PILOT COURSE ON PREVENTION, RELEASE AND REINTEGRATION OF CHILDREN ASSOCIATED WITH ARMED FORCES AND ARMED GROUPS
Dates and venue : December 2 to 7, 2019 in Barcelona
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. To build sustainable peace and protect children from armed conflict, the direct humanitarian assistance given to CAAFAG must be linked with long term peacebuilding and development agendas, as well as measures to prevent (re-)recruitment into armed violence.
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. Based on this, the FBA will offer a comprehensive course focusing on DDR and children, that 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. The sessions will include the following topics:
- Children in armed contexts
- Legal and normative framework
- Child centered DDR
- Assessment, profiling and conflict analysis
- Release and reintegration of children
- Security and prevention of (re)recruitment
- Strategic programme design and implementation
- Tools for gender integration
- Case study group exercise
The course aims at strengthening the knowledge on how to support CAAFAG from release to reintegration. After completing the course, the participants are expected to be able to:
- Explain the child specific concepts of DDR, its objectives, principles and processes;
- Identify differentiated needs and preconditions among boys and girls within child sensitive DDR processes;
- Describe the normative and legal frameworks on children’s rights and states’ responsibilities to guarantee and re-establish violated rights;
- Apply tools and methods needed for CAAFAG – based on differentiated profiles;
- Identify operational linkages across different peacebuilding sectors to strengthen child protection and sustainable reintegration as a part of DDR processes; and
- Argue for an evidence-based approach in development of specific approaches.
Organized by: The Barcelona International Peace Center (BIPC) jointly with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) from Sweden.