Rwanda and Child Soldering Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3101 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Children

The Rwandan Armed Forces are still recruiting the Rwandan children. According to a source there are about 14,000 to 18,000 children between the ages of 7 and 14 years which are recruited each year in the armed forces. This claim was called "ridiculous" by Rwandan representatives at the African Conference conducted on the utilization of Children as Soldiers. It is a known fact that children are a part of the Local Defense Units that have been operating throughout the country. Local civilians are known to be a part of these volunteer forces and it is believed that they are given very brief training, provided with fire arms and it is even said that at times they are hired forcefully (Straus, 2006).

Continuous reinforcements were sent to DRC by the RPA a little over a decade ago. These reinforcements included the children who have been recruited forcibly as well as the volunteers. Among these children were the citizens of DRC and Rwandan who were kidnapped or press-ganged by Congolese and Rwandan forces. These children were mostly trained by the armed forces of Rwandan. In the beginning of the 21st century the Human Rights Watch found that Congolese RDC-Goma and RPA had abducted young men and children from their homes, roadsides and markets in the Eastern DRC. The same month in which this incident took place the recruitment of children was denied by Head of the Foreign Affairs Department in RCD-Goma and further said that the instructions have been given to the RCD-Goma commanders to not recruit children (Straus, 2006).

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Incidents of the abductions of females were also seen in the villages that were raided by RPA and Ugandan troops (Straus, 2006).

Local and International Pressure

Recruitment and Exploitation of Children

No declarations have been made by the militias and armed opposition groups regarding the non-recruitment of children. Determining the number of children present in the armed groups is not very easy (Fujii, 2008).

Research Paper on Rwanda and Child Soldering There Assignment

Although some of the children who are fighting in the government were forcibly recruited but there are also those who joined the forces voluntary for a number of reasons such as lack of financial support or family. These children are 11-14 years old. On their recruitments, they are initially used as cooks, porters or spies. They become functioning soldiers when they have been given some brief training. It is thought that the exiled Rwandan Interahamwe Hutu militia is also associated with the armed groups present in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was discovered that the Kenyan street boys were being recruited with the help of the Kenyan agents. It is being said by the sources that for every 150 street boys delivered to the agents or armed groups, $500 is paid. Most of the times the children are lured in by making them promises of good jobs, money and good living conditions in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda (Fujii, 2008).

Current Developments

Demobilization and Release of Children

In the late 20th century a commitment was made by Rwandan government to commit itself to demobilizing the child soldiers. Later on it was reported by Rwandan Ministry for Social Affairs that from among the 2,922 kadogos who were demobilized, 902 were sent to the kadogo school where they not only received primary education but also psychological support and professional training, 820 of these children were sent to different secondary schools throughout the country 1,200 were able to get back to their relatives and families. It was also reported that there were some children who asked to join the army again as, they were refused by the secondary schools. Their applications were proposed to be reviewed by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Social Integration (Fujii, 2008).

It was repeated by the government on the Use of Child Soldiers at the African Conference which took place at the end of the 20th century that there are thousands of child soldiers that have been returned to the society and that now the state aims to provide these youngsters with vocational skills in order to reintegrate them. It was later on reported by the authorities that in collaboration with the UNICEF assistance have been provided to 2,000 child soldiers by the government. A lot of these children had been reunited together with their families and were able to go to schools. UNICEF has established 2 re-education centers in Rwanda. The first re-education center located at Gitagata was attended by 600 children in the 1st year (Fujii, 2008).

Laws against Child Soldiers

Even though the government has kept on making promises of releasing the minors who are in the holding as suspects of genocides, it was estimated at the end of the 20th century that around 2,893 were still in the detention centers of Rwandan. From among these 197 were sent to Gitagata re-education center which is a venture for the boys who are below the age of 14 years. It was also observed that some arrests of the minors that were made on the issues regarding genocides were quite illogical, there were also some who were arrested because of the alleged actions done by the their relatives. There has been a lot of ill-treatment subjected at the children who are present in the local detention centers (Diamond, 2005).

Problems with rehabilitation of Child Solders in Rwanda

In Rwanda a lot of problems have to be faced by a child soldier who makes an effort to enter back into the society. It is required by these children to first get themselves into the rehabilitation centers and stay there for a long period of time in which they are given medical as well as psychological attention. Many of these children have wounds from getting shots and some are even injured very badly. Many of these children are very sick and undernourished when they get back from the rebel or government groups in Rwanda. Some of the very common diseases that are present in Rwanda and are at times contracted by these children are gastro-enteritis, malaria, breathing disorders and tuberculosis (Diamond, 2005).

Most of the times the girls that come back have some sort of venereal diseases and some of them even have AIDS. Some get pregnant or have babies which they can't afford to keep. A lot of the children who come back from Rwanda require some form of psychological or trauma therapy in order to live a relatively normal life. After spending the required amount of time in the rehabilitation centers the children have to go back to their families but many of them get scared of the idea as, they fear that their abductors would come to get them again. Many times the children who manage to escape from the rebels are searched for by them and in trying to find them a lot of the innocent people get killed (Diamond, 2005).


In this paper the issue of child soldiers has been discussed in various parts of Africa but mainly Rwanda. Recruiting child soldiers is an issue that is present mainly in the under-developed parts of the world and its huge percentage is present in Africa. Usually the age of these child soldiers in Africa is 15-18 years but children as young as 8-10 years of age can be found in the camps as well. These children are usually abducted and kidnapped. They are beaten and humiliated in order to make them fear their abductors and do as they are told. At times children join these groups voluntarily as well for the reasons of poverty, no family or finance. They are given fire arms and asked to shoot other kids and not feel sad about it. Girls are kidnapped by these rebel groups as well and are used for sexual purpose (De Brouwer and Anne-Marie, 2005).

Many efforts are being made especially on the international level to deal with this issue of child soldiers but it seems from the data that has been gathered and discussed in the paper that the government of Rwanda is involved in the recruiting of child soldiers either directly or indirectly (De Brouwer and Anne-Marie, 2005).


Kidnapping and abducting of young and innocent children to make them into killers is a very inhumane thing to do. Even though international organizations have been trying to take steps to make this problem go away but it seems that the government organizations aren't really dealing with the problem rather they have been busy in lying to the international organizations regarding the efforts being made by them in controlling the issue of child soldiering.

Another important issue discussed in the paper is regarding the rehabilitation given the children who are able to get out of the rebel camps. Better psychological and trauma care needs to be given to these children in order to help them in getting back to a normal life and more importantly security should be provided to them… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Rwanda and Child Soldering.  (2014, February 8).  Retrieved November 27, 2020, from

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"Rwanda and Child Soldering."  8 February 2014.  Web.  27 November 2020. <>.

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"Rwanda and Child Soldering."  February 8, 2014.  Accessed November 27, 2020.