‘It’s about finding a way’ : children, sites of opportunity, and building everyday peace in Colombia

Berents, Helen (2014) ‘It’s about finding a way’ : children, sites of opportunity, and building everyday peace in Colombia. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 22(2), pp. 361-384.

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Abstract

The multiple forms of violence associated with protracted conflict disproportionately affect young people. Literature on conflict-affected children often focuses on the need to provide stability and security through institutions such as schools but rarely considers how young people themselves see these sites as part of their everyday lives. The enduring, pervasive, and complex nature of Colombia’s conflict means many young Colombians face the challenges of poverty, persistent social exclusion, and violence. Such conditions are exacerbated in ‘informal’ barrio communities such as los Altos de Cazucá, just south of the capital Bogotá. Drawing on field research in this community, particularly through interviews conducted with young people aged 10 to 17 this article explores how young people themselves understand the roles of the local school and ngo in their personal conceptualisations of the violence in their everyday lives. The evidence indicates that children use spaces available to them opportunistically and that these actions can and should be read as contributing to local, everyday forms of peacebuilding. The ways in which institutional spaces are understood and used by young people as ‘sites of opportunity’ challenges the assumed illegitimacy of young people’s voices and experiences in these environments.

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2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 81996
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: colombia, education, everyday peace, children, violence, peacebuilding
DOI: 10.1163/15718182-02202006
ISSN: 1571-8182
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Political Science not elsewhere classified (160699)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Brill Nijhoff
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2015 22:24
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 21:02

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