Child soldiers in Sierra Leone: Experiences, implications and strategies for rehabilitation and community reintegration
The issue of child soldiers has become an increasing global concern. More than 300,000 soldiers under the age of 18 are fighting in conflicts in 41 countries around the world.
The problem has been particularly serious in Sierra Leone where thousands of children have participated directly in armed conflict or have been recruited for labour or sexual exploitation among armed groups.
Despite international concern about children in armed conflict, minimal empirical research has been dedicated to this problem. To fill the research gaps, this study has traced the experiences and perspectives of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and investigated the implications of their participation in armed conflict.
The research findings will be used to enhance community based programs and policies for the rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers into community life.