I have a lot to say on this topic. More than I am going to say in this thread. But let me start.
Ok. When I saw the mass response to this video, I was shocked. Really? People really don’t know about child soldiers? People really don’t know about child prostitutes and the involuntary sex trade? People don’t know about human trafficking? This sort of stuff goes on all around the world, all the time. The guy washing your dishes in the back of the really nice restaurant where you like to dine with your wife on Saturday night was a child soldier. The middle aged woman who pushes a vacuum in your office building at night was the victim of the child sex trade decades ago. The guy valet parking your car arrived in your town after his village was burned down in a land dispute over corporate control of resources. And those are the folks who made it to the “first world.”
A lot of the things that you touch are brought to you via atrocities that are best not to think about. Children are working in fields to cut the sugar that you sprinkle in your morning cereal. The innards of your cellphone is populated by metals mined by kids. Armed conflicts are going on all over the world to control the land that those mines or fertile fields sit on.
Invisible children? Bullshit. There are invisible people all around us who have stories to tell if you are interested.
Uganda is a really miserable place. Worse than most. The Lord’s Resistance Army has committed unspeakable atrocities in it struggle against a government that has committed unspeakable atrocities. Both sides of the conflict are Christian fundamentalist lunatics who make the Jesus Camp folks in the US look tame. The Ugandan government just introduced legislation (again) that would make homosexuality an offence punishable by death. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/world/africa/ugandan-lawmakers-push-anti-homosexuality-bill-again.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=uganda&st=cse
This Kony lunatic wants to make the 10 Commandments the supreme law of the land, and has his soldiers draw crosses on their chests with oil to invoke the Lord’s protection.
In the midst of this conflict, there are an estimated 2.2 million children between the ages of 7 and 14 engaged in hazardous labor, mostly in the mining industry or in agriculture. According to this article http://childvoice.jinja.eu/en/child-labor-in-uganda
20% of children under 17 have lost at least one parent to either AIDS or violent conflict. Oh, and there is a drought going on.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of children being abducted and forced into the military, here are a few other examples in other parts of the world.
Child soldiers in Peru.http://americasquarterly.org/node/635
Children recruited to fight in civil war in El Salvador.http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human/child/survey/profile1.html
I can link lots of resources on other types of human trafficking if anyone is interested.
The solution is not to invade every country that exploits and kills its people. The solution is to address the root causes of human oppression. Supporting international literacy efforts is a great start. Also, educate yourself! Targeting corporations that engage in exploitive practices is essential. But it would be hard to identify many large corporations that do not engage in exploitive practices, directly or indirectly though the procurement of cheap raw materials. And finally, name fundamentalist lunatics as fundamentalist lunatics. Muslims get a lot of bad rap for the horrendous things that a small percentage of fundamentalist lunatics have been responsible for. When you look at a country like Uganda, it is the Christian fundamentalist lunatics who are on both sides of the terror. And oddly, it seems, on the side of the guy bringing the plight of the Ugandans into our living rooms.