engaged in a civil war. Liberia became a route for exporting diamonds to and from Sierra Leone illegally. A major civil war broke out in Liberia, a main area where diamonds are exported out of. As of 2008 there are 200,000 children used as soldiers to fighting a bloody civil war, that has been going on & spreading over a span of 25 years. Children ages 9-15 have been being used in combat. Their villages & towns are raided & shot up, their families killed, & children are brought into the war by warfare killers (a.k.a. rebels) & end up becoming brain-washed. Some of the lucky fathers or older brothers that are not killed, are used to search for “blood diamonds” and are helping finance this civil war and paying for weapons, and supplies.
Stopping blood diamonds will help stop child slavery, by cutting off illegal diamond trade & preventing the finance from the diamonds to continue the war. It will also help prevent any more war involving the rebels. The first step to helping this serious issue is to educate people on it and to spread the word. There is an accurate portrayal in a movie called “Blood Diamond”(starring Leonardo DiCaprio). It is set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1992-2002. It shows the country torn apart between government soldiers & rebels who abducted children, & forced them into war. It portrays many of the atrocities of that war, & a very similar thing going on in Africa today.
The second step to helping this issue is to donate money to World Food Program (WFP). Because of the war, people have been raided of their villages, & are living in camps, or homeless. WFP funds that by delivering food to save the lives of victims of war, & civil conflict.
Child soldiers are practically robbed of their childhood, & chances to have an education, or stable environment, & are exposed to terrible dangers, and mental & physical suffering due to the fact they are forced to fight & that they are recruited into armed forces.
Stopping blood diamonds will stop the civil war in Africa, & help children get a chance to grow up in a stable environment, with education & a family.