The Macksey Journal


Over the years, armed forces have repeatedly recruited and kidnaped children to be used during conflict. Because of their vulnerability, children have become a strategic source for groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab. According to the United Nations (2017), approximately 115,000 children have already been released from armed forces globally since 2000. As these children are being released from these terrorist organizations, it raises question about how these children should be integrated back into society after participating in an unknown number of traumatic and criminal events. National governments and international organizations remain uncertain as to whether these children should be treated as war criminals for their crimes or as victims, let alone who should fund rehabilitation programs. If not properly rehabilitated, they can become a threat to public security. Before they become a high-security risk to states, communities, and themselves, it is a necessity to provide proper disarmament, demobilization, and rehabilitation (DDR) to reintegrate the children into society safely. This research will analyze proper ways in which children can be rehabilitated, as well as provide clarification as to who is considered a child under international law. It will also explore different programs used in past child rehabilitation initiatives and propose a beneficial program that includes physical, psychological, and social reintegration for effective rehabilitation.