Thousands of children are recruited and used in armed conflicts across the world. Often referred to as “child soldiers,” these boys and girls suffer extensive forms of exploitation and abuse that are not fully captured by that term. Warring parties use children not only as fighters, but as scouts, cooks, porters, guards, messengers and more. Many, especially girls, are also subjected to gender-based violence. Children become part of an armed force or group for various reasons. Some are abducted, threatened, coerced or manipulated by armed actors. Others are driven by poverty, compelled to generate income for their families. Still others associate themselves for survival or to protect their communities. No matter their involvement, the recruitment and use of children by armed forces is a grave violation of child rights and international humanitarian law.