Former child soldiers are victims not "security threats"

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Child soldiers released in South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/2015/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich

Former child soldiers should be treated as victims and not security threats in the year ahead, the UN special envoy for children and armed conflict has urged.

Many of them experience trauma and stigma that can make it difficult to go back to their communities or the classroom, says Leila Zerrougi.

In the past 20 years, her office has managed to secure the release of more than 115,000 children.

Ms Zerrougi sat down with Jocelyne Sambira to discuss future plans to engage non-State armed groups, which are responsible for the vast majority of grave violations against children.

She began by explaining why militia forces like the Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa and terrorist groups like ISIL in Syria and Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria are using children as executioners or suicide bombers.

Duration: 2’35″

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