The physical dangers to these children are obvious ~ one
child accidentally killed himself with a gun he had not been
trained to use properly ~ and there have been many reports of
child soldiers in Chad being sexually exploited and abused both
by soldiers in the armed forces and by rebel groups.
together with the emotional scars and hardening
of outlook during formative years perhaps creates the longest
lasting effect. The recruitment of child soldiers in Chad
became a necessity for both rebels and government forces simply to have
enough numbers to survive.
They served as guards, cooks and fighters
with many being used as lookouts on the front lines of the conflict.
Some were as young as just eight years old. Their numbers aren't known
in detail but are believed to have numbered thousands given that 413
were demobilised in one period of just two months. All had fought for
the Front Uni pour le Changement (United Front for Change, FUC)
which was particularly active in the north of Chad.
Although there have been some
improvements over recent years, according to a report published
by the United Nations in 2011 "The recruitment and use of
children by armed forces and other armed groups in Chad
video explores how UNICEF is helping with the demobilisation of
child soldiers in Chad and its attempts to reintegrate them back
into school and society.