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PSRP Researcher Presenting: Children and War – Past and Present
July 14, 2016 @ 1:30 pm - 3:15 pm
PSRP Researcher Rachel Anderson is presenting at the third international multidisciplinary conference on Children and War: Past and Present, to be held at the University of Salzburg, Austria, on 13-15 July 2016. The conference is organised by the University of Salzburg and the University of Wolverhampton, in association with the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Rachel’s paper, ‘Framing the child soldier identity in post-conflict contexts: The long-term effects of child soldier DDR in Sierra Leone’ examines how international interventions and local practices have shaped understandings of the ‘child soldier identity’ in Sierra Leonean Society since the end of the civil war in 2002 and how these understandings affect former child soldiers social interactions with other members of their communities. Rachel will present her paper at the panel: Child Soldiers (III), 13:30 – 15:30 CEST, Thursday 14 July 2016.
The event is open to attend, however registration is required and there is an attendance fee (Regular fees (3 days): EUR 210; regular fees (1 day): EUR 90.
Sierra Leone’s post-conflict reconstruction is viewed as a landmark case in the history of international peacebuilding as it represents the first time in which the needs of children who participated in the conflict were acknowledged in the formal peace process. In particular, its DDR process has been hailed as a success story by the international community and used as a model in other peace operations. This paper seeks to examine the long term effects of the child soldier DDR process on the social status of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone.
Drawing on empirical research undertaken in Sierra Leone and using sociological theories of identity management, this paper examines how international interventions and local practices have shaped understandings of the ‘child soldier identity’ in Sierra Leonean Society since the end of the war and how these understandings affect former child soldiers social interactions with other members of their communities. The findings suggest that former child soldiers are left with three options for the long-term management of this identity, namely to conceal, to mitigate or to embrace it. While each identity management strategy offers its own set of social benefits, each strategy also places a specific set of restrictions on the child soldiers to which they must adhere in order to ensure their continued social acceptance.
Photo credit: Rachel Anderson