In the Eye of the Storm: Investigating the Relationship Between the Climate-Conflict Nexus and Child Soldier Recruitment
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Despite the growing concern around climate change as a conflict threat multiplier, limited research has been done on how climate factors will change specific conflict patterns. At the same time, international institutions are urgently trying to bring an end to the global child soldier crisis. This paper examines how climate change-induced drought may impact patterns of child soldier use with the primary objective of encouraging further research and understanding of which driving factors are most likely to be influenced. Using drought as a climate proxy, a regression analysis is conducted on 198 internal armed conflicts involving government-rebel conflict dyads to determine whether there is a significant correlation between child soldier use and drought scores. Although the correlation in this model was found to be insignificant (P value = 0.95), the literature review and discussion draw important connections between vulnerabilities caused by climate change and common driving factors of child soldier use. Resource scarcity and the displacement of peoples are two notable areas where climate may proliferate child soldier use in certain case studies.