Youngest Recruits

Pre-War, War & Post-War Experiences in Western Côte d’Ivoire

Magali Chelpi-den Hamer

Youngest Recruits
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Magali Chelpi-den Hamer

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

79 pages | 6 3/10 x 9 1/2 | © 2011
Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9789085550280 Published February 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Youngest Recruits is an unflinching examination of the complex motivations that drive Ivoirian children in and out of armed groups. Drawing on firsthand experience with child soldiers, Magali Chelpi-Den Hamer argues that the popular narrative about children’s limited agency is insufficient to explain their participation in violent conflicts. Rather she explores in detail the pre- to postwar trajectories of child and adolescent recruits in order to show that even the youngest exercise some degree of reflection and agency when enlisting into the armed forces. In addition to shedding light on an area of great cultural concern, the author invites readers to reflect on the mixed impact of humanitarian interventions that attempt to reintegrate these children into society.

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