The rehabilitation of child soldiers: defining needs and appropriate responses.

Research paper by P J PJ Bracken, J E JE Giller, J K JK Ssekiwanuka

Indexed on: 01 Apr '96Published on: 01 Apr '96Published in: Medicine, conflict, and survival


There is growing international concern that large numbers of children are being recruited to military forces in situations of conflict around the globe, despite the fact that there are principles established in international law specifically directed against the use of children as soldiers. It has been assumed that military experience will have negative psychological effects on children, and several projects aimed at the rehabilitation of such children have been developed. We have had opportunities to examine the situation of child soldiers in Uganda, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In this article we draw attention to some of the conceptual and practical problems involved in this rehabilitative work.