Child Soldiers | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content

Learn more about UNICEF’s work under the topic "Child Soldiers".

June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labour. Today, and every day, we stand for every child’s right to a childhood – working to protect children from harm, including dangerous and often illegal work. Empower yourself with knowledge and join the fight.

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James (name changed) was abducted by an armed group in South Sudan, to serve as a soldier, and eventually was left for dead by the same group. Reunited with his family by UNICEF, he is facing life with confidence and a dream for the future.

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In 2018, UNICEF reached almost all corners of the globe – 190 countries to be exact – to help save children’s lives. We have chosen five stories of success to show how generous support from our donors paired with tireless work from UNICEF staff, volunteers and partners are truly making a difference, for every child.


Helping children formerly associated with armed groups in the Greater Kasai region resume their lives.


Every child deserves the opportunity to play, laugh and learn; to explore and grow in a world that nurtures them. Tragically, UNICEF estimates that tens of thousands of boys and girls under the age of 18 are used in conflicts worldwide. We recognize February 12 as International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers - to ensure a better, safer future for every child.

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On the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, we're using our voice to protect the children recruited and used by armed groups as conflicts around the world become more brutal, intense and widespread.