In just one week, the 30-minute documentary about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony 'Kony 2012' was viewed more than 100 million times thanks to social networks, which has make it, according to experts, the most viral video in history.The story of Jacob, a soldier boy, has brought back into the forefront of people’s consciousness the attrocities of this warlord, head of the Lord’s resistance Army (LRA)). In the space of a week, the unique torment of children who are conscripted to kill and be killed has been thrust back into the forefront of global consciousness.
Although different opinions have arisen since the publication of the videos, most responses to Kony 2012 campaign have been positive and the UN, among others, welcome it as a tool in order to prevent future recruitment of child soldiers. In fact, since the 1990s, when there were known to be around 30 conflicts in which children were fighting, the number of these conflicts has halved. South Sudan became the latest to formally commit itself to free children from army by the end of last week. However, in spite of this decrease, thousands of children are still being recruited, not only in Africa, but also in many other parts of the world as in Asia or Latin America.
An increasing problem activists have highlighted with regard to this issue is the growing up of former child veterans. Demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) programmes, which help child soldiers acquire new skills and return to their communities, still need to be funded. Furthermore, girls are often excluded from these programmes since, as victims of rapes and sexual violence, they are stigmatised when they come back home. Thus, the importance to handle the problem from a community approach rather from an individual approach.