Interventions to Assist the Disarmament, Demobilization, & Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

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Title: Interventions to Assist the Disarmament, Demobilization, & Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review
Authors: Campbell, Kirsten Emily Anne
Date: 19-Apr-2017
Abstract: The prevalence of child soldiers remains a constant feature in many of today’s armed conflicts, specifically on the African continent. With the high prevalence of the use of children as soldiers in Sub-Saharan Africa, a major concern lies in how these child soldiers are to be assisted post-conflict, in transitioning from life as a member of an armed force or group, back to life as a regular civilian. This paper undertakes a systematic review of the evidence of thirteen studies based in five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, studying the effectiveness of interventions undertaken to assist in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former child soldiers returned from armed conflict. The literature commonly identifies four categories of interventions: psychosocial and psychiatric; creative-expressive; economic and educational; and community acceptance. Those categories of interventions that were reported to be the most effective include: economic and educational programming; elements of psychosocial and psychiatric interventions; and activities associated with community acceptance interventions. On the other hand, interventions that were reported to not be as effective included: certain elements of economic interventions; inadequate provision of economic and educational interventions; creative-expressive activities; and the improper use of certain elements of psychosocial interventions. Overall, the thirteen included studies in this systematic review indicate that there are many interventions to assist in the DDR of returned child soldiers that are generally effective in alleviating a variety of the multitude of ailments and issues faced by former child soldiers. However, it is clear that there is still not enough of a base of information to generalize a clear set of best practices for interventions that should be used in transitioning former child soldiers back to their previous lives.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35997
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers
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