At the very least, world-wide, tens of thousands of persons below the age of eighteen currently are associated with armed forces or armed groups. Adults who serve in such forces or groups, moreover, may have joined while younger than eighteen. In addition, the past decade has seen the demobilization of many tens of thousands more child soldiers. Although joyful, their return journey to civilian life also is bittersweet. They come back home to the communities where they initially had been recruited – at times, forcibly – and where, in some instances, they had committed terrible atrocities. While associated with armed forces or groups, many child recruits are subject to brutalities, beatings, and rape. Drug and alcohol abuse is common.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mark_drumbl/73/