Good morning ladies and gentleman, youth from around the world, prestigious guests and esteemed politicians. I’m Laban Pulea and I represent youth from the rural mining community of Mount Isa in Western Queensland, Australia. Today I am here today to discuss the contentious issue of child soldiers and inform you of the implications this issue has for our modern society. Despite popular opinion, this issue is prevalent in our post-modern world and is far too widespread to ignore.
The contentious theme of child soldiers is represented as atrocious and an infringement of human rights in a diverse range of literary and non- literary texts such as the movie Blood Diamond, the poem Child Soldier Diary and the article Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers. These notions work to emphasize and further naturalise the fundamental ideologies concerning child soldiers in western society. When composing texts, authors are tremendously influenced by their socio-cultural context.
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Consequently , the prevailing attitudes, values and beliefs and the extent to which they accept or challenge these, undoubtedly influence the shaping of these depictions of this particular issue which in turn positions readers to adopt a dominant readings of the texts. Paragraph 1: When examining literary and non-literary texts, child soldiers are often portrayed as having their rights of childhood innocence stripped from them by abysmal and unethical rebel leaders.
The 2006 film Blood Diamond, directed by Edward Zwick, promotes this depiction and works to endorse western methodologies, beliefs and ideologies counter to the controversial issue of child soldiers in Africa. The film writers and directors position viewers to agree with dominant interpretations pertaining to child soldiers and their severe loss of innocence. (Play video of boy killing guy without knowing while blind folded) As seen in this extract, the loss of the child’s innocence is foregrounded and is further intensified by the reactions of the rebel leaders.
Furthermore, this example exacerbates assertions of guerrilla military leaders exploiting children and their rights to an innocent childhood for their own selfish political schemas simply stating, “It is for a good cause”. The aforementioned examples, which are privileged and mimicked in many similar texts, align with western mindsets on the theme of child soldiers. The relevance of these portrayals is as significant as the argument of this issue itself; subsequently, representing a violation of human rights and compelling us to question our humanity.
As a result, we see that these children are conscripted to become instruments of war, to kill and be killed; child soldiers are forced to give the same violent expression to towards their communities that the rebel adults give themselves. Need to put something else in here to tie up this point and link to next paragraph. Paragraph 2: This confrontational issue of child soldiers is characterized in western texts as unjust and an intrusion of human rights.
These concepts work to emphasize and further problematize the fundamental ideologies regarding child soldiers. The Prose a Child Soldier Diary, By Koko Latt commonly known as Mike, a former child soldier, utilises illustrative language which works to epitomise these western ideologies, opinions and creeds for the provocative issue of child soldiers. The author of the prose positions the viewers to feel melancholic towards the child’s right to an unsophisticated childhood and shocking loss of innocence.
The extract portrays a cruel loss of innocence and is foregrounded in stanza’s 12-15, “I want to play football, Rather than shooting people, I want to sleep in my Mum’s arms, Rather than killing people”. The example impairs allegations of paramilitary leaders manipulating children for their own egotistical agendas. The abovementioned epitomizes notions of child soldiers which are utilized and mirrored in many texts. The prose authenticates western beliefs and ideologies concerning the issue of child soldiers.
The relevance of these portrayals is crucial as the confrontational subject of child soldiers indeed does represent forfeiture to their virtue and denigrates our humanity. This is among the saddest sight these days seeing the image of hundreds of thousands of children kidnapped and lured into being child soldiers. (Sir Roger Moore) Paragraph 3: When examining literary and non-literary texts, child soldiers are often branded in western texts as intolerant and an invasion of human rights. These perceptions work to highlight and further problematize the prevailing ideologies regarding child soldiers.
The Article Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers, By Ann O’Neill CNN, further depersonalises these child soldiers by telling us that there very vulnerability makes them attractive to the men leading militias, manipulating them to do the unspeakable without question or protest, because their morals and value systems are not yet fully formed. This verifies western beliefs and ideologies relating to guerrilla military leaders exploiting children and their rights to an innocent childhood for their own self-centred political agendas.
In additional, some children are kidnapped from their schools or their beds, some are recruited after seeing their parents slaughtered, and some may even choose to join the militias as their best hope for survival in war-torn countries. Once recruited, many are brainwashed, trained, given drugs and then sent into battle with orders to kill. The relevance of these depictions are crucial as the confrontational subject of child soldiers indeed does represent a breach of their human rights and degrades our humanity. As westerners we cannot begin to comprehend the psychological and physical pain child soldier’s face each day.