Master’s student Kathryn Robbins recently presented her research findings on “Children as Weapons of Terror” at the 2012 Southern Criminal Justice Association Conference in Atlantic Beach, FL.

The exploitative use of children as terrorists and child soldiers is a tremendously serious problem around the world. You can read her paper’s abstract below:

While there are people who believe that child soldiers are not a pertinent issue in the United States since they are considered to be far away, this is not true. There are children all over the world fighting in terrorist organizations for the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Irish Republican Army, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Children can easily be utilized as a part of any terrorist organization anywhere in the world, whether it is in England, Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Southeast Asia, Turkey, or Peru. Surprisingly, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) currently only requires persons over the age of 18 to be fully body scanned while passing through airport security, unless the youth’s parent is present and grants permission. Through this paper, it will be revealed just how prevalent child terrorists are in today’s society and just how dangerous they can be.  While not all children are potential terrorists, they should be looked at with the same level of scrutiny as adults. Children terrorists could be flying in and out of any airport as well as flying with any companion.  In an area where a traveler’s private life is put on a conveyor belt, x-rayed, and subject to a full search, it is inexplicable that children would be excluded from a simple body scan due to their age. If the TSA will not view children as risks or threats, where else in the world do they hold the same beliefs? Allowing children undisturbed passage into an airport sets a dangerous precedent on a global level.