The Civil War That Was Fought by Children: Understanding the Role of Child Combatants in El Salvador’s Civil War, 1980-1992

Citation:

Courtney, Jocelyn. 2010. “The Civil War That Was Fought by Children: Understanding the Role of Child Combatants in El Salvador’s Civil War, 1980-1992.” Journal of Military History 74 (2):523-56.

Author: Jocelyn Courtney

Abstract:

From 1980 to 1992, the Salvadoran government and the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN) fought each other in a civil conflict that devastated El Salvador, killing 75,000 people and leaving thousands more homeless or injured. Over 80 percent of the government's troops and over 20 percent of the FMLN's were under eighteen years of age; however, thus far, historians have missed the centrality of the role of children in this conflict. This article explores the legacy of both sides' reliance on child soldiers and examines the costs of child soldiering in terms of demobilization issues and postwar societal problems.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2010

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