(Al Arabiya) – Armed conflict hurts not only combatants, but also civilians and in many cases the most vulnerable among them. A significant and a very disturbing case is that of child soldiers. It is unforgivable that in the 21st century children are not protected from the evils of war and even worse are recruited to become combatants, ending as both victims and perpetrators of war crimes. It is estimated that there are nearly a quarter of a million child soldiers around the world, and in current conflicts seven governments and 49 non-state groups are engaged in this deplorable practice. Children are recruited in various places of the world, especially in Africa and in the Middle East. As consequence of the protracted turmoil in the MENA region, it witnesses an increase in this phenomenon in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and South Sudan.