Protection or violation : challenges of reintegrating and rehabilitating child victims of war in Northern Uganda (1998-2011)
The use of children in war is one of the most universally condemned human rights abuses in the world, yet a large number of children are currently believed to be fighting in over 30 conflicts around the globe. While many of them die before they are released, others escape, are rescued or are returned by their captors. These children then face the daunting task of being rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. Despite the broad nature of the issue, and its huge individual and societal impacts, relatively little is known about child victims of war, their time in service and their experience of reintegration. The Uganda government with hundreds of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) is assisting child victims of war in northern Uganda, however, there's still a limited impact on the situation. Formerly abducted children still face tremendous amounts of difficulty upon their return to society and remain invisible in policy making and practice. As such, this research seeks to understand the challenges and experiences faced by these children while in captivity as well as upon their return to family and community. Previous research with child victims of war has documented varying outcomes among this group of a war affected society, suggesting that the processes of ending the conflict in northern Uganda are taking place. However, not enough has been focused on building evidence specifically around the concrete reasons and ways in which the government and all stakeholders involved arc protecting, rehabilitating and reintegrating the child victims of war. This research therefore shows how a number of children were abducted and their livelihood upon return. It highlights the resilience of these children in the midst of conflict and their strong will and ability to rebuild their lives. The thesis describes the experiences of the Acholi and Lango child victims of war within the Lord 's Resistance Army (LKA), and upon return to their families and community, and offers a critical look at all efforts made by all the stakeholders involved in the reintegration and rehabilitation of these children. It also provides suggestions and recommendations on how to improve and create successful outcomes in protecting the children of northern Uganda.
- Humanities