Child Soldiers: Rethinking Reintegration

This panel discusses the intricacies of a child’s association with an armed group and the benefits of, and obstacles to, reintegration.

Members event, Panel Recording
3 July 2019 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

Around the world, children are recruited into armed groups and forced into direct combat and support roles. Despite this being a violation of international law, reports from children, NGOs and the UN suggest that recruitment is increasing.

Children that manage to escape or demobilize from these armed groups will often face marginalization from their families and communities. Programmes aimed at reintroducing these children to their families and communities have regularly fallen short in providing long-term and sustainable solutions.

To address this, a recent War Child report calls for reintegration programmes that are individualistic, community-based and put children at the forefront of the discussion.

  • Why and how are children drawn into armed groups and how can they be helped to leave?

  • What are some of the common experiences of children in reintegration programmes?

  • And how can ongoing security concerns and assessments of a child’s agency in joining an armed group be balanced with an approach that treats child soldiers as victims rather than perpetrators?

This event is organized in association with War Child UK.


Rocco Blume, Head of Policy and Advocacy, War Child UK

Rosy Cave, Head, Gender Equality Unit; Head, Office of the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Paddy Dowling, Humanitarian Photojournalist

Chair: Charu Lata Hogg, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

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