Small Soldiers

Across the world and through most of history, children have been used in wars. The word 'infantry' comes from the Latin in or 'not' and fari 'to speak’, and means a person who cannot speak for himself (in law) -- a child. The Italian equivalent infante means both ‘youth’ and ‘foot soldier’, and from that came infanteria or a body of foot soldiers

Child soldiers loyal to the Liberian government.

Child soldiers loyal to the Liberian government. (Getty)

Henry, a teenaged Revolutionary United Force (RUF) rebel solider, brandishes his weapon in the town of Koindu, Sierra Leone.

Henry, a teenaged Revolutionary United Force (RUF) rebel solider, brandishes his weapon in the town of Koindu, Sierra Leone. (Getty)

Children sport air rifles and 'Little Red Guard' badges in Maoist China.

Children sport air rifles and 'Little Red Guard' badges in Maoist China. (Getty)

Child soldiers pose with guns during the civil war in South Sudan

Child soldiers pose with guns during the civil war in South Sudan (Getty)

An Iraqi teenager holds a rifle over his shoulder at a gun market outside of Baghdad, Iraq.

An Iraqi teenager holds a rifle over his shoulder at a gun market outside of Baghdad, Iraq. (Getty)

Ramzi Al-Amaren is held aloft at an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City. Ramzi is the son of Jihad Al-Amaren, slain Palestinian leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Ramzi Al-Amaren is held aloft at an anti-Israel rally in Gaza City. Ramzi is the son of Jihad Al-Amaren, slain Palestinian leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. (Getty)

Iraqi boys stand in formation during training at a military camp in Baghdad in July 2002. The boys, called Saddam's Lion Cubs, are training in preparation for an expected US attack on Iraq.

Iraqi boys stand in formation during training at a military camp in Baghdad in July 2002. The boys, called Saddam's Lion Cubs, are training in preparation for an expected US attack on Iraq. (Getty)

A Hassidic Jewish boy holds a machine gun to show his support for Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border.

A Hassidic Jewish boy holds a machine gun to show his support for Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border. (Getty)

An Afghan boy carries an assult rifle in the village of Jabul os Sarache, north of Kabul.

An Afghan boy carries an assult rifle in the village of Jabul os Sarache, north of Kabul. (Getty)