'How many 9 yo's in Africa are holding AK-47's? " Perhaps you have just shot your own point down?
Everyone, most especially the older men who put those AK's in those kids' hands, knows that a 9 year old boy is putty. No morality, no fear of death, no concept of it. So they take the kids and brainwash them and make them into little murderers that no one wants to shoot at--because after all, they're just kids. [sic]
Precisely the reason that many people and governments would not allow a 13-year old to go solo around the world, much less live without adult supervision. No matter how smart or wordly they may be, they are almost universally underdeveloped, and as such usually termed "persons in need of protection".
You want to get liberated and free from parental or other supervision at an early age? OK, maybe in Kenya you can go walkabout into the bush and do it. WTH, the lions got to eat too. But in most of the self-termed civilized world?
Nuh-uh, that's simply not the way things are done. You want to get married and make babies at 14? Again, nuh-uh, someone goes to jail for statutory rape. (Except perhaps in Iceland, where I understand the age of consent is 11.)
I suppose that if the parents--or child--couldn't figure out that they would have to deal with their own government's laws about their own situation before they got this far, that also only goes to prove that none of them, parent or child, is outstandingly capable of dealing with the rules that go along with life. They could have avoided the whole kerfluffle with a little Proper Prior Planning, either changing venues or leaving that one quietly.