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Tasks: Child Soldiers


  1. What can you say about the number of child soldiers in the world today? Where do you find the majority of them?
  2. Give examples of reasons for joining military groups.
  3. Describe the tasks a child soldier may be given.
  4. Why is the situation unique for girls?
  5. What kind of challenges do children face after the conflict is over?
  6. What are DDR programs?
  7. Explain what has been done to help the children in conflict-torn countries.
  8. In your opinion, what do you think the long-term consequences may be for a country that has used child soldiers in a civil war?

Make a dialogue:

A UN volunteer has just returned home from working with rehabilitating child soldiers. A friend wants to know what the experience was like.

Sit in pairs and make a dialogue based on the keywords in the box below. Find as much information as you can from the text.

The United Nations, child soldiers, combat zone, suicide mission, surrogate family, government forces, DDR programs, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Match synonyms:

Step 1:

Match the words that mean the same thing.

Step 2:

Pick 10-15 nouns from the text and find synonyms for the words. Make a similar task like the one above, and test a partner on whether he / she can combine the words.


Watch this PBS News Hour video about how Uganda's former child soldiers try to heal from the scars of war, then do the task below.

Write a short text where you sum up the information in the film. Make sure the summary covers the six points below.

Compare your text with a partner's.

  • The violence that took place during the war in Uganda.
  • Ricky’s experience during the war, and his life after the war.
  • Challenges ex-child soldiers are facing after the war.
  • What the The Friends of Orphans school does to help the children
  • Ronald’s story
  • The situation for the area in general and its future prospects.


Write an essay based on one of the following tasks:

  1. Years of bloody war and a severe humanitarian crisis in Yemen have left the population in shambles. This has made it easy for both sides to exploit Yemeni children, and we know that at least 1000 children have been forced into battle. Find out more about the Yemeni civil war and how children have been used in active warfare.
  2. Important key words for the conflict in Liberia are the National Patriotic Front of Liberia and Charles Taylor. Find information about the conflict, Charles Taylor, and how child soldiers were used. Also find information about the situation in Liberia today.
  3. In March 2012, Thomas Lubanga was convicted by the International Criminal Court of recruiting and using child soldiers in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Find out more about the conviction, the conflict and the situation in DR Congo today.

See How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay.

Useful Websites

UNICEF website
Human Rights Watch website
Amnesty International website
Save the Children website
Human Rights Watch website: child soldiers
Dalhousie University website, child soldiers

Relatert innhold

According to the United Nations, there are about 280,000 children under the age of 18 serving in government forces or armed rebel groups.

CC BY-SASkrevet av Karin Søvik.
Sist faglig oppdatert 18.01.2018


Democracy and Human Rights