Childsoldiers: Prevention, Demobilization, and Reintegration

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Abstract

This article sets medico legal light on torture of three former child soldiers by comparing torture methods, consequences of torture and medical observations. It is focused on these child soldiers as representatives of the many abuses of children as soldiers in armed groups. The three persons were child soldiers during 12 years in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as members of three different armed groups. They were exposed to armed conflict events, experienced torture, and participated in atrocities, sexual abuse and traditional rituals during their role in armed conflict. They were psychologically distressed with unhealthy physical and mental states. The principles for working with child soldiers are described. The model addresses basic items: The confluence of the dimensions of the items will determine the specifics of medico legal evidence of torture in child soldiers, taking into consideration inputs that are required at the macro, community and individual levels. A primary goal is to prevent violence from occurring in child soldiers. Thus, much more deliberate effort is made to address the underlying causes of recruitment of children in armed groups in DRC and to invest more resources in conflict resolution before there is an outbreak of violence. Peace education tends to be introduced too late and does little to alleviate the use of children in armed conflict in DRC.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Abuse: legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Abuse: psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Medicine: legislation & jurisprudence
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry: legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Military Personnel: legislation & jurisprudence
  • Military Personnel: psychology
  • Torture
  • Torture: legislation & jurisprudence
  • Torture: psychology
  • War

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Authors

  • Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit

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