Child soldiers have been used in war for many many years. Children were drummer boys during my of the early 'modern' wars. Hitler had youth camps to train his country to be an effective fighting force.
In Africa what the boys have to do is so much worse. This is what international law proclaims "The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 38, (1989) proclaimed: "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." However, people who are over the age of 15 but still remain under the age of 18 are still voluntarily able to take part in combat as soldiers." This code was definitely not followed in Africa. Children that are not given guns and told to go kill people have other jobs which are just as bad. Here are some of the jobs, runners or scouts, porters, sex slaves, cooks or spies. Even though there are laws that protect these children they are not followed. These militant groups use children because they are easier to mould into fighters and are more expendable. Finding more children is easier than finding adults. Children will also not flee like adults will.
-More than 500,000 children under-18 have been recruited into state and non-state armed groups in over 85 countries worldwide
-At any one time, more than 300,000 of these children are actively fighting as soldiers with government armed forces or armed opposition groups worldwide
-Most child soldiers are between the ages of 15 and 18 years, but some are as young as seven.
Current requirement for troops in sierra Leone
Military service age and obligation:
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
17 years 6 months of age for male and female voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2009)