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Child soldiers : preventing, demobilizing and reintegrating (Inglês)

Among the most egregious child rights violations, an estimated 300,000 child soldiers are involved in armed conflicts. Although a number of countries have undertaken demobilization and reintegration programs for child soldiers, there remains a dearth of documentation and dissemination of programs experience and best practice to guide the countries. This working paper draws from in-depth case studies on Angola and El Salvador, as well as other country program experience. The study follows the themes of prevention, demobilization, and reintegration, detailing concrete examples and offering checklists on each of the main themes for use in future programs. Although demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers is often seen as hopeless, this study shows that children and youth involved in armed conflict can re-engage positive social relations and productive civilian lives. It is not easy, however, and depends crucially on the political will and resources to include child soldiers in peace agreements and demobilization programs and to support their reintegration into family and community.

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