Why Children are Involved in Armed Conflicts?

  • Kai ChenEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


In this chapter, scenario studies are presented to explore three kinds of relationships between child soldiers and their recruiters, that is, victim–coercer relationship, patron–client relationship, and comradeship.


Recruitment quota Victim–coercer relationship Abduction Patron–client relationship Comradeship 


  1. Andvig JC, Gates S (2007) Recruiting children for armed conflict. Ford Institute for Human Security Working Papers. Accessed 21 May 2013
  2. Brett R, McCallin M, Barnen R (1998) Children: the invisible soldiers. Save the Children, Sweden, pp. 57–68Google Scholar
  3. Child Soldiers International (2012) Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers. Accessed 21 May 2013
  4. Denov MS (2010) Child soldiers Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dupuy KE, Peters K (2010) War and children: a reference handbook. Praeger Security International, Santa BarbaraGoogle Scholar
  6. Emmons K, UNICEF East Asia, Pacific Regional Office (2002) Adult wars, child soldiers: voices of children involved in armed conflict in the East Asia and Pacific region. UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  7. Gates S (2011) Why do children fight? Motivations and the mode of recruitment. In: Özerdem A, Podder S (eds) Child soldiers: from recruitment to reintegration. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Heppner K, Becker J (2002) My gun was as tall as me: child soldiers in Burma. Human Rights Watch, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Heppner K, Mathieson D, Human Rights W (2007) Sold to be soldiers: the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Burma. Human Rights Watch, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Horsey R (2011) Ending forced labour in Myanmar engaging a pariah regime. Oxon, Abingdon; Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (2008) Forgotten future: children affected by armed conflict in Burma. Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, Chiang MaiGoogle Scholar
  12. Images Asia (1996) No childhood at all: a report about child soldiers in Burma. Images Asia, Chiang MaiGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee A-J, University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre (2009) Understanding and addressing the phenomenon of “child soldiers”: the gap between the global humanitarian discourse and the local understandings and experiences of young people’s military recruitment. Refugee Studies Centre, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Matthews B (2006) Myanmar’s Human and Economic Crisis and Its Regional Implications, Southeast Asian Affairs, 2006(1):208–223Google Scholar
  15. Medeiros E (2007) Integrating mental health into post-conflict rehabilitation: the case of Sierra Leonean and Liberian `child soldiers. J Health Psychol 12(3):498–504. doi:10.1177/1359105307076236Google Scholar
  16. Rosen DM (2005) Armies of the young child soldiers in war and terrorism. Rutgers University Press, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  17. Schauer E, Elbert T (2010) The psychological impact of child soldiering. In: Martz E (ed) Trauma rehabilitation after war and conflict community and individual perspectives. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Singer PW (2006) The enablers of war: causal factors behind the child soldier phenomenon. The Brookings Institution. Accessed 21 May 2013
  19. Smith MF, Human Rights Watch (2012) Untold miseries: wartime abuses and forced displacement in Burma’s Kachin State. Human Rights Watch, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. South A, Perhult M, Carstensen N (2010) Conflict and survival: Self-protection in South-East Burma. Asia Programme Paper: ASP PP 2010/04. Chatham House. Accessed 21 May 2013
  21. Steinberg DI (2010) Burma/Myanmar: what everyone needs to know. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Stover E, University of California, B H R C, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Public Health & Human Research (2007) The gathering storm: infectious diseases and human rights in Burma. Human Rights Center, University of California/Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Berkeley/BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  23. Thawnghmung AM, East-West Center (2011) Beyond armed resistance: ethnonational politics in Burma (Myanmar). East-West Center, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  24. The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (2009) No more denial: children affected by armed conflict in Myanmar (Burma). Accessed 21 May 2013
  25. United Nations (1996) General on impact of armed conflict on children. A/51/306. Accessed 21 May 2013
  26. United Nations (2007) Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar. S/2007/666. Accessed 21 May 2013
  27. United Nations (2009) Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar. S/2009/278. Accessed 21 May 2013
  28. Wagnsson C, Hellman M, Holmberg A (2010) The centrality of non-traditional groups for security in the globalized era: the case of children. Int Polit Sociol 4(1):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ward MA (2004) Child soldiers and noncompliance of international human rights law. California State University, FullertonGoogle Scholar
  30. Wessells M (2005) Child soldiers, peace education, and postconflict reconstruction for peace. Theory into Practice 44(4):363–369. doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4404_10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yoma 3 News Service (2009) Child soldiers, Burma’s sons of sorrow. Yoma 3 News Service, ThailandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Center for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development Studies College of Public AdministrationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations