Chelpi-den Hamer’s book on the youngest recruits brings to attention the prevalence of the problem of children involved in conflict in Cotê d’ Ivoire. This is important because the problem of the involvement of children in conflict in the West African region has been dominated by the cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In this regard, the book flags another area where attention needs to be paid in relation to children in war. However, as the reader goes on, the lack of comprehensive information on the conflict in Cotê d’ Ivoire as the context for Chelpi-den Hamer’s “child soldiering” does not clarify to the reader if the phenomenon occurs in Liberia, Cotê d’ Ivoire or in both countries. By use of the term “child soldiers”, Chelpiden Hamer’s book is part of the dominant literature referring to children who have been involved in conflict as such. This reference is the unforgiving stigma the academia, the humanitarian industry and the common man attach to these children who have been both victims and victimizers. She has no reflections on how to change the discourse on “child soldiers” by use of alternative language to be able to see such children, for instance, as “war-affected”, however differently.
Authoured by: Margaret Angucia
Academic units: School of Arts and Social Sciences
Departments: Governance and Peace Studies