We have reached a point in history that is characterized by internal conflict and violence. Atrocities are committed on a daily basis against innocent civilians in alarmingly violent and cruel manners. At the same time, we are also witnessing a new era in international law and criminal responsibility. One can only hope that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can effectively punish those responsible for gross violations of human rights and thereby deter future would be criminals of this nature.
One of the most disturbing aspects of present day conflict is the use and abuse of children as soldiers in armed conflict. For many parts of the world, the future is extremely bleak when analysed in the context of the use of child soldiers. There are obvious and disturbing consequences for the future of a country that employs children as soldiers – a violent society, adults that face serious psychosocial trauma, the breakdown of families, even further spread of HIV and STDs, young adults that have no formal education or skills training, and unemployment. It is estimated that there are 300,000 child soldiers utilised in more than 30 countries worldwide either as combatants or as auxiliaries.  Approximately 120,000 of these child soldiers are found within Africa.