‘I Can’t Go Home’. Forced migration and displacement following demobilisation: the complexity of reintegrating former child soldiers in Colombia

Denov, M., & Marchand, I. (2014). ‘I Can’t Go Home’. Forced migration and displacement following demobilisation: the complexity of reintegrating former child soldiers in Colombia. Intervention, 12(3), 331-343.

This paper examines the reintegration experiences of a group of demobilised youth who were associated with various armed groups during the course of ongoing armed conflict in Colombia. In particular, the paper traces how the realities of forced migration and displacement profoundly shape and inform their reintegration experiences. Drawing upon qualitative interviews with a sample of 22 former child soldiers, the authors highlight the key challenges and impacts participants faced as a result of forced migration and displacement, particularly in relation to family, place, and (in) security. Our study indicates that despite these ongoing challenges, and within a context of ongoing war and armed violence, these former child soldiers have been able to lead industrious and productive lives through their commitment to education, employment and peer support.

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