Child Soldiers by Leora Kahn

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Photographs by: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Lynsey Addario, Martin Adler, Richard Butler, Francesco Cito, Gary Calton, Chris de Bode, Donna De Cesare, Miquel Dewever Plana, Tiane Doan na Champassak, Colin Finlay, Riccardo Gangale, Cedric Gerbehaye, Jan Grarup, Tim A. Hetherington, Rhodri Jones, Bob Koenig, Roger Lemoyne, Zed Nelson, Peter Mantello, Heather McClintock, Olivier Pin Fat, Giacomo Pirozzi, Q. Sakamaki, Marcelo Salinas, Dominic Sansoni, Guy Tillim, Sven Torfinn, Ami Vitale, Vincent van de Wijngaard, Tomas van Houtryve, Kadir van Lohuizen, Alvaro Ybarra-Zavala, Francesco Zizola
Essay by: Jo Becker, Jimmi Briggs, Dick Durbin, Emmanuel Jal, Michael Wessells 

“I would like to give you a message. Please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children, so that other children don’t have to pass through this violence.”
—A 15-year-old girl who escaped from the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda 

Up to half a million children have been engaged in more than 85 conflicts worldwide. As armed conflict proliferates, increasing numbers of children are exposed to the brutalities of war. Boys and girls around the world are recruited to be child soldiers by armed forces and militant groups, either forcibly or voluntarily. Some are tricked into service by manipulative recruiters, others join in order to escape poverty or discrimination, while still others are outright abducted at school, on the streets, and at home. Aside from participating in combat, many are used for sexual purposes, made to lay and clear land mines, or employed as spies, messengers, porters, or servants. Kids have become the ultimate weapons of twenty-first-century war. 

Child Soldiers focuses on countries with a history of child warfare, as captured by photographers and writers from across the globe. The book explores the children’s time as combatants, as well as their demobilization and rehabilitation. Included are Tim Hetherington’s photographs from Liberia; Roger Lemoyne and Cedric Gerbehaye’s work from the Congo; Ami Vitale’s series on child Maoist recruits in Nepal; and other work from Burma, Columbia, the Central African Republic, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
 

About Leora Kahn

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Leora Kahn is the founder of Proof: Media for Social Justice, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create awareness of the issues faced by populations in post-conflict societies and to encourage social change through the use of photography and education. Kahn has served as the director of photography at Workman Publishing and Corbis, and is currently at work on global projects with Amnesty International, Participant Films, and the United Nations. She recently edited the Lucie Award winningDarfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan (powerHouse Books, 2007) in collaboration with Amnesty, and curated an accompanying exhibit that will tour the U.S. this year with the Holocaust Museum Houston. Kahn is currently working on an exhibition in Rwanda with Aegis Trust about Hutu rescuers during the genocide. Child Soldiers features the work of nine prominent photographers, who have covered the use of children in combat around the world. Contributing writers include Jo Becker, Children’s Rights Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, Jimmie Briggs, journalist and author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War (Basic Books, 2005), Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Luis Moreno- Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Emmanuel Jal, a Sudanese musician and former child soldier, and Michael Wessels, a professor of psychology at Columbia University.
 
Published October 14, 2008 by powerHouse Books. 120 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography, War, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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In one of six essays, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, makes it clear what's at stake: ""terrorizing and abducting young children, putting them through brutal rites of initiation, and forcing them to kill community members, sometimes even family members, or be e...

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