IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mcn/rwpapr/27.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Child Soldiers in Colombia: The Recruitment of Children into Non-state Violent Armed Groups

Author

Listed:
  • Ingunn Bjørkhaug

    () (Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies)

Abstract

Based on in-depth interviews with former child soldiers in Colombia, this article presents the findings from fieldwork conducted among demobilized child soldiers in Colombia. The findings add to the state of knowledge by going in-depth into the circumstances surrounding the processes and mechanisms of recruitment of children and adolescents into armed groups. The former child soldiers had generally joined the armed groups voluntarily. However; one of the challenges with a strong division between ‘voluntary’ and ‘coerced’ recruitment, is that it indicates a sharp dichotomy between two very different situations. This article argues that most cases of recruitment takes place in the grey zone between voluntary and coerced recruitment. However, the demobilization policies work under the assumption that even when the children classify themselves as voluntarily recruited it is considered force due to children’s inability to make a free or conscious choice. This indicates that demobilization programs are based on an assumption that is incorrect. The former child soldiers, both girls and boys, were affected by their involvement in the conflict. They did not, however, constitute a homogeneous group of passive victims, but rather a group of vital agents each one with their choices shaped by their particular experiences and circumstances.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingunn Bjørkhaug, 2010. "Child Soldiers in Colombia: The Recruitment of Children into Non-state Violent Armed Groups," Research Working Papers 27, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:27
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.microconflict.eu/publications/RWP27_IB.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ana María Ibañez & Andrés Moya, 2010. "Do Conflicts Create Poverty Traps? Asset Losses and Recovery for Displaced Households in Colombia," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 137-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcn:rwpapr:27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John Spall) or () or () or () or (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/idsusuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.