Child Soldiers Dream of Simply Being Children

300,000 child soldiers dream of simply being children. That’s the message in this chilling campaign from Amnesty International. Child soldiers are shown playing by a public hanging, using human bones in a game and playing soccer with a human skull.

Child soldiers playing by a public hanging in Amnesty International print campaign

Child soldiers playing a game using bones in Amnesty International print campaign

Child soldiers playing soccer with a human skull in Amnesty International print campaign

Around the world, children are singled out for recruitment by both armed forces and armed opposition groups, and exploited as combatants. Approximately 250,000 children under the age of 18 are thought to be fighting in conflicts around the world, and hundreds of thousands more are members of armed forces who could be sent into combat at any time. Although most child soldiers are between 15 and 18 years old, significant recruitment starts at the age of 10 and the use of even younger children has been recorded.


The Child Soldiers campaign was developed at TBWA France, Paris, by creative director Erik Vervroegen, copywriters Veronique Sels and Daniel Perez, art directors Ingrid Varetz and Javier Rodriguez, photographer Michael Lewis and art buyer Barbara Chevalier.

  • Christine

    Dear Duncan, I really find you r posters on child soldiers ay play painfully touching. Please could you tell me how I could obtain these and other such posters. Thankyou, Christine

  • Dear Duncan and Christine,

    We should not forget the etymology of the word of foot soldiers.

    Infantry: late 14c., “child during earliest period of life” (sometimes extended to age 7), from L. infantem (nom. infans) “young child, babe in arms,” noun use of adj. meaning “not able to speak.” 1570s, from Fr. infantrie, from older It., Sp. infanteria “foot soldiers, force composed of those too inexperienced or low in rank for cavalry,” from infante “foot soldier,” originally “a youth,” from L. infantem.

    I am willing to help Christine and Duncan and anyone pro bono . We often forget the real problem.

    Mumbai, India.

  • TK

    Is it possible to use the above images for the website of an NGO seeking to help child soldiers in Africa from the Middle East? Who should i talk to?

    If anyone has a clue, please let me know!