Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy

Paperback | February 13, 2012

byMark A. Drumbl

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The international community's efforts to halt child soldiering have yielded some successes. But this pernicious practice persists. It may shift locally, but it endures globally. Preventative measures therefore remain inadequate. Former child soldiers experience challenges readjusting tocivilian life. Reintegration is complex and eventful. The homecoming is only the beginning. Reconciliation within communities afflicted by violence committed by and against child soldiers is incomplete. Shortfalls linger on the restorative front. Still, conversations about child soldiers mostly involve the same story, told over and over, and repeat the same assumptions, over and over. Current humanitarian discourse sees child soldiers as passive victims, tools of war, vulnerable, psychologically devastated, and not responsible for theirviolent acts. This perception has come to suffuse international law and policy. Although reflecting much of the lives of child soldiers, this portrayal also omits critical aspects. This book pursues an alternate path by reimagining the child soldier. It approaches child soldiers with a morenuanced and less judgmental mind. It offers a way to think about child soldiers that would invigorate international law, policy, and best practices. Where does this reimagination lead? Not toward retributive criminal trials, but instead toward restorative forms of justice. Toward forgiveness instead of excuse, thereby facilitatingreintegration and promoting social repair within afflicted communities. Toward a better understanding of child soldiering, without which the practice cannot be ended. This book also offers fresh thinking on related issues, ranging from juvenile justice, to humanitarian interventions, to theuniversality of human rights, to the role of law in responding to mass atrocity.

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The international community's efforts to halt child soldiering have yielded some successes. But this pernicious practice persists. It may shift locally, but it endures globally. Preventative measures therefore remain inadequate. Former child soldiers experience challenges readjusting tocivilian life. Reintegration is complex and e...

Mark A. Drumbl is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor at Washington and Lee University, School of Law, where he also serves as Director of its Transnational Law Institute. He has held visiting appointments with a number of law faculties, including Oxford, Paris II (Pantheon-Assas), Trinity College-Dublin, Melbourne, and Ottawa. Drumbl...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pagesPublished:February 13, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199592667

ISBN - 13:9780199592661

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Table of Contents

1. Coming of Age in Atrocity2. Children Who Soldier: Practices, Politics, and Perceptions3. Not So Simple4. Child Soldiers and Accountability5. Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Children: From Proscription to Prevention6. Rights, Wrongs, and Transitional Reconstruction7. Reinvigorating the International Legal Imagination