One of the primary uses of sports in schools in certain areas of the world is to reintegrate child soldiers back into their former communities and social settings. As one might imagine, it is difficult to get a former soldier who is only a child to get back into his school chairs and behind his school desks.
According to a UN study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children found that governments and armed groups all over the world have forced tens of thousands of children under the age of 18 and even sometimes under the age of 10, during the past three decades. The report states that these children are in dire need of intellectual and emotional stimulation which can be provided by structured group activities like play, sports, drawing and storytelling.
According to the research, there is evidence that sports can help children and youth who have been recruited to participate in armed conflicts. Sports can draw these children out of violent behaviors and routines by offering a socially acceptable alternative; structured patterns of behavior which are associated with sports activities.