Report - Their Fight, Our Future: Children and young people around the world share their view on children in armed forces

Date: 4th December 2018
Category: Armed conflict, Children in situations of exploitation, Protection from abuse or neglect
Author: World Vision UK


World Vision have published a new report which highlights the views and perspectives of children and young people about children in armed forces and groups.

World Vision carried out research with 61 children and young people contributed, aged between 13 and 22. These children were active members of World Vision Young Leaders Programme (Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), World Vision Peace Clubs (Kenya, West Nile Response Uganda, Central African Republic) and existing UK youth groups (British Youth Council and Restless Development).

The children and young people were invited to discuss the situation of children in armed groups by reflecting on four stories about children recruited as child soldiers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. The child participants shared their views on the four stories during focus group discussions and presented recommendations to the UK Government.

The research engaged child human rights defenders both directly and indirectly affected by conflict and aims to highlight the role children and people are playing in standing up for their own, and their peers rights. In his introduction to the report, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders states:

“We also need to give more platform for former child soldiers as mentioned by Kabila, aged 13, from the Central African Republic: “Former child soldiers are the best solution to sensitise other children to not join any more or not to be enlisted by the armed groups.” It is only together with children that we can truly build the futures they want. I would like to see more of this type of initiative to encourage, promote and engage children and young people as Human Rights Defenders. It is their future after all.”

Read the report here.