Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy.
Drumbl does not disagree that some child soldiers may, in fact, be faultless passive victims. But he argues that the image is a legal fiction that oversimplifies a much more complex reality. Some child soldiers are abducted or conscripted by threats into fighting at very young ages. On the other hand, significant numbers are older teenagers who have volunteered to fight so as to achieve various ends: to defend the state, to earn food and shelter, to pursue a vocation, to stave off boredom, or even to have the opportunity to dominate and be cruel. Some go to great lengths once in service to avoid killing; others torture, rape, and kill.
Drumbl proposes that we embrace this complex reality and reimagine child soldiers as circumscribed actors rather than helpless victims; that is, as diverse individuals who are constrained by poverty and other environmental factors, but who nevertheless are able to make choices. He advances a simple reason for recognizing a complex reality: to encourage a broader range of policy solutions--solutions that may have a better chance of ending the practice of child soldiering. All in all, this is a provocative and important book.
* Reviewed by Yvonne M. Dutton
Reitnagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy. By Mark A. Drumbl. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
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|Author:||Drumbl, Mark A.|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2014|
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