Kids will be kids. Play, josh, run, swim, maybe a bit of mischief. We marvel at their innocence and sense of freedom; we delight in their unbridled joy. Their smiles and laughter rejuvenate us.
Our society recognizes the need to give children the personal support and security they need to grow into happy and healthy young adults who will eventually be productive and participatory members of society. Which is why it is so difficult to comprehend how any community or its leaders could systematically exploit children, whether via sexual predation, labor exploitation or neglect.
Most disturbing of all is the current practice of turning boys and girls into front-line fighters and suicide bombers by the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and many other violent extremists. While American kids pack their bags to get ready to hike and fish at woodsy sleep-away camps, a whole passel of tykes in troubled parts of the world are being whisked away for summer terrorist training camps. (Read more)