"Children's participation in armed conflict is one of the worst [forms] of child labour and a violation in itself. It is an extensive violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. There is increasing awareness about the variety of roles played by girls in fighting forces. They are abducted and forced to be sexual slaves, cooks, [to] clean, act as porters, loot, and [be] 'wives' to combatants. Notwithstanding, Veale observes that there are still a few gender-based issues of the differential experiences of male and female children who have been involved in military units. Although they play all these roles, they have received scanty attention during the reintegration process as opposed to male child soldiers. Mckay and her colleagues argue that [the] majority of reports, internaitonal campaigns, and initiatives continue to use the generic term 'child soldiers' which most often mean 'boys'. They do not identify differential impacts for boys and girls before, during or after armed conflicts. Mazurana found in another study that between 1990 and 2000, underaged girls participated in armed conflicts in a minimum of 32 countries as child soldeirs or military support forces. ... Northern Uganda qualifies [as] a case study because it has been in conflict between 1996 [and] 2006. It is estimated that there are 70 to 80 percent of child combatants with girls making up 30 percent. Disarmament and demobilisation is carried out by Uganda's People Defence Force (UPDF) working together with some United Nations (UN) humanitarian bodies, then NGOs and community leaders in turn work on the reintegration of the returnees. However, the reintegration process in Uganda is a-typical when compared to that of Sierra Leone, and most often does not take into consideration the special needs of female child soldiers. ... My focus will therefore be on Northern Uganda, but reference will be made to Sierra Leone as precedent where the context permits. This will be relevant for any reintegration procudure that Uganda adopts after the war. ... Chapter one: introduction and background. Chapter two: investigating the recruitment and impact of conflict on child soldiers in general and female child soldiers in particular. This chapter will be divided into two parts. Part one sets the stage by giving a brief account of the conflict in Northern Uganda and Sierra Leone. Part two identifies the significant environmental factors, but not sufficient conditions that cause children in general, and girls in particular, to join armed groups and the impact it has on female child soldiers. Chapter three: legal guarantee of the right to reintegration - by provision and implication. This chapter outlines and analyses treaties that have influenced and circumscribed the policies and practices for the reintegration of female child soldiers. It also looks at those that provide for reintegration by implication. This chapter will also examine the rights-based approach as base for reintegration processes. Case law will be included. Chapter four: comprehensive analysis of effective socio-economic reintegration of female child soldiers. This chapter will examine the factors that influence successful reintegration. It will portray the half-baked approach of reintegration that is obvious in the case study. The role of international agencies, NGOs, civil society and other actors will be discussed as a platform for successful reintegration. Furthermore, some decisions at the Special Court of Sierra Leone (SCSL) will be discussed. Chapter five: conclusion and recommendations." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2006.
Prepared under the supervision of Mr. Angelo Matusse at the Faculdade de Direito, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique