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A Peace of the Puzzle: The Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of Child Soldiers in Liberia

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

This thesis uses the prism of Liberia’s post-conflict experience to explore the centrality of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of children to the success of peacebuilding efforts. Until recently, the concept and process of child DDR has either been completely ignored, subsumed as part of adult processes or has been treated by academics, policymakers and international organisations as a peripheral issue in attempts to consolidate peace and security. This thesis seeks to fill this crucial gap in the literature by analysing each step of the DDR programme in Liberia, carefully isolating childspecific causalities, interventions and implications from the broader peacebuilding processes. Based on this disaggregation, it argues that addressing the needs of child soldiers through a comprehensive and dedicated child-specific DDR programme has not only been vital to the achievement of short, medium term, and long-term peacebuilding objectives in Liberia, but should also be considered an essential “peace” of the puzzle in other pertinent post-conflict situations.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date2014

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