Children & Society: Children Affected by Armed Conflict – Volume 30, Issue 5, September 2016

Special Issue: Children Affected by Armed Conflict
This special issue of the academic journal Children & Society was guest-edited by two CPC faculty affiliates, Myriam Denov and Bree Akesson. It explores the realities of children affected by political violence. The editorial article introduces the journal’s special issue discussing the intersection of rights and realities. Read the article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


Childhood, Human Rights and Adversity: The Case of Children and Military Conflict 
This article, by Michael Wyness, discusses the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its important role in crystallising a global commitment to protecting children. Nevertheless, beyond these commitments to children, researchers have questioned whether the rights agenda captures the diversity of children’s lives globally. Does the Convention connect with the lifeworlds of children playing formative roles? Drawing on critical research on children’s rights, he addresses this question through analysing the roles that children play in military conflict. He explores a human rights framework, which highlights the agency of child soldiers focusing on their material, social and political capacities. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


“And then they left”: Challenges to child protection systems strengthening in South Sudan
This article, by associate director of the CPC Learning Network, Mark Canavera, director, Lindsay Stark, Kiryn Lanning, and Katherine Polin discusses four crucial pillars for child protection systems strengthening: coordination, capacity, funding and community inclusion. Data collected in South Sudan from June to August, 2012 shows that respondents at all systemic levels indicated that child protection systems strengthening efforts operated largely in isolation from the quotidian realities of children, families and communities. The humanitarian apparatus–marked by short-term funding and accountability to the international community rather than to local communities–will require significant reform to situate humanitarian efforts in a systems strengthening framework. If the objective is to strengthen national child protection systems, emergency response activities must better align with household- and community-level efforts to protect children. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


The Right to Home: Domicide as a Violation of Child and Family Rights in the Context of Political Violence
This article, by CPC faculty affiliates, Myriam Denov and Bree Akesson, and Andrew Basso, recognizes the limited international recognition of domicide as a violation of children’s rights. While human rights documents allude to the crime of domicide, it is, however, never explicitly referred to as a human rights violation. Through an analysis of human rights documents and with a focus on the experiences of children, families and communities, they argue that domicide should be explicitly acknowledged as a violation of human rights so that it can effectively be prosecuted as a war crime in contexts of political violence. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


Uprooting the Pumpkin: Neo-Colonial Therapeutic Interventions with Formerly Abducted Young People in norther Uganda
This paper, by Neil Bilotta, addresses how therapeutic interventions in northern Uganda align with a colonial framework. It explores connections between the English invasion of northern Uganda in the mid-1800s and therapeutic approaches to young people affected by armed conflict. Two case examples of treatment for young people at major reception centres are provided: (i) World Vision and (ii) Gulu Support the Children Organisation. Both draw on Western mental health interventions as the approach of choice rather than prioritising traditional Acholi values. This conceptual paper explores new directions for Western helping professional in the Global South. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


Constructing Impossibility: Israeli State Discourses about Palestinian Child Labor
This paper, by Omri Grinberg, analyses discussions of the Israeli Parliament’s Committee on the Rights of the Child about Palestinian children who make their way from the occupied Palestinian territories to traffic junctions in Israel, where they earn money in various ways. Using theories by Derrida and Latour, he claims that the children compel the state to rhetorically display humanitarian care, while overlooking its commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child so to avoid aiding them in practice. Placing these children in a bureaucratic lacuna, Israel denies its duty to offer hospitality to all children. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.


Mothers Reflect on How They Have Assisted Their Children to Cope with the Terrorist Attacks in Kenya
This qualitative exploratory research project, by Ajwang’ Warria, explored reflections of how six mothers assisted their children cope with the aftermath of the 2013–2015 terror attacks in Kenya. These data were collected in January and February 2016. Findings indicate that positive and supportive parental responses can be beneficial to a child’s well-being. Opportunities to safeguard children’s futures by mitigating harmful consequences of terror attacks through parental involvement are vital in securing the child’s rights to survival, development, participation and protection. Read the full article here, or contact the corresponding author here.
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