(CNN) — Warlords are forcing children in conflicts around the world to become killing machines — nothing more than what one child advocate calls “cannon fodder.”
Some children are kidnapped from their schools or their beds, some are recruited after seeing their parents slaughtered, some may even choose to join the militias as their best hope for survival in war-torn countries from Colombia, and across Africa and the Middle East, to south Asia.
Once recruited, many are brainwashed, trained, given drugs and then sent into battle with orders to kill.
There is no escape for what the United Nations and human rights groups estimate are 250,000 child soldiers today. These children, some as young as 8, become fighters, sex slaves, spies and even human shields.
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