Forced to Fight: An Integrated Approach to Former Child Soldiers in Northern Uganda
The usage of child soldiers persists across the globe, even as efforts to prevent the recruitment of children in armed conflict continue. The reintegration of children affected by war continues to be a pressing issue in Africa. In Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was responsible for kidnapping an upwards of 30,000 children. Although it has not been operational since peace talks with the government in 2006, the LRA remains active in neighboring countries such as the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Further, LRA violence has left thousands of formerly abducted children struggling with integration back into their communities.
In this policy brief, Public Policy Fellow Jamie Van Leeuwen, alongside Dr. Laurie Miller, Mr. Jerry Amanya, and Mr. Michael Feinberg examine the physical and mental challenges former child soldiers face in their communities, assess the shortcomings of current reintegration efforts, and provide lessons learned from the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), actors in Uganda that engage in reintegration efforts. They provide policy recommendations on how local governments, NGOs, international organizations, and policymakers operating in Northern Uganda can work together to create more integrated and holistic approaches for FCS reintegration.
About the Authors
Jamie Van Leeuwen
CEO & Founder of the Global Livingston Institute and Director of Youth & Community Engagement at the Emerson Collective
Program Coordinator, Global Livingston Institute
The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations. Read more