Terms You Should Know About Child Soldiers

Gun pile

Child Soldier:

Kids under 18 who in some way participate in an armed conflict. Even if the country is at peace, they are considered child soldiers if children are recruited to the country’s military or to militias that are not connected to the government.

DDR:

Stands for demobilization, disarmament and reintegration which are programs specifically aimed at child soldiers have been established in many countries, both during and after armed conflict and have assisted former child soldiers to acquire new skills and return to their communities.

Disarmament:

When a peace-making organization collects arms in a conflict zone to prevent them from being used and, at times, destroy them.

Demobilization:

The discharge of soldiers from the army or from non-governmental military organization in a controlled manner. When demobilizing children, demobilization aims to trace the children back to their families, determine their state of mental well-being, and to give the children an idea of what will proceed.

Reintegration:

Over time, this program tries to bring children back into the folds of society. The program tries to reunite children with their families or place them in foster care, provide education, and figure out ways to allow the children to be self-sufficient.

Sources:
The South African Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers