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Nowadays, an estimated 250.000 boys and girls under 18 take part actively in armed conflicts in 21 countries around the worlds.

A child soldier is any person under 18 who is a member of any armed force or movement, either regular or irregular, and in any condition. This definition includes those who directly participate in combats, place landmines or explosives, intelligence, cooking, porters and sexual slaves.

Child soldiers are a real, current problem in many countries around the world: a childhood linked directly to several armed groups or regular armys and which is exposed to serious violent situations.

The children who are implicated in the armed conflict are being abused, beated and constantly humiliated.

Child soldiers are extremely useful to the armed groups for the high level of loyalty they show to their group and for their absence of thoughts about the correctness of what they are doing. This is why they are extremely dangerous combat arms.

So far, the Protocol on the Rights of the Child Participating in Armed Conflicts has been approved by 142 countries.

For more information visit www.menoressoldados.org.

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