Read They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers by Roméo Dallaire Jessica Dee Humphreys Online


"The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of child soldiers and to eliminate even the thought of the use of children as instruments of war." —Roméo DallaireIn conflicts around the world, there is an increasingly popular weapon system that requires negligible technology, is simple to sustain, has unlimited versatility and incredible capacity for bot"The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of child soldiers and to eliminate even the thought of the use of children as instruments of war." —Roméo DallaireIn conflicts around the world, there is an increasingly popular weapon system that requires negligible technology, is simple to sustain, has unlimited versatility and incredible capacity for both loyalty and barbarism. In fact, there is no more complete end-to-end weapon system in the inventory of war-machines. What are these cheap, renewable, plentiful, sophisticated and expendable weapons? Children.Roméo Dallaire was first confronted with child soldiers in unnamed villages on the tops of the thousand hills of Rwanda during the genocide of 1994. The dilemma of the adult soldier who faced them is beautifully expressed in his book's title: when children are shooting at you, they are soldiers, but as soon as they are wounded or killed they are children once again.Believing that not one of us should tolerate a child being used in this fashion, Dallaire has made it his mission to end the use of child soldiers. In this book, he provides an intellectually daring and enlightening introduction to the child soldier phenomenon, as well as inspiring and concrete solutions to eradicate it.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307355775
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers Reviews

  • Colleen
    2019-01-13 12:03

    I picked up this book on a whim while I was at the library one day. It was an amazing book that packed such a powerful message. You can tell that Dallaire has been quite affected by what he witnessed in Rwanda. Unlike so many others, Dallaire uses his anguish for the better and has begun a campaign to eradicate the use of child soldiers. He introduces the reader to the methods used by armies and militias to collect children and indoctrinate them into a combat role. While society normally views child soldiers as only those who are actually trained in combat, Dallaire argues that this is not the case, and that child soldiers are "...any person below 18 years of age who is, or who has been, recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity, including but not limited to children, boys and girls, used as fighters, cooks, porters, spies or for sexual purposes. It does not only refer to a child who is taking, or has taken a direct part in hostilities."While the book is a non-fiction piece, Dallaire incorporates some fictional imaginings in three of his chapters, which proves to be very effective. Dallaire imagines what it would be like for a girl-child to be kidnapped and forced into combat. He speaks of her abduction, integration into combat life and eventual death at the hands of a UN peacekeeper. He then switches to the peacekeeper's point of view. I can only imagine what it must be like to kill a child. Clearly, it is a matter of life and death, and that child is aiming to kill you and if you don't strike first, you will perish. It just seems so unnecessary.Dallaire criticizes the international community for failing to come to the aid of these children and for persecuting them as if they had a choice in the matter. He also offers tactics for the demobilization and reintegration of the ex-child soldiers into community life. A very difficult situation, as most of their homes have been destroyed and they are heavily stigmatized if their community still exists. Dallaire urges the reader to take an active role in helping eradicate the use of child soldiers world-wide and offers solutions for this. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone regardless of whether they are concerned with the plight of war-affected children or not.

  • Loraine
    2018-12-31 12:25

    This book goes beyond calling attention to the plight of child soldiers as victims. What I learned, and what I want to remember is this:The use of child soldiers is a weapons system where the child is only the most obvious victim. As a weapons system, it is as destructive to humanity as land mines and chemical weapons. In the same way that the world has moved to condemn and eradicate the use of these two, we must do the same with the use of child soldiers. As with slavery, apartheid, civil rights, animal rights, etc, it all starts with an idea and gains momentum by the will of people. It can be done. If you want to convince yourself of this, read this book.

  • Ashley
    2019-01-17 16:31

    I read Shake Hands With the Devil a few years ago after we learned about the Rwandan genocide in social studies. I enjoyed it but most of it seemed very political from what I remember and hard to comprehend. Recently Romeo Dallaire came to our school and spoke about the genocide, child soldiers, and how the new generation has to make a difference. This is a great book if you're interested in helping change the lives of those currently living in poverty in Africa, and his methods of how to eradicate the use of child soldiers are quite plausible. An interesting thing that I liked about this book was that he took on the perspective of a young child soldier, as well as the perspective of a UN soldier, writing from their povs what happened. It is a relatively quick read and is very interesting. To all of those people who are concerned with the kony 2012 campaign, this is a book for you, so you cando your research and see what's really going on.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-01-12 15:12

    They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children is a book with a special personal connection for me. I received this book through a book signing at Politics and Prose in Washington DC, where I had the privilege to hear Romeo Dallaire speak about his experiences in Rwanda and in developing this project. As a conflict resolution student, I studied the Rwandan genocide and reconstruction, and was very familiar with Mr. Dallaire’s outreach efforts in promoting post-conflict sustainable peacemaking. It was truly an honor for me to hear him speak and obtain a copy of his work. Dallaire was irrevocably changed by his service as Major-General of UNAMIR, United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, and has dedicated his life to the rebuilding effort there as well as preventative and best practice efforts in other conflicts. I was stunned by his honesty and bravery in sharing this incredibly personal experience, and I commend him for continuing this crusade despite the difficulty it poses for him on a mental and personal plane. His life’s work, outlined in the final chapters through his struggle to gain attention to this debilitating problem, is truly inspiring.This book takes a holistic view on the struggle to eradicate the use of child soldiers. In order to frame this discussion, Dallaire utilizes a somewhat unorthodox methodology. He begins with a discussion of the concept of childhood, using his own upbringing in Canada as a model of a healthy family dynamic. As he weaves in this personal history with the chronological history of the genocide in Rwanda as he experienced it, he appeals to the child and remembrance of childhood in the individual reader to demonstrate the destructiveness of child soldering. His fictional characters are staged after Dallaire’s real world experiences with children and child soldiers in Rwanda. When I learned that he was going to incorporate elements of fiction into this project, I was dubious about the efficacy of mixing invention and experience, but it lent itself well to the story and case. The use of the fictitious characters allowed Dallaire to take the reader through a very personal example of recruitment in a way that I am sure was cathartic for the author, and also preserved the individual privacy of the real child soldiers he met in the field.His final chapters concluded with the Child Soldier Initiative successes and struggles, as well as additional international legal framework and current initiatives to eradicate the use of child soldiers. He calls on the reader to become personally involved and gives several suggestions as to how interested parties can support this worthy imperative. In the end, this book is not a work of fiction, and child soldiering is a catastrophic and intractable problem throughout much of the world. Dallaire has devoted his life to ending the use and recruitment of children as mass weapons, specifically citing the success of land mine bans as an example to emulate. Dallaire writes in a conversational tone that is able to explain technical international law and in the same breath describe personal and heart-wrenching experience, which lends itself well to absorption of his argument. In the final chapters, Dallaire appeals to the reader to take action through various means to assist in ending this barbaric practice. If we are able as a global community to end the use of child soldiers, we will be empowering the next generation with positive impact being felt around the globe.

  • Shonna Froebel
    2018-12-24 12:29

    Stayed up late last night to finish this one as there is a waiting list for it at work. It is a heavy subject, but a very readable book. Dallaire writes in a very conversational style and the book is written like it is speaking to you directly. There are three sections where he has included a fictional child soldier and fictional UN peacekeeper to help show the feelings, and reality of the experiences.He talks about the situations that create child soldiers, the community repercussions, the international repercussions, and the work of Child Soldier International. The last chapter is what we as individuals can do to make a difference for this issue.He offers hope by showing the progress that has been made in understanding the problem, and has concrete examples of next moves that can be made. These children that have become child soldiers are not just small humans, but also weapons, used by their commanders as another expendable, easily replenished tool in their arsenal. The wars they fight are often more internal criminal actions with no real end goal, than they are traditional wars. They pit children against their own people, making it hard for them to go back to communities, if those communities even exist any more. He also shows that there are a variety of ways to deal with these soldiers, depending on their unique situation and their gender. Yes, many of these soldiers are girls, and they aren't just doing the chores and acting as "bush wives", but also leading other child soldiers. These girls often have more trouble integrating back into the community than the boys, as they no have no traditional value as a marriage offering, and may even have rebel babies that come back with them. Yet, he offers ways to help these young soldiers as well.I cried, yes, but I was also left with hope that we can do something about this situation and help not only those who are now or have been child soldiers, but also work to prevent it from happening. This is an important book for policy makers to read, because as we all know, the world is smaller than you think.

  • Mikey B.
    2019-01-07 14:16

    An exacting, but depressing account, of the use of children as soldiers in military combat. Mr. Dallaire describes the recruitment phase – why child soldiers are used and the extreme brutality that they undergo.Mr. Dallaire makes a strong point that once a child soldier “has been made” the damage done to he or she will never be undone. Remoulding an ex-child soldier to adjust back into society will be long-term work and involve excruciating psychological restructuring of the former child.Mr. Dallaire also makes the case that young girls are also part of this recruitment process and their abuse is likely more debilitating than that for boys. How can these children ever hope to be accepted back into the culture that they were so viciously abducted from? Their lives are a shamble – they have had no schooling, they likely don’t know their age, their parents and relatives, if they are still alive, are probably in a refugee camp.The best solution is to stop the recruitment and the author outlines steps being taken. There would seem to be some progress and at least with this book (along with a few others) the world is becoming aware of this grievous issue.This is a sad book – a child soldier is indicative of a “failed state” – a society in disarray. I found the book a little awkward at the beginning, but after 100 pages the persuasiveness and passion of the Mr. Dallaire overwhelms. Of the two short stories, I found the second one better.

  • Doriana Bisegna
    2019-01-04 14:18

    While this was a heavy subject and a very concerning one, I was totally immersed in Romeo Dallaire's crusade against child soldiers! It is hard to believe what goes on in the world but it is all too real and beyond anyone's comprehension. By countries banding together and by individuals standing up for children's lives and rights to have a childhood will we eradicate this senseless practice in these underdeveloped nations. This should not exist in the world and the fact that it does shows that we are simply not looking out for children, period!! The great nations of this world are not fighting this war against using children as scapegoats but continue to fight others that are senseless is beyond me!! Another of life's great mysteries!!

  • hilary
    2019-01-16 19:06

    I'm about half way through this book. I want to keep on top of what Romeo Dallaire is doing, since he's a bit of a hero of mine. So far it's good; can't read too much of it at once, because it is hard on the psyche. He has included what I think is a very effective fictionalized account of a child soldier's life. I like that this is a former military general writing fiction about a little boy! What a lovely man.

  • Julia
    2018-12-24 18:02

    The author made some interesting points and presented child soldiers in a new way, and also had a chapter written toward young readers, advising them how they can help with the situation.However it was extremely repetitive... it could have been cut in half and delivered the same message, but considering he's a peacekeeper and not an author, I'd say he did a great job at presenting a horrifying reality.

  • Rebecca
    2019-01-05 11:13

    Why do I always kick off the new year on a downer?I hate to say it, but I kind of wimped out on this one after the first-hand account of being a child soldier (which is fictional but a composite of what I suspect it is like). I skimmed through the rest. Still, I'm convinced that this is a big problem that is for the most part ignored. Dallaire's experiences in Rwanda seem completely horrific.

  • LibraryCin
    2019-01-09 16:17

    3.5 starsRomeo Dallaire was head of UNAMIR, the peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, just before the genocide in 1994. Since then, he has become involved in trying to stop the use of children as soldiers. This book looks at how and why children become soldiers, some as young as 7 or 8 years old, and offers ways to get this stopped. He also talks a lot about the group he has formed to try to stop it; his group is trying to get the military and humanitarian NGOs to work together. He has done a lot of research and has published papers on the topic.This is terrible. I have read both Dallaire’s Shake Hands With the Devil (which I highly recommend) and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone (also recommended). There were a few chapters where Dallaire created a fictional boy who became a soldier, then later a fictional peacekeeper who shot a girl soldier; I thought these chapters, in particular, were very powerful. I hadn’t realized how many girl soldiers were also involved, and they have (many sad) issues of their own. Although some of the nonfiction parts of the book weren’t as interesting (in the second half of the book, as Dallaire talks about trying to get agencies to help stop this), I did find myself reading the bibliography at the end for a couple more books to read on the topic. He does repeat himself a bit, but I forgave him that. He is obviously very passionate about what he is trying to do.

  • Krys (Black & Write Reviews)
    2019-01-17 19:14

    “We [the international community] do not have a choice about whether or not to intervene; we have a fundamental responsibility to humanity to intervene ’in extremis’, even with force.”After reading “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah, I became increasingly interested in the topic of the use and abuse of children as soldiers, and reading further into the eradication of this inhumane treatment of innocence. The glory of working in a book store is that anything will and can catch your eye while you’re stocking shelves, and this book was one of them.Gen. Roméo Dallaire wrote this book as an awareness-base biography about his fight in the plight for the eradicating of not only child soldiers but also other humanitarian efforts that he has contributed to through his years with several non-profit and for-profit organizations. I found it in the “Current/Historical” section. I had a lot of trouble finishing it, but I was still very interested in what he had to say.Not only did I have trouble finishing this book, I also had trouble following it. I’m sure somebody who knows about acronyms, I personally should have started my own personal “mobile index”, a bookmark with all the definition terms of all the acronyms that were used:- NGO Non Governmental Organization- UN United Nations- R2P Responsibility to Protect- CIDA Canadian International Development AgencyThat’s just to name a few. No, that’s not saying I don’t know what some of them meant, but there were a few where I’ve had to flip back a few pages to remember what I was reading.“To the homeless, the poor, the beggar, the victim of AIDS and Alzheimer’s, the old and the humble, the prisoners in the prison and the wanderers in their dreams, it is our sacred duty to stretch out our hand and say, ‘In spite of what separates us, what we have in common is our humanity.’”~ from ‘What Does it Mean to be Human? by Elie WieselThis book was a great resource of wealth of information for any person who is looking for a clear path on how to be part of “the solution”. Which ever one that may be. I had become attracted to They Fight Like Soldiers… when I reached a point where there were separate chapters, Gen. Dallaire had incorporated a short story of the life of a child soldier (all fiction). It was terrifying, reading what was potentially flashing through the protagonist’s mind, the thoughts, the scenes, distressful to the point where I had to set the book down. I even shed a tear near the end even when I knew what was going to happen next.Once the story stopped and the book became more diplomatic, I had trouble keeping focus. I can’t say it was a terrible read, because I felt a little more enlightened by what I had read; inspired.There was also a lot of self-promoting for his CSI movement – Child Soldiers Initiative - which is admirable, since it is his book and it’s a great action! He also spoke of several different ways anybody can be involved, even a fast and cheap way of contributing, “What would our symbolic action be?” Gen. Dallaire uses the idea of a small school group raising funds to help a school in the Congo get a computer as an opportunity for potential growth and making the world feel a little smaller.“If this level of global intercommuncation were properly nurtured and developed, it would eventually be possible to create a movement that wold influence every human being who exists or will exist in the future. Such a movement could facilitate a grand design… the application of human rights and justice around the world – a global appreciation that all humans are equal, that all humans are human, and that no human is more human that any other.”I noticed eventually the author’s targeted audience was young adults, between the ages of 18 to 30 years, the young years that he believed could be the great push on government to finally make a great change. He referenced how important the web had become and how important it can be to serve as a form of influence.“This slow and predictable progression is no longer a given for young people today, born into a wide-open and limitless world. When we speak of ‘your’ future, we’re speaking three, four, five years down the road, because we’re not in an era of evolution or even in an era of change or reform…”“I see a lot of evidence of instant, anonymous communication over the Web being used to foment stupidity, ignorance and hate, or to mire people in intellectual futility, serving up endless helpings of celebrity gossip or instant reinforcement of ignorant attitudes, or worse. Illegal material, such as adult and child pornography, colonizes much of the Internet, the latter being a form of child abuse that perpetrators can now easily share all over the globe, creating a virtual community of pedophiles. Youths in the developed world sit in their bedrooms imbibing the hate represented by videos of beheadings, being recruited to a cause that has little to do with the realities of their own lives, but much to do with the perversion of youth’s sensitivity to injustice, and longing for action.”I’m sorry if this post seems to be riddled with quotes, but this was the one thing that made this book worth reading. The words used are strong, stirring, and they create an inner-reaction that you wish you could just bottle up and ship any one of these countries/continents to fix their problems.If you read Roméo Dallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil, and enjoyed it, you will more than likely enjoy Gen. Roméo Dallaire’s They Fight like Soldiers, They Die like Children.

  • Jennifer Lucking
    2018-12-24 12:05

    Romeo Dallaire's passion and expertise is so incredibly evident in this book. His humanitarian heart mixed with his military background provides a unique look at the issue of child soldiers. It took me quite a while to soak up this book. I didn't find the writing to be filled with unnecessary jargon, but the rawness and sincerity of his writing was a lot to take in; I could only read about a chapter at a time and over a long period of time. It would benefit me to regularly re-read his last chapter on "What you can do" - he has important words for anyone engaged in social justice issues or passionate about making a positive difference. In this chapter, Dallaire really emphasizes 1) the rich technological powers we hold to connect with others and make positive change, and 2) the importance of youth/young adults in being the generation that will make the most difference. This chapter is especially timely now (our Canadian federal election is in a few months) as he has quite a bit to say about challenging our politicians to make a positive difference and be accountable to what constituents care about. "Don't tell me you're not being heard - it's that you're not speaking. You may roll out to the streets of Toronto to protest G20 meetings or travel to Copenhagen to voice your opinion on the climate change conference, but overall your age group is letting political leaders off easily because you aren't forcing them to craft a vision of how we are going to move the country forward. So far as I can tell, you aren't consistently demanding your rightful place in the political process. The political elite thrive on the non-participation of the vast majority of citizens and end up being driven more by the media than by the individuals that comprise a country... Without your voices and leadership, the political will to intervene in the world's toughest and most intractable hot spots will simply not materialize." (p. 256).Drawing on some incredible activists (Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc), Dallaire says "Individuals who possessed no apparent power, wealth, influence, connections, or even the technological tools you have at your fingertips today, harnessed their passion and changed the world. Seismic change can happen over a lifetime, or in an instant" (p. 243). I could have taken a highlighter to most of the last chapter just to draw inspiration from his empowering words.I saw so many parallels between the traumas and obstacles both child soldiers and survivors of domestic sex trafficking face in exiting and recovery. Lack of funding, lack of awareness and empathy from those in positions of ability to help, lack of services, etc. I know his expertise is African child soldiers, but I would have appreciated learning more about the scope of this atrocity worldwide. However, this gap is not enough to make me want to give the book less stars!

  • Suha
    2019-01-04 15:10

    This book has left me utterly confused and baffled.If there's any stance I was 100% sure of, it's my stance against international intervention. "Stop interfering! Let people solve their own problems." These kinds of statements were my first reaction when encountering books/movies/news reports about African issues written by foreigners (i.e White people).But after reading this I'm really not sure what I think anymore.The book has made it obvious that the prevention of child soldiers, that fighting against human rights violation is everybody's responsibility. Humanity transcends man-made national borders. To be neutral is to support the oppressors. Your patriotism to the world should come before your patriotism to any specific country.But what about personal interest?The West was overly eager to wage war in Afghanistan and Iraq under the name of humanity, but you don't need to be a genius to find out there was an ulterior motive.President Bill Clinton decided that the U.S Army would not get involved in the Rwandan genocide because it had nothing to offer - no natural resources, no strategic location. Apparently, humanity alone was not a motive strong enough for international interventions.What about the soldiers or risk their lives, who leave their homes and families to help people? To protect them? To bring about a change?What about soldiers who kill, rape, mutilate the very people they're supposed to be protecting? Should one of those overshadow the other's actions?My mind is swarming with question I've no answer to, I don't know what to think anymore.That being said, this book definitely deserves five stars.Five stars for making me think, and doubt my positions and stances, for being extremely informative on the issue of child soldiers - and most of all, for offering a solution, a sliver of hope, a promise of a better future.

  • Josh
    2019-01-12 16:05

    This book could be better with some more serious editing work and a little more attention to prose in the fiction chapters. At the end of the day it's not a huge detractor: Dallaire's strength is in his experiences and his knowledge, I can suffer his writing style.

  • Jeff
    2018-12-27 14:21

    An A+ high school research paper.

  • John
    2019-01-12 16:31

    It is a coincidence that I started this book a couple of days before the Omar Khadr settlement was announced. Khadr is mentioned once in it (he was between being news at the time). He definitely qualified by international standards as a child soldier at the time of his capture and incarceration at Gitmo. This is not an easy read, but it is an important one. It took me around 7 years to get to reading it, since I bought it at a book-signing event by LGen. Dallaire. Children, boys and girls, are induced into "armies" in conflict zones in various places around the world, but perhaps especially in sub-Saharan and other spots in Africa, with a dramatic increase in the past 25 years.The book's chapters take different forms. Some are recollections by child soldiers, some detail the UN's attempts to deal with the issue, others the struggles of Dallaire to bridge the gap between military and NGO actors, two are a fictionalized story of a typical child's induction, "training" and eventual death. Dallaire's own experiences in Rwanda are included. The final chapter is an aspirational appeal to young people to become involved in the campaign to end child soldiering, including with his Child Soldiers Initiative. Not light reading, but not that long, and very important for anyone who cares at all about the issue.

  • Cheryl
    2018-12-22 16:29

    The book is written more like a very lengthy academic paper. I found it to be wordy using many pages to say little and not really staying on topic with the titles of the chapters. He pauses to share two fictional stories about a child soldier and a peacekeeper. I wasnt impressed with either. The child story was pages of their imagination first with no warning at the start of that chapter what you were about to read."

  • Melissa Kiley
    2018-12-30 11:20

    I wanted to give this book a 3.5 star rating as it had some interesting and informative ideas about the making and rehabilitation of child soldiers, but was a bit repetitive at times. I rounded up as he is not a writer by trade. Although I didn't always agree with his ideas or opinions (for example, the idea of whom we should consider to be child soldiers), the book made me think and made me consider areas of this topic I hadn't before, such as the use of female child soldiers.

  • Cindy
    2018-12-28 14:10

    Romeo Dallaire was the commander of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Rwanda in 1994. He witnessed the genocide of 800,000 Rwandans in the ethnic conflict between Hutus and Tutsi. His experiences spurred him into becoming an advocate for genocide prevention and for the eradication of child soldiers in conflicts around the world. His first experiences with child soldiers began during his tenure in the African Great Lakes region. In this book, he also mentions other areas with prevalent use of child soldiers, most notably in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This book is a blend of story telling, advocacy and inspirational messages that revolve around the central theme of child soldiers. The main purpose of the book is to draw in the reader to take empathize and become more aware of the issues surrounding child soldiers. I believe this book does this very effectively. Taking on the point of view of a girl who gets forced into combat, he attempts to show the process of recruitment, psychological conditioning and combat. Through this narrative, he also shows the effect of the existence of child soldiers on the psychological impact of the children, other combatants and the society. He also makes an effort to focus on the plight of female child soldiers who are forced into these encampments and contrasts their treatment with boys. Drawing on his own research, he also gives an explanation for why child soldiers are used and the reason for their continued prevalence in the world today. The goal of the book is not to publish groundbreaking discovery or milestone on the issue of child soldiers but rather tries to educate and invite the readers to become emotionally and morally linked to the issue and to respond proactively in a manner that will help of eradicating child soldiers. He attempts to put the readers in the shoes of a child soldier and challenges the reader to respond. He does this by asking the readers to “imagine” the scenario and recounting stories of his own childhood, which effectively places the reader in the position where they can empathize with the situation. The fictional short story follows the progression of the loss childhood innocence, to the sudden and cruel recruitment that involve large amounts of trauma, followed by the psychological conditioning that “dramatically warps” the values of right and wrong, leaving only the twisted mentality that “killing is good and mercy is bad.” (246) The story follows this indoctrination with the dramatic death of the child at the hands of UN Peacekeeper. In an effort to highlight the diseased nature of this issue, Dallaire also writes a short narrative in the point of the view of that UN Peacekeeper. The narrative serves to not only portray what many professional forces have to face when deployed to conflict regions that use child soldiers but also highlights the undeniable pain and suffering that these professionally trained, adult soldiers must face when confronted with this reality.Overall, Dallaire’s book effectively challenges the reader to address the issue of child soldiers and attempts to force the reader to become engaged by raising moral and ethical questions. It attempts to inspire and push for the development of international awareness through its Child Soldier Initiative campaign. However, the book would have benefited from an increased discussion on the politics and the root causes of war and how that can also effectively eradicate child soldiers.

  • Toni Osborne
    2018-12-31 12:10

    L.Gen. the Hon. Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d), was the commander of the UN mission to Rwanda, there he experienced first-hand the horrors committed during the 1994 genocide. In his memoirs “Shakes Hands with the Devil”, he highly criticised and exposed the failures of the international community. Mr. Dallaire is known to be a strong humanitarian, an advocate of human rights and has dedicated his life to the cause for which he has been recognized and has received numerous awards.In his second book, he reveals another important cause he is equally dedicated to: the fight to eradicate the use of child soldiers. From the opening pages it is evident that Mr. Dallaire is very affected and still haunted by the memories of the Rwanda genocide. He relates how the life of a child is drastically altered when he is abducted, brainwashed and forced to act as a combatant in a rebel army. Some as young as nine are taken captive, drugged and forced to witness and in some cases even slaughter their own parents. Escape is not an option, if they manage to survive all they would find is the charred remains of their past. Their fate in camps is contingent on their will to survive. They are deprived of food and sleep, rendering them totally dependent on their captors for survival while undergoing a crude form of guerrilla tactics before they are often sacrificed in combat. The fate of young girls is even worse, they are not only trained as soldiers they are often used as sex slaves and their chance of a respectable marriage becomes a dream of the past and unthinkable. In post war, these children are so psychologically damaged they are rarely able to achieve a place in society. Since 1994, the problem of child combatants has spread to many impoverish populations. The children are an easy target for recruiters in societies plagued with a high proportion of unemployment, little social order, high mortality and a rocketing HIV rate. Although “They Fight like Children, They Die like Children”, is a troubling and touching account, I find, the narrative has less passion and drama then his first book. Most of the chapters are informative and interesting; there are a few in which the narrative changes. One of the chapters expresses the thoughts of one of these children in battle to the point of his demise by a U.N. soldier. The next chapter describes the thoughts of the Blue beret soldier facing this child. These two chapters appeared to be unsuccessfully dumbed down to attract a younger audience. The last chapter, a long and never ending cry to rally into action the younger readers in my opinion turned into an everlasting rant. The mix of styles created an awkward read.I may not have appreciated the presentation at its fullest; nevertheless, Mr. Dallaire’s quest is most admirable. His point is well taken, all of us adult and young must shoulder the responsibility

  • Heather N
    2019-01-12 16:13

    heart wrenching, important

  • Jenna | Bookmark Your Thoughts
    2018-12-26 13:07

    The ONLY reason this received a 4 star is because I am too emotional to give such a sad book a 5 realistically, it deserves a 5 star.An emotionally difficult read yet completely worth the time, Dallaire takes readers into a world that most of us forgets exists and cannot imagine to comprehend.Dallaire, a Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Forces, discusses the horrors during his experiences as a peacekeeper during the Rwanda Genocide from 1993 to 1994. These experiences are what led Dallaire to become the founder of The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, in order to find a better means in saving child soldiers both from the wars and bringing them into a new way of life.The book first looks into the life of Dallaire at a young age, then quickly moves to his experiences in the military and facing child soldiers himself. In this, Dallaire begs the question: what do we do when we are faced with a child holding a gun at you? Are they still children? Are they enemy soldiers? What becomes of these children?From this, Dallaire discusses a variety of content and research in current literature and papers to find some way to solve these puzzles. To further illustrate the issue, Dallaire brings in two fictional stories: one of a child who is abducted and forced to become a child soldier, and the other of a peacekeeper facing the same issues Dallaire did.The book is a hard read, I warn you now. There were many times I had to take a breather in order to not cry my heart out. However, this is one of those books that changes you. I became so much more aware of these issues after this text that I began and continue to look into foundations that I can volunteer my time to help in regards to saving children before they become soldiers.

  • Radiah
    2019-01-02 14:32

    I picked up this book at the library after reading the excerpt on the back stating that child soldiers should not be viewed strictly as victims, but as a weapon system. It aroused feelings of discomfort, and I decided to borrow it and read what a former UN-peacekeeping officer has to say.He obviously was affected deeply by what he saw in Rwanda - children being used as weapons of genocide, and in the book he describes his experience and a little of the background history of child soldiers. Through the book, he makes a stance that child soldiers are both victims and perpetrators. The stance certainly reflects his experiences in the armed forces and as an NGO; a realistic and holistic view. It is heartbreaking and at times difficult for me to read, the accounts are relentless in pushing the point that child soldiers should never be used in war, however, faced with the fact that they are a cheap inexhaustible supply of weaponry that can be taught, molded and manipulated, they are the best recruits in any armed conflict. Pushed into soldiering by poverty, Dallaire goes on to describe how they are inducted into becoming soldiers, then describing their subsequent training and difficulties after soldiering. It seems that this part of armed conflicts have not been sufficiently addressed by the international community. As with veterans anywhere, rehabilitation and assimilation back to civilian life is the main challenge; more so with child soldiers. Through it all, I got the sense of helplessness in the vicious cycle, and personally I felt partly a sense of responsibility to protect these children; children who have had their childhood robbed from them in wars they likely did not understand.

  • Maria Elena
    2019-01-11 15:24

    Retired Lieutenant-General Roméo A. Dallaire gives a detailed description of the issues governments and NGOs face as they try to stop the use of child soldiers in conflicts around the world. Thanks to his military background and his first-hand experience with child soldiers during the Rwandan genocide, Lt-General Dallaire is able to give a clear account on how and why children are used in armed conflict. He says candidly that the key to stopping this epidemic of child soldiers is prevention as he explains the inadequate resources to rehabilitate former child soldiers. He details the work of the Child Soldier Initiative foundation and his work in getting military and humanitarian organizations to work collaboratively to prevent the use of children in war. He ends the book with a plea to the reader to become involved and he lists the many ways the public can help organizations fighting the use of child soldiers.I found this book powerful because in addition to the raw facts, Lt-General Dallaire has chosen to include two fictional accounts to illustrate the issues surrounding the use of child soldiers. This first account is the story of a boy who is taken from his village after seeing his family murdered. It shows his transition from child to soldier and his eventual death at the hands of a U.N. soldier. The second story is told from the point of view of a U.N. soldier who kills an opponent during a skirmish with rebel forces only to realize that the "soldier" he shot is just a child.

  • Carolyn
    2019-01-16 16:09

    "They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers","Romeo Dallaire" "This was a compelling book which explained the recruitment and use of child soldiers in detail, and the horror of not only their victims but the life many child soldiers are forced to live. Physical and psychological abuse and drugs are frequently used to keep them in line, and describes the effects on their former communities. He also tells about the fate of girls abducted from their homes and forced to become soldiers and bush wives. Organizations are working to free, educate and integrate the young people back into villages. This is very difficult. One reason is the some of the young soldiers had power, and the impoverished children in villages who were never child soldiers, feel how unfair it is that these former soldiers, some who may have murdered their families and friends, are now being housed, clothed and educated by relief groups while their own needs are being unanswered.Romeo Dallaire is working hard to end the use of child soldiers and find better ways to lead them to a normal, productive life and is to be commended. A real Canadian hero!. The one problem I had with the writing was the frequent use of initials for the fighting factions and relief organizations, which I also found confusing in his first book.This is an important book in its detail and explanation of what makes a child soldier and hopefully ways this atrocity may be ended."

  • Anne Maesaka
    2019-01-19 12:03

    Romeo Dallaire is a retired Lieutenant General of the Canadian Armed Forces. He was in charge of the UN Peacekeeping forces in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. His first book Shake Hands with the Devil is an account of that mission in Rwanda. His first book is fabulous in my opinion. Showing the frustration of Lt. Dallaire in trying to keep civilians alive when his hands are tied by the U.N. This book looks at the use of child soldiers primarily in the African nations. Lt. Dallaire has now taken on this issue and formed the Child Soldiers Initiative.While this book is compelling in spots , there is a lot of redundancy. I found the chapters where he tells what it is to be a child soldier from a fictitious child's standpoint and the chapter where a fictitious soldier encounters a child soldier to be compelling. There is of course explanation of his organization and their mission. However, there is a lot of talk about what type of studies need to be done to get funding for child soldier rehabilitation, and he seems to present few solutions to the problem.In my opinion if you know nothing of how children are exploited and used as child soldiers in various countries this would be a very interesting read. However, if you have read other books on the child soldier problem, I am not sure you will learn much from this book.

  • Kate
    2019-01-06 16:14

    This book was first I've read which used sections of fiction to bring to life the facts and history that make up the majority of the book. For two chapters Dellaire writes from the perspective of a child soldier, inventing an entire history of child including the names of family members and a vivid description of a first time experimenting with drugs. I think it was a thoughtful tool given the audience Dellaire is trying to speak to (namely anyone not already involved in action against the use of child soldiers). The one thing that I found particularly interesting was that I felt the call to action at the end of the book very "me"-centric. Dellaire says that it is HE who is going to eradicate the use of child soldiers and that it is the reader's duty to help HIM in this action. It's entirely likely that his military history has engrained his role in the hierarchy so deeply that he doesn't even notice that he his visioning himself as a single general responsible for the efforts of a troop of a half a world of civilians; however having spent the preceding chapter outlining the need for collaborative integration of individuals and systems, I find it fascinating that he does not appear to actually see it as a group effort.

  • Jo Davies
    2018-12-26 11:05

    As much as I respect L.General Dallaire as a humanitarian, I found this book a bit of a slog at the beginning. Smartly, Dallaire breaks up the factual chapters with fictionalized ones of child soldiers and an army officer, to better illustrate the horrendous nature of the use of child soldiers in combat. I suspect I've become numb to shocking descriptions after reading his book on the Rwandan genocide, but it wasn't as moving as I thought it would be. I found the factual chapters and the story of Dallaire's struggle to further his Child Soldiers Initiative far more compelling. I especially loved the last chapter: "What You Can Do", which is addressed to the youth of today and outlines specific steps to take to further the cause of CSI around the world. It seemed as if Dallaire was in the room, speaking directly to me. If he is half as charismatic a speaker as he is a writer in this last chapter, he must be absolutely electrifying to hear. His passion for his subject leaps off the page. You can feel how much he cares about war-affected children, how desperately he wants people not just to listen, but to act. Worth your time.

  • spike marlin
    2018-12-25 11:21

    I liked this book in many ways. And I disliked it in other ways. First this book opened my eyes to the use of child soldiers in both rebel and government forces. This was something I was not aware was so prevalent. I particularly liked the chapters on How a child soldier is made and How a child soldier is trained and used. I also like some parts of the last chapter of What you can do. His plea to the youth of the world to take up the cause is both heart wrenching and necessary. The problem I see is that very few youth will read this book. It is not written particularly well. Not as well as his first book Shake Hands With the Devil. The chapter on The child Soldier Initiative was long and too detailed although I understand his desire to explain where he had come from and the process he had gone through to get attention to his initiative. I think General Delaire has undertaken an important initiative. He is passionate and is willing to see something done about using children in warfare. He probably needs a second edition of this book to keep it in the public eye.