Author(s): Jimmie Briggs
Ida, a member of Sri Lankas Female Tamil Tigers, fought with one of the longest-surviving and successful guerilla movements in the world. She is sixteen. Francois, a fourteen-year-old Rwandan child of mixed ethnicity, was forced by Hutu militiamen to hack to death his sisters Tutsi children. More than 250,000 children have fought in three dozen conflicts around the world, but growing exploitation of children in war is staggering and little known. From the little bees of Colombia to the baby brigades of Sri Lanka, the subject of child soldiers is changing the face of terrorism. For the last seven years, Jimmie Briggs has been talking to, writing about, and researching the plight of these young combatants. The horrific stories of these children, dramatically told in their own voices, reveal the devastating consequences of this global tragedy. Cogent, passionate, impeccably researched, and compellingly told, Innocents Lost is the fullest, most personal and powerful examination yet of the lives of child soldiers.
Jimmie Briggs, a freelance journalist, was awarded the John Bartlow Martin Award from Northwestern University for a story about the Gulf War's impact on children, which became a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He has written for The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Emerge, Vibe, LIFE, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in New York City.