Barcelona International Peace Center
PILOT COURSE ON PREVENTION, RELEASE AND REINTEGRATION OF CHILDREN ASSOCIATED WITH ARMED FORCES AND ARMED GROUPS
Children’s experiences within armed groups or armed forces invariably leave them traumatized and deprived of their childhood, whether they were used in combat roles or not. The release and reintegration of children associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) must emanate from the child, and emphasize the role of the family and community with the intention of achieving an effective and sustainable reintegration. Girls and boys must be provided with tailored service, such as family reunification, psychosocial support and education. Failing to support children can lead to further marginalization and exposure to violence, and may later lead to re-recruitment into armed violence or organized crime.
Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants (DDR) refers to a broader process which includes DDR programmes and related tools and approaches. This may include child specific activities outside of a traditional DDR programme, as reflected in the revised module of United Nations Integrated DDR Standards 5.30 DDR and Children. When designing and developing reintegration assistance to children a differential, child centered, approach must be adopted.
This comprehensive course, focusing on DDR and children, will strengthen the knowledge on how to support CAAFAG in the most effective way throughout the whole peacebuilding continuum.
This six-day course will be built around the trajectories and lived experiences of children being recruited to, functioning within, as well as being released from armed groups and forces, emphasizing the role of the family and community in the success of reintegration as well as taking into account the overlapping areas between child protection frameworks and DDR.
Participants are expected to have an intermediate knowledge of peacebuilding mechanisms and/or structures, dynamics of internal armed conflicts, and a need or strong interest to learn about child focused DDR. Invited participants are civil servants, diplomats, police, military personnel, academics and representatives from international and non-governmental organizations.