Our writings section features stories addressing the issue of ChildSoldiers written by youth in Sierra Leone
Child Soldiers: The Solutions to the Problem
by Alpha Sesay, a student of the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown
Having highlighted the factors responsible for the involvement of children in armed conflicts, it is now necessary to address the solutions to the problem. In the first place, there is a need to highlight the role to be played by the parents. The parents have an important role to play in this. As the home is the first place of socialization for the child, the parents have a role of giving the child the best human culture possible. They must ensure that the child inculcates the best human culture possible. They have a responsibility of ensuring that the child is kept from the street as well as ensuring that they get a good childhood, devoid of maltreatment, abuse of rights etc. The parents have a role of setting the brightest example for their children so that a good representation will be made of the homes by the children.
The schools have a duty of ensuring that a good education is given to the child, reflective of the existing conditions in the society. This will include their duties as good citizens, civic education, peace building etc .The teachers also have a role of setting bright examples for their students. With this, the children can be good vehicles to educate the wider society.
The children also have to realize that the future belongs to them and that if they do not identify themselves as responsible members of society, their roles will never be appreciated.
The authorities i .e the government have a very important role to play in this .Government has a primary responsibility of taking care of it's citizens and this has to be done bearing in mind the rights of each person irrespective of status, sex etc. The child has a right to a good social life, good education and a right to shelter .Good facilities have to be put in place to ensure that the child becomes a responsible member of society .Basic education has to be free and compulsory for children. Rehabilitation homes have to be set up to cancel those already traumatized. The government must ensure that there is a violent free society for all. If these are put in place, children will make a better life.
The society around them needs to be a decent one. It therefore becomes the duty of all members of society to ensure that children are protected. Everybody should be his or her brother's keeper. We must all note that whatever happens to children affects the whole society. We must ensure that the rights of the children are highly protected. For those violating the rights of children, they must be brought to book. Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
These are a few solutions, more will be brought up later. If these ones are taken consideration of, then we'll have a better society.