Kids in combat

U.S.-funded child soldiers
In the decade 1995-2005, 2 million child soldiers were killed and 6 million permanently disabled or injured in armed conflict, according to a United Nations report. Of the estimated 300,000 children (younger than 18) currently serving as soldiers in various parts of the world, some have joined voluntarily, out of economic desperation or for their own safety. Others have been forcibly recruited, trained and deployed by rebel forces. But many are conscripted and used in combat by recognized sovereign governments—at present the governments of nine countries, and eight of the nine receive military assistance from the United States. The eight: Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda.


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