Children Deserve Better: Philadelphia Students Stand Against the Use of Child Soldiers

Three high school and university students in the Philadelphia area share what inspires them to be involved with the IHL Action Campaign.

Philadelphia area students learn about IHL.

Philadelphia area students learn about IHL.

The training and campaign about International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has changed my life. It has opened my eyes to an unknown world. I never knew that there were laws about the conduct of war; to be honest I didn’t know the first thing about war. I just knew that it was bloody and violent. When I learned about the restrictions on war through the simulation activities held during training, I was shocked. I didn’t expect learning about it, but I knew I couldn’t think about war the same way anymore. The thing that stood out the most to me was the part about child soldiers, which is why my friends and I chose it as our IHL Action Campaign topic. There were little kids, about the age of my baby cousins, fighting in a war. It was just scary to imagine what they were going through, and the scars the war was leaving on them for the rest of their lives. It made me angry that people could break IHL and some of them wouldn’t even get punished for it. I knew my anger couldn’t do anything, so I’m placing it towards this campaign. I want the public to see what I see, and to know what I know about the tragedies of war.

– Student in the Philadelphia area

The training and Action Campaign research involvement that IHL has provided me changed me for the better. Aside from gaining a great amount of knowledge about the many war regulations, the shocking issue of child soldiers has had a huge emotional impact upon me. Issues that IHL brings up are not situations or problems a regular person would have to think about each and every day. These issues are not normally stressed upon the average person. Although there is not much for people to contribute to these problems, a higher sense of awareness and support is always beneficial towards any cause. The training and research that I have completed thus far will change the way I see wars forever. 

– Student in the Philadelphia area

The IHL Action Campaign has provided me training and research that opened my eyes to serious issues in the world. The knowledge that IHL gave me has influenced me to want to help fight against the use of child soldiers and help stop war crimes. Before learning more from IHL, I wasn’t well aware about how serious torture and other acts against humanity were in war. Knowing that many people are protected by law from harsh wars makes me want to step up and uphold these laws. Even though there may not be a lot I can do to help, I can still help little by little so that one day the use of child soldiers will no longer be an issue. I not only want to help the outside world, I want to teach others about what IHL has taught me through activities and videos , so that awareness and knowledge of these serious issues can be noticed. IHL and this training made me want to help others in need.

– Student in the Philadelphia area

 

Philadelphia area students are inspired to change the world.

Philadelphia area students are inspired to change the world.

 

One response to “Children Deserve Better: Philadelphia Students Stand Against the Use of Child Soldiers

  1. I’m impressed by the passion of these young people and their ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings. Great job!

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