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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 116 / 125





116 / 125

A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

Lessons from the Research

The lessons of the research are clear. It is critically important that the communities to which affected young women belong recognize, and convey to the young women concerned, that they bear no responsibility for the misfortunes that have befallen them. They must also redouble their efforts to set up effective local mechanisms which protect minors against sexual abuse, as well as providing all young people in difficulty (including, for example, orphans, rape victims, and those who have been rejected by their families) with effective, accessible, community-based support. However, governments, the international community, and civil society also need to recognize - and overcome - the inadequacies of the support they have provided up till now.

Governments could revise legal frameworks to bring them into line with international legislation and policy, and should overhaul systems for training and monitoring

statutory agencies such as the police and social could increase investment in projects with young

services. people in

Development actors mind, ensuring their

participation in the boys and girls. Civil

design society

of such projects, has a critical role

and ensuring equal opportunities for to play in raising issues around young

people affected by war, and in lobbying for their society, in advocating for the defence of young young people’s own organizations.

acceptance and people’s rights,

reintegration into and in promoting

At the same time, donors and the international community should redouble their efforts to ensure that gender equality is a priority criterion in programmes they fund, and that the benefits of these are shared equally between men and women. In particular, they have a responsibility to set up adequate monitoring mechanisms concerning gender-based violence, and to ensure compliance with existing policy, both within-country and in the international organizations themselves. Moreover, donors can exert their influence to ensure that adequate attention is given to youth in post-conflict reconstruction programmes, and that this should include enhanced strategies for providing young people (men and women) with education, training and employment opportunities.

Participation and Protection of children and youth

The modern day conflicts in Africa are becoming increasingly fought by young


The fighting forces consist almost entirely of youth,









for example the (LRA)49, the MAI


etc, yet too often, youth voices and opinions are marginalized in peace

and security discourses. Young people form a great percentage of all fighting forces but they are continuously absent from national, sub-regional, regional, and

 9 8 0 The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was a rebel army that fought a failed ten-year insurrection in Sierra Leone, starting in 99 and ending in 2002. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), formed in 98, is a rebel group operating mainly in northern Uganda and parts of Sudan. Mai-Mai, also known as Mayi-Mayi, is a general term referring to a broad variety of Congolese militia groups who were active in the Second Congo War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The majority of Mai Mai are active in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu Betty Kaari Murungi (200): Analysis of the legal issues arising out of the case studies from Burundi and Uganda from a human rights perspective. Paper presented at the ACORD Seminar on challenging impunity on sexual violence in times of conflict 28 March 200 in Nairobi Kenya

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