UNICEF marks the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers on Feb. 12. Also known as Red Hand Day, it calls for urgent action to end the recruitment of children by armed groups. Youth are increasingly vulnerable as conflicts around the world become more brutal, intense and widespread.

UNICEF for International Day Against The Use Of Child Soldiers — Stevie Mann/UNICEF/OneShot

This image comes during a demobilization ceremony near the town of Rumbek, in central South Sudan, as the photographer, Stevie Mann, captured the moment that adolescent boys walk away from the weapons they'd carried. The discarding of their weapons and uniforms symbolizes the end of their military service and the start of their civilian lives.

UNICEF has been instrumental in removing thousands of former child soldiers in Sudan from conflict, providing rehabilitation and family-tracing assistance and supporting long-term care. The mission goes on.



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