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The use of children as soldiers in armed conflicts has been universally condemned as abhorrent and unacceptable. Yet, over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in conflicts around the world. Children are frequently killed or injured during combat or while carrying out other tasks. They are forced to engage in hazardous activities, such as laying mines or explosives, as well as using weapons. Child soldiers are usually forced to live under harsh conditions with insufficient food and little or no access to healthcare. They are almost always treated brutally, subjected to beatings and humiliating treatment. Punishments for mistakes or desertion are often very severe. Girl soldiers are particularly at risk of rape, sexual harassment, and abuse. This book examines recent case law, developments, and actions being taken by the international community on behalf of these victims of wars.
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