Identity, ideology and child soldiering: community and youth participation in civil conflict - A study on the Moro Islamic liberation front, Mindanao, Philippines

Alpaslan Ozerdem, Sukanya Podder, Eddie L. Quitoriano

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    49 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The 2009 cessation of governmental offensive to eliminate key figures of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has imparted fresh impetus to the peace process in Mindanao, Philippines. Recent clashes have resulted in large scale and ongoing displacement. This stalemate together with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s end of Presidential term has revived concerns about the future dynamics of the Bangsamoro struggle. An important dimension in this is the ‘voluntary’ nature of participation of children and young people in the ranks of the MILF, sanctioned and often encouraged by their families and community. This presents an interesting contrast to the predominant literature on child soldiering that seems overly aligned with the coercive recruitment and related trauma healing axis. In this article we examine the role of identity, ideology, the family and community in this presumed voluntary participation of children and youth in the MILF, in order to refine the linkage between recruitment experience of children and youth and their reintegration outcomes, and prescribe more appropriate reintegration interventions for youth in scenarios of participation sanctioned by family and community
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)304-325
    JournalCivil Wars
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

    Keywords

    • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
    • child soldiers
    • reintegration

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