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Abstract

Children are employed as effective tools of war across the globe. As war has almost ceased to be a viable means of national conflict, modern conflicts usually involve poorly equipped, "criminal" forces that benefit greatly from the use of children in combat. Current international assistance programs to curb the use child soldiers focus on direct interventions in conflict areas to reduce poverty - a primary driver of voluntary child enlistment - and to bring the leaders of such "criminal" organizations to justice. However, many of the resources committed to alleviating the burdens of conflict are often appropriated by combatants and their respective organizations, bolstering their efforts. The moral insult of child soldiering attracts increased western interest and resources; often the additional aid resources committed become a motivation for continued conflict.

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