High School students from the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Chapter share their thoughts about the International Humanitarian Law Action Campaign they spearheaded to raise awareness on the topic of child soldiers.
I can say that I am one proud Team Leader. As the only Team Leader, I expected many more challenges throughout this IHL Action Campaign. However, I have a very supportive team that has helped me throughout the entire campaign. This project has not only changed my viewpoints on war, but also this project has allowed me to develop my leading and innovation skills. With many tasks at hand and a small amount of students to do the tasks, sharing responsibilities was an important factor in our campaign. After learning about International Humanitarian Law, I was shocked and came to realize that, yes, even WARS have limits.
Milton, Team Leader
Going into this project, I can honestly say I had never heard of International Humanitarian Law in my entire life. After several hours of training, not only did I learn what IHL was, but I also learned its importance in the world. With the world as globalized as it is today, basically no one is untouched by war. All around us we have friends and family joining the army, as well as friends and family who have ran away from war. After learning about International Humanitarian Law, I realized how important it is to inform others on a topic that is so crucial yet so neglected in schools. One of the topics that IHL covers is child soldiers. Our group focused on this topic because we thought about how children our age are fighting in wars, even when we can hardly imagine the horrors of wars. Through this campaign, I learned a lot about the topic overall, but I also learned about designing real life projects. In school we learn about persuasion and work ethic, but this campaign was the biggest real application that we have had so far. Effort, punctuality, cooperation and numerous other skills were stressed during this project. By being a part of this Campaign, I have learned a great deal about IHL, as well as life skills!
Janie, Team Member
As a high school student, life is very demanding. We live in blissful equilibrium between sleep and work and the constant social interjection. Our lives offer the hope of attending a good college or, even better, a future job. All of this is on a high school student’s radar, but one thing is always missed by people my age. We study world events and try to learn from the past, but scarcely examine the present. In this world of social media, important events shouldn’t be hard to miss; yet, very often we barely notice horrifying events across to world. Topics like IHL and child soldiers hardly ever come to mind when I look at what’s most viewed or talked about in the media. The aim of this IHL Action Campaign is to let people know what’s happening and develop empathy towards what has happened. Our lives are so interactive but, outside of our circle of people, the world is a blur. IHL exposes doctrines that I knew about in detail, such as the specifics of the Geneva Convention and other helpful clauses that dictate the course of action to be followed to preserve human dignity. We should remember that the most raw and brutal conflicts still must abide by laws that set boundaries to protect humanity.
Daniel, Team Member
I have been interested in humanitarianism and human rights for quite a while. In fact, I read articles on a day to day basis about human rights abuses all around the world. The topic of child soldiers speaks to me the most because children our age are being handed a gun and are forced to mature at such a rapid rate, far quicker than we are ever expected to do. In many countries around the world, children are either forcibly or willingly participating in warfare, and sometimes end up completely mutilated. What can we actually do to help prevent this? The IHL Action Campaign helps provide a basic foundation to involve ordinary students like us to play a role against this. However, people, not just from my community, but all around the world, should cooperate to fight against this human right abuse that has persisted throughout history.
Nikhil, Team Member