The existence of thousands of child-soldiers is one of the scandals of our time. UNICEF has estimated their number in the world today at 300,000 a figure that has grown in recent years due to the increase in the number of civil wars. What happens to them when the fighting ceases? Why are they no longer visible in Beirut, or elsewhere? Why do so many of them end up in drug-detoxification centres? What does the future hold for these children who know nothing besides how to handle weapons? Mouzayan Osseiran-Houbballah is a psychologist.