Rethink Child Soldiers: A New Approach to the Reintegration of All Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups

War Child

This report aims to bring global attention to the challenges related to the reintegration of children associated with armed forces and groups, and promote better policy, practice and funding in the future. The findings are based on a literature review and primary research in Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, and interviews with government departments, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society in Colombia, Iraq and South Sudan. The global financial analysis was undertaken in 2018.

This report identifies key barriers to reintegration programming that War Child has experienced and witnessed:

1. Insufficient funding to deliver comprehensive programming

2. Limited quality programming with too great a focus on short-term interventions

3. A dearth of community-led initiatives and programming directed at addressing the root causes of children’s recruitment and preventing future recruitment

4. Poor institutional capacity hindering the availability of reintegration support

5. Exclusion of children as active citizens and from participating in change

6. Legal and political classifications that deny children access to reintegration support

The report also outlines War Child's recommendations to ensure that all children have access to quality, contextspecific and individualised reintegration support, irrespective of the armed force or group that they have been associated with.