Latest report indicate that the number of child soldiers recruited by more that 12 warlords in South Sudan since December 2013 has reached 16.000.
According to a recent report, the child soldiers are grabbed from their villages and forced into fighting.
This, of course, is in negation of their basic rights as children, and also in contravention of global human rights charters.
Children are supposed to enjoy the benefits that accrue from community compassion and these include love, care and recognition of their rights, among other attributes.
Indeed, children are supposed go to school, access healthcare and grow up in a fairly familiar set, with both parents offering guidance about societal norms and values.
But this is not to be in most of the war ravaged areas, mostly in Africa; they instead provide labour as combatants or as sex slaves.
Reports indicate there are an estimated 250.000 child soldiers in the world today, with 40 per cent of these girls, some of who are just used as sex objects by the commanders.
The resultant effect is teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood and, the contracting of deadly diseases like HIV/Aids, gonorrhea and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).
Inevitably then, there is need to reverse this pitiable development by putting the warlords to task to compel them release these children and allow them to be re-integrated in the communities.
Also, measures should be put in place by governments that face the problem of child soldiers among their rank and file to discharge them and also provide the necessary psycho-social facilities that allow for an orderly re-integration into society.
It is through such ‘small’ efforts that our children will stop being ‘cannon fodder’ for belligerent opponents.