Young reporters in the Democratic Republic of Congo are speaking out against the abusive recruitment of child soldiers.
Renewed hostilities in the east of the country over the last two years have seen high numbers of children recruited into armed forces, an abuse of child rights that has outraged young journalists.
A group named Young Reporters of Katanga Province is calling on the Congolese government, parents and community leaders to prevent the recruitment of children by armed groups and to assist the return of child soldiers to their families.
“These children have no rights and cannot flourish as every child should,” says the group. “Sooner or later, this will impact their psychological well-being and tomorrow's society will be affected.”
The majority of these children are abducted and forced to work as combatants, spies, messengers, cooks or sex slaves. Others are lured by the promise of money, education, jobs and other desperately needed benefits.