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Moving Towards a More Inclusive Reintegration: The Case of Demobilized Afro-Colombian Girl Child Soldiers

Nguyen, Kenny

Colombia’s conflict started in 1964 and spanned over 50 years, until former President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace deal that formally ended the conflict between the FARC-EP and the Colombian government. In total, different groups in the conflict recruited close to 17,000 children, a violation of their human rights under international human rights law. By conducting interviews with child protection experts and reviewing the ICBF’s policies on race and gender, this study seeks to understand the reintegration experiences of demobilized Afro-Colombian girls, how the ICBF takes into account race and gender in the design of their programs, and whether or not Colombia’s reintegration program adequately addresses the needs of demobilized Afro-Colombian girls. The findings of this study show that reintegration programs fail to adequately address their needs. Afro-Colombian girls have a distinct set of needs that reintegration programs must take into account when designing their programs, which include unique power relations within the armed groups, lack of basic services prior to their involvement with the armed groups as well as after their demobilization, and the violence still present in their communities upon their return. This study also found that the ICBF’s understanding of race and gender in the design of their programs is explicit and thorough, outlining the importance of incorporating race and gender. However, the findings show that the implementation of such mechanisms fall short of being effective and attainable. This study’s findings point to the need to be more inclusive in the design of the reintegration programs, and to take into account dangers present in the communities where Afro-Colombian girls will be returning to.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Holland, Tracey M.
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2019
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