A dramatic overhaul of funding and responses are needed to tackle the global use of children in armed groups.
It's time to rethink child soldiers.
Child soldiers are typically thought to exist primarily in Sub-Saharan African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But children are also recruited in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Colombia and many others around the world.
Funding often reflects this false reality leaving big gaps in support.
Another stereotype is that recruits are forced into joining through abduction or seeking revenge.
But the fact is that many children join voluntarily, or because there’s high unemployment and poverty.
Current initiatives don’t do enough to address the root causes of recruitment or help non-combatant members leave groups before they become fighters.