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Educational and Social Challenges in the Reintegration Process of Former Child Soldiers

The Power of Resistance

ISBN: 978-1-78350-461-9, eISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

Publication date: 12 September 2017


This chapter explores how marginalized youth, specifically former child soldiers in South Sudan, struggle to access education that is crucial in their reintegration process. The chapter draws upon data from a study focusing on the reintegration process of school boys formerly associated with armed forces and groups in South Sudan, and is based on ethnographic fieldwork including interviews and observations of 20 former child soldiers in Malakal, Upper Nile State. The study identifies a number of external factors that inhibit educational opportunities for the boys in their reintegration process. These are their life experiences, the impacts of war, their socioeconomic background and the lack of educational structures due to ongoing conflict. This study describes how the living conditions that motivated the boys to join the armed group are still present after their demobilization. Thus, they not only still find themselves in poverty but the time spent in the armed group and the impacts of war have put them in an even more marginalized position today than prior to their recruitment. The study argues that access to education is crucial in order to prevent recruitment and also re-recruitment to armed groups.



Skårås, M. (2017), "Educational and Social Challenges in the Reintegration Process of Former Child Soldiers", The Power of Resistance (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 243-263.



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