Pre-War, War & Post-War Experiences in Western Côte d’Ivoire
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
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.