Youth

Posttraumatic Resilience in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers

Citation:

Klasen, Fionna, Judith Daniels, Gabriele Oettingen, Manuela Post, Catrin Hoyer, and Hubertus Adam. 2010. “Posttraumatic Resilience in Former Ugandan Child Soldiers.” Child Development 81 (4): 1096–1113.

Authors: Fionna Klasen, Judith Daniels, Gabriele Oettingen, Manuela Post, Catrin Hoyer, Hubertus Adam

Abstract:

The present research examines posttraumatic resilience in extremely exposed children and adolescents based on interviews with 330 former Ugandan child soldiers (age = 11-17, female = 48.5%). Despite severe trauma exposure, 27.6% showed posttraumatic resilience as indicated by the absence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and clinically significant behavioral and emotional problems. Among these former child soldiers, posttraumatic resilience was associated with lower exposure to domestic violence, lower guilt cognitions, less motivation to seek revenge, better socioeconomic situation in the family, and more perceived spiritual support. Among the youth with significant psychopathology, many of them had symptoms extending beyond the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, in keeping with the emerging concept of developmental trauma disorder. Implications for future research, intervention, and policy are discussed.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: Africa, East Africa

Year: 2010

Gender, Responsibility, and the Grey Zone: Considerations for Transitional Justice

Citation:

Baines, Erin. 2011. “Gender, Responsibility, and the Grey Zone: Considerations for Transitional Justice.” Journal of Human Rights 10 (4): 477-93.

Author: Erin Baines

Abstract:

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has forcibly recruited tens of thousands of youth from northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, and more presently the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The longer that abducted youth spend inside the armed group, the more likely they will assume positions of command. These roles are differentiated on the basis of sex and gender expectations: young men are more likely to become active combatants and young women are more likely to become forced “wives” and mothers. As a result, forcibly recruited male and female youth are assumed to hold different degrees of responsibility. Comparing the life stories of an abducted male and female youth who became LRA commanders, I argue that each made choices within a state of coerced militarized masculinity. The question of responsibility must be located in the context of a present-day grey zone, and must unsettle gendered assumptions about men and women, and guilt and innocence. Transitional justice has only begun to grapple with the ambiguity of gender, responsibility, and the grey zone.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Justice, Transitional Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Uganda

Year: 2011

Encampment of Communities in War-Affected Areas and Its Effect on Their Livelihood Security and Reproductive Health: The Case of Northern Uganda

Citation:

Mulumba, Deborah. 2011. “Encampment of Communities in War-Affected Areas and Its Effect on Their Livelihood Security and Reproductive Health: The Case Of Northern Uganda.” Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review 27 (1): 107-29.

Author: Deborah Mulumba

Abstract:

The paper sought to assess the effect of encampment on the livelihood security and reproductive health needs of IDPs in war affected areas of northern Uganda. The research design was exploratory and descriptive in nature and was largely qualitative, although a small amount of quantitative data are included. Primary and secondary data were collected from a representative sample of 125 women and 66 men. Results show the prevalence of negative effects on their reproductive health, while the effect on their livelihood security in camps is ambivalent. Food rations were supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP). The study found that women and youth fared better than men as they could find income-generating activities to do in the camps. However, camp congestion and idleness resulted in heavy alcohol consumption trends that generated poor attitudes towards work and was characterized by gender-based violence.

Keywords: armed conflict, internally displaced persons, livelihood security, reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Security, Human Security Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2011

Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Follow-Up Study of Psychosocial Adjustment and Community Reintegration

Citation:

Betancourt, Theresa Stichick, Ivelina Ivanova Borisova, Timothy Philip Williams, Theodore H. Whitfield, John Williamson, Robert T. Brennan, Marie de la Soudiere, and Stephen E. Gilman. 2010. “Sierra Leone’s Former Child Soldiers: A Follow-Up Study of Psychosocial Adjustment and Community Reintegration.” Child Development 81 (4): 1077–95.

Authors: Theresa Stichick Betancourt, Ivelina Ivanova Borisova, Timothy Philip Williams, Theodore H. Whitfield, John Williamson, Robert T. Brennan, Marie de la Soudiere, Stephen E. Gilman

Abstract:

This is the first prospective study to investigate psychosocial adjustment in male and female former child soldiers (ages 10-18; n = 156,12% female). The study began in Sierra Leone in 2002 and was designed to examine both risk and protective factors in psychosocial adjustment. Over the 2-year period of follow-up, youth who had wounded or killed others during the war demonstrated increases in hostility. Youth who survived rape not only had higher levels of anxiety and hostility but also demonstrated greater confidence and prosocial attitudes at follow-up. Of the potential protective resources examined, improved community acceptance was associated with reduced depression at follow-up and improved confidence and prosocial attitudes regardless of levels of violence exposure. Retention in school was also associated with greater prosocial attitudes.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Health, Mental Health, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

The Forgotten Casualties: Women, Children, and Environmental Change

Citation:

Cutter, Susan L. 1995. “The Forgotten Casualties: Women, Children, and Environmental Change.” Global Environmental Change 5 (3): 181–94.

Author: Susan L. Cutter

Abstract:

The concept of equity is used to highlight the impacts of environmental change on women and children. Three types of equity are defined (social, generational, and procedural) and both process and outcome (distributions) dimensions are described.  The application of the equity concept to the understanding of the socio-spatial impacts on women and children is illustrated using three themes.  The effect of environmental contamination on women and children provides an example of generational inequity.  Evidence of social inequity is seen in the poverty, population, environmental degradation spiral especially as it compromises the wellbeing of women and children and their ability to mitigate the consequence of environmental disturbances.  Finally, procedural inequities are described in the context of equal rights for women, including their rights to resources.  Women and children bear and will continue to bear a disproportionate burden of global environmental changes.  They also have unequal capabilities and opportunities for adjustments, rendering them more vulnerable to the regional and global environmental transformations currently underway.

Topics: Age, Youth, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity

Year: 1995

Child Labour, Agency and Family Dynamics: The Case of Mining in Katanga (DRC)

Citation:

Andre, G., and M. Godin. 2014. “Child Labour, Agency and Family Dynamics: The Case of Mining in Katanga (DRC).” Childhood 21 (2): 161–74. doi:10.1177/0907568213488966.

Authors: G. Andre, M. Godin

Abstract:

In the last three decades, the development of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector has been increasing in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bringing more and more urban families into this flourishing business sector, and among them, children. This article aims to look at the often unconceivable, and as a result neglected, social agency of children even when they are involved in activities which are, in the international legislation on children’s rights, categorized as one of the worst forms of child labour. To do so, it relies on the results of a socio-anthropological collective research project on children’s mining activities which was carried out in a small locality called La Ruashi in the city of Lubumbashi (Province of Katanga). The article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of these child mining-related activities by looking at different spheres of social relations within which children are embedded. Examining the set of social relations that children have with their families, the broader community and their ‘peers’, several ‘family portraits’ are offered, highlighting a heterogeneity of social interpretations regarding this form of child work. It is shown that for families from a middle-class background, this kind of work is often socially disruptive, at the forefront of intergenerational conflict. As for families from lower classes, social changes induced by children’s mining activities are often better incorporated into the family habitus. Common dynamics, encountered in all families irrespective of class belonging, is also portrayed.

Keywords: children's agency, child work in artisanal mining, interdependencies, intergenerational relationships, social differentiation of childhood

Topics: Age, Youth, Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Girls, Boys, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

Education under Radical Change: Education Policy and the Youth Program of the United States in Postwar Germany

Citation:

Fuessl, Karl-Heinz, and Gregory Paul Wegner. 1996. “Education under Radical Change: Education Policy and the Youth Program of the United States in Postwar Germany.” History of Education Quarterly 36 (1): 1–18.

Authors: Karl-Heinz Fuessl, Gregory Paul Wegner

Topics: Age, Youth, Education, Gender, Girls, Boys, Gender Roles, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany, United States of America

Year: 1996

Sexual Vulnerability of Adolescent Girls during Civil War in Teso, Uganda

Citation:

De Berry, Joanna. 2004. “Sexual Vulnerability of Adolescent Girls during Civil War in Teso, Uganda.” In Children and Youth on the Front Line: Ethnography, Armed Conflict and Displacement, edited by Jo Boyden and Joanna de Berry, 14, 1045–62. New York: Berghahn Books.

Author: Joanna De Berry

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2004

Child Soldiers in the Civil War in Sierra Leone

Citation:

Zack-Williams, Tunde. 2001. “Child Soldiers in the Civil War in Sierra Leone.” Review of African Political Economy 28 (87): 73-82.

Author: Tunde Zack-Williams

Abstract:

This article examines the factors which have brought children into social movements challenging those wielding political power in Sierra Leone. It reviews the manner of their recruitment and the roles they have played in the civil war. The analysis is premised on the notion that peripheral capitalism has transformed the form of the family, loosening controls over children. With ongoing crises in both the economic and political realms undermining kinship structures and leaving children with little security, some have turned to surrogate families for protection, either on the street or in the ranks of combatants. Although some of the children who have participated in the war have been volunteers, thousands more have been abducted and socialised via brute violence by both sides.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Gender, Girls, Boys, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2001

Child Soldiers, Peace Education, and Postconflict Reconstruction for Peace

Citation:

Wessells, Michael. 2005. “Child Soldiers, Peace Education, and Postconflict Reconstruction for Peace.” Theory Into Practice 44 (4): 363-69.

Author: Michael Wessells

Abstract:

Worldwide, children are drawn into lives as soldiers and terrorism as the result of forced recruitment and also by extremist ideologies and their inability to obtain security, food, power, prestige, education, and positive life options through civilian means. Using an example from Sierra Leone, this article shows that peace education is an essential element in a holistic approach to the reintegration of former child soldiers and to the prevention of youth's engagement in violence and terrorism. In the post-conflict context, effective peace education has a stronger practical than didactic focus, and it stimulates empathy, cooperation, reconciliation, and community processes for handling conflict in a nonviolent manner. These processes play a key role also in the prevention of children's engagement in violence and terrorism.

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, DDR, Education, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2005

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