Children and Conflict

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CDC Students may use these slides as an introduction to the key issues in relation to children and conflict.

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Children and Conflict

  1. 1. Children and Conflict Introduction to key issues Tupling 2013
  2. 2. Learning Outcomes • Identify the roles of children in various types of conflict • Describe the ways in which childhood is constructed through conflict • Discuss the consequences of conflicts on children and childhood Tupling 2013
  3. 3. Relief of Mafeking • Relief led by Baden-Powell • Mafeking Cadets • Boys 12-15 • Messengers, postmen, stretcher bearers • 12 yr old Sergeant-Major Warner Goodyear immortalised on penny stamp Tupling 2013
  4. 4. The Great War • Minimum age for enlistment - 18 • Minimum age for posting abroad - 19 • Boys lied about age and name • Enlistment officer accused of turning a ‘blind eye’ • Markham’s campaign • Conscription Tupling 2013
  5. 5. World War II Germany • Hitlerjugend & Bund Deutscher Mädel • Conformity and military discipline • Compulsory membership 1939 • Penalties for non-attendance • Dominated by middleclasses Tupling 2013
  6. 6. World War II Germany • Edelweißpiraten • Concentrated in industrialised areas • Resistance to the HJ • Threat to the Gestapo • Severe punishment - e.g. Cologne 1944 • Other anti-Nazi youth groups including Leipzig Meuten and Swing Kids Tupling 2013
  7. 7. World War IIEngland • Operation Pied Piper • September 1939 - 3,000,000 people evacuated from towns & cities • Billeting • Romantic view - better living conditions in the countryside • Foster, Davies and Steele (2003) found 8% of their study had been sexually abused as evacuees • Cadet Forces • 1938 - Air Defence Cadet Corps - aimed at “numbers of youngsters definitely trained to take an active part should war break out” (Adley, 2011: 68) Tupling 2013
  8. 8. 21st Century Conflicts - Child Soldiers • Focus on African countries, but child soldiers found in Asian countries, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East • Children may be recruited, ‘volunteer’, or be kidnapped. • Nature of war has changed - within state borders civilians in the battlefield (Honwana) • Vindevogel et al (2011: 521) “child soldiering can be considered as one of the worst practices of institutionalized child abuse” • Ugandan child soldiers spent an average of 1 1/2 years in captivity during which time they were exposed to warfare • UK, only nation in Europe which recruits to regular armed forces at age 16 Tupling 2013
  9. 9. 21st Century Conflicts - War on Terror • Naqib Ullah - youngest Guantánamo detainee • Captured 2003 aged 14 • Kidnapped and conscripted to fight for Taliban - victim of war • Belief he had intelligence justified detention in Cuba • Omar Khadr youngest person convicted of war crimes since Dachau trials (Rudolf Merkel aged 16) • Classified as a ‘child soldier’ by head of United Nations - US “refused to apply universally recognized standards of juvenile justice” (Human Rights Watch, 2010) Tupling 2013
  10. 10. 21st Century Conflicts - Palestine • Palestinian children living in Israeli occupied territories • Palestinian exposed to political violence • Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons • Subject to frequent arrests, violence, shooting, and being awoken from sleep and photographed in Israeli mapping exercise • Curfews imposed by Israeli forces prevent children from going to school Tupling 2013
  11. 11. Children in Conflict - Considerations • Conflict • Wars, including internal warfare, international conflict • Armed conflict • Political resistance • Terrorism • Organised crime i.e. trafficking • Avoid conflating war with conflict Tupling 2013
  12. 12. Children in Conflict - Considerations • Roles of Children • Combatants • Soldiers • Casualties • Targets • Activists • Propaganda tools • Indirect contributors • Roles of children are dynamic and vary by context Tupling 2013
  13. 13. Children in Conflict - Considerations • Ways in which children become involved • Conscripted • Recruited • Abducted • Volunteer • Exposed to conflict as part of everyday life Tupling 2013
  14. 14. Importance of considering cultures • Gaze on the 3rd (majority) world • Naturalises 1st (minority) world cultures • Juxtapose with our own society • Be aware of the limitations of juxtaposition • Western history is not problem free • Militaristic culture permeates lives of young people Tupling 2013
  15. 15. References • Adley, P (2011) ‘‘Ten thousand lads with shining eyes are dreaming and their dreams are wings’: affect, airmindedness and the birth of the aerial subject’, Cultural Geographies, 18, 1, 63-89 • Commonwealth War Graves Committee (2012) Horace Iles [online image] Available at: http://www.cwgc.org/education/imp_pop/horace.htm [Accessed 27 November 2012] • Foster, D; Davies, S; Steele, H. (2003) ‘The evacuation of British children during World War II: A preliminary investigation into the long-term psychological effects’, Ageing & Mental Health, 7:5, 398-408 • Honwana, A (2008) ‘Children’s Involvement in War: Historical and Social Contexts’, The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, 1, 1, 139-149 • Human Rights Watch (2010) Omar Ahmed Khadr [Online] http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/11/02/omar-ahmedkhadr [Accessed 9th November 2011] • Vindevogel, S; Coppens, K; Derluyn, I; De Schryver, M; Loots, G; Broekaert, E (2011) ‘Forced conscription of children during armed conflict: Experiences of former child soldiers in northern Uganda’, Child Abuse and Neglect, 35, 551-562 Tupling 2013

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