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An Eye-Opening Experience

Students share their thoughts about the International Humanitarian Law Action Campaign they spearheaded to raise awareness on the topic of child soldiers.

This campaign has changed my view on the world and war dramatically. It has opened my eyes to the hardships and struggles people all over the world face, especially soldiers. Adult and child soldiers alike face unbelievable dangers in the heat of battle, and must make hard choices in the midst. Adult soldiers must be prepared to use lethal force on child soldiers, and child soldiers must be prepared to kill or be killed. I experienced a series of simulations that were intended to show the lives of regular soldiers and child soldiers. During my time as a simulated child soldier, I was shown the grim reality of how children are kidnapped and forced into wars. They are taken from their homes in the dead of night and told that if they don’t fight, their families will be punished and most of the time killed. During my time as a simulated adult soldier, I was faced with the difficult decision of using lethal force on a child soldier. I learned that in war there are rules. You cannot shoot a child if he/she is carrying a weapon unless fired upon first. If the rules are not followed, you can face a trial by the international court. My experience with this campaign has been extraordinary. I have learned a lot about the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the rules of war. Unlike popular belief, war is not just chaotic shooting. It is disciplined and has specific rules that are reinforced by countries all over the globe. This IHL campaign has bettered my decisions and hopefully in the future, I will become a better person because of it.

          Dinet, Team Member

I can say that this IHL Action Campaign has enhanced my understanding of life and war. I have begun to notice how breaking news sessions and notifications are sent out as soon as a celebrity gets in trouble, but the same can’t be said about other important social issues. Why is there no news of the heroic soldiers that fight for our country every day? Why doesn’t the child carrying the gun make news as fast as a new song does? There are many more important aspects of life than just popular culture, and we as a nation and global society have yet to realize it. This campaign has opened my eyes and showed me where the real values lie in life. This campaign has changed my life, and I encourage all of my friends to participate in it. IHL has definitely allowed me to mature as a student and has taught me the right ways.

         Hannah, Team Member

The team completed a succesful campaign!

The team completed a succesful campaign!

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