Inside Story

What happens to child soldiers when war ends?

Thousands of children struggle to adjust back into society after being recruited for armed conflicts.

Fifty countries allow children to be employed as soldiers, and that is not counting non-state armed groups who also use them.

It is against international law, but the practice is ongoing from Afghanistan to Yemen. Tens of thousands of children around the world are given guns to fight.

But what happens when conflicts end and the child soldiers have to go home? What horrors have they seen and suffered, and how do they reintegrate into society?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Theresa Betancourt: Associate Professor of Child Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

Finbarr O’Reilly: Former Reuters Correspondent in West and Central Africa.

Ishmeal Alfred Charles: Former child soldier, now working with Caritas, and Healey International Relief Foundation.