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"No Place to Hide: Refugees, Displaced Persons, and the Recruitment of Child Soldiers"

"No Place to Hide: Refugees, Displaced Persons, and the Recruitment of Child Soldiers"

Journal Article, International Security, volume 31, issue 1, pages 127-164

Summer 2006

Authors: Vera Achvarina, Simon Reich

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Quarterly Journal: International Security

 

ABSTRACT

The global number of child soldiers has grown significantly in the last two decades despite a series of protocols designed to curb their numbers. They are generally employed in wars where belligerents spend more time attacking civilian populations than fighting professional armies. Used by both governments and rebel groups, child soldiers epitomize many of the problems associated with states at risk: intergenerational violence, poverty, and the failure of efforts to instill the rule of war. Both scholars in security studies and policymakers have largely regarded child soldier recruitment as a humanitarian issue. But recent events have linked child soldiering to insurgency and terrorism, suggesting that this issue is also developing a security dimension. This article examines contrasting arguments about the causes of child soldiering. Using data drawn from nineteen African conflicts, the authors argue that the major explanation for the significant variation in the percentage of child soldiers recruited is the degree of protection against abduction provided by governments and external actors for internally displaced person and refugee camps.

 

For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Achvarina, Vera, and Simon F. Reich. "No Place to Hide: Refugees, Displaced Persons, and the Recruitment of Child Soldiers." International Security 31, no. 1 (Summer 2006): 127-164.

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