Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly is fighting to keep the children of the world out of armies before they turn 18, after signing up as the spokesperson for Amnesty International's human rights education programme.

The mother-of-two is horrified by statistics which suggest there are more than 300,000 children being used as soldiers around the globe, and admits she can't imagine how their mothers must be coping.

Connelly says, "I would be devastated personally because nothing is more precious than my two boys. Nothing can justify my willingly putting them in jeopardy.

"Fortunately the US has signed onto the optional protocol for the rights of the child, which has raised the minimum age of direct participation in combat for children to 18 and we're hoping that all countries will sign on to that optional protocol.

"I don't think children should be fighting wars. There are children as young as nine-years-old that have been fighting in wars."