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Publication Detail
CHL 2002-48: Philippines: Child Soldiers in Central and Western Mindanao: A Rapid Assessment

The study covers Maguindanao, Basilan and Cotabato provinces. It is an attempt to scratch the surface, so to speak, of the magnitude, causes and consequences of the participation of children and minors in armed conflict. It used a purposive survey of 85 child/minor respondents, key informant interview among influential NGO, government and academic personalities in three areas and focused group discussions among media practitioners, former NPA and MILF members and sympathizers. The earliest age of entry to being a child soldier is 11. A big number said that they “voluntarily” joined or made their own personal decision to join the armed group (40 percent) while 22.3 percent said they were invited to join by family members like parents, siblings and relatives. In terms of tasks, there is no difference in the child soldiers’ assignments and those of the adult members of the armed group. Among the consequences of child soldiering, 81 respondents said they do not get paid for their services as child soldiers. Some of the Abu Sayyaf Group members said they get paid in cash, but it is not a fixed amount, and the pay depends on the nature of their assignments. While some others said they do not get paid because they work on a “voluntary” basis, it is their contribution to the armed struggle against oppression and fulfills their obligation to do “jihad.” The author points out that no form of social interventions for the problems posed by the participation of children in armed conflict could succeed if some basic issues are not considered by government. She points out the issue as related to the prevention of the emergence of armed conflict, or to eliminating the circumstances or possible pathways to the participation of children as soldiers.

Collection of Studies from Other Institutions
Authors Keywords
Guiam, Rufa; child labor;
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