n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - What we sow, so shall we reap : editorial

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



The world is not at peace - newspaper reports on a recurrent basis speak of international warfare, civil unrest and internecine conflict in many countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa. When one considers the various wars and the concomitant human rights atrocities and abuses that characterise most of these activities, one is quick to identify women, children and the elderly as being especially vulnerable victims, females as victims of sexual violence, and refugees and people being displaced as deserving of special aid and assistance. However, one rarely, in this collage of crimes, pays notice to one of the worst human rights abuses of some wars - the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers. Yet, the use of child soldiers is a fact and constitutes an abuse of a myriad of the most fundamental rights - the rights to life; safety, protection and security; health; education and general well-being - all of which have been repeatedly acknowledged as deserving of the utmost protection. Most child soldiers suffer all kinds of physical and psychological abuses, with girl soldiers being especially vulnerable to the additional humiliation of sexual violations. Nonetheless, they remain very often the silent victims of the war.

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