On Tuesday of this week, experts and advocates gathered at the United Nations to discuss the impact of the availability and proliferation of small arms on the continuing use of child soldiers throughout the world. United Nations envoy on children and armed conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy stated the following: (From the UN News Center).
It is argued by many that it is the proliferation of small arms contributing to their ready availability in the period 1970-2000, which has led to the phenomenon of child soldiers as we know it today.
For USD 5 one can find a serviceable weapon in most countries in the developing world.
She added that it takes a child an average only 40 minutes to master an AK-47, one of the most common weapons used around the world.
Former child soldier and international phenomenon in the music world Emmanuel Jal was also at the conference, where he described his experiences fighting as a child in southern Sudan for five years before being rescued and escaping to Kenya.