Most Americans probably do not realize that everyday young children are forcibly recruited into armed military groups and forced to fight in deadly combat situations. War is an everyday reality for much of the world, and therefore, the demand for child soldiers continues to increase with each new or ongoing conflict. Research has revealed several factors which make a child more vulnerable to becoming a child soldier, the primary factor being that many adolescents see few, if any alternatives to "volunteering" for the army. Economic, social, community and family structures are frequently destroyed as a result of armed conflict, leaving many adolescents with a desire to avenge the killing of family members and the destruction of their community. Poverty, lack of access to education, and the absence work opportunities are important factors as well. When coupled with the desire for power, status, and social recognition, as well as family and peer pressure, the "choice" to become a child soldier seems a bit more understandable.
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