'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. International Journal of Children's Rights, 22 2: 361-384. doi:10.1163/15718182-02202006

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Author Berents, Helen
Title 'It's about finding a way': children, sites of opportunity, and building everyday peace in Colombia
Journal name International Journal of Children's Rights   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1571-8182
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1163/15718182-02202006
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 22
Issue 2
Start page 361
End page 384
Total pages 24
Place of publication Leiden, Netherlands
Publisher Brill Nijhoff
Language eng
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.
Keyword Colombia
Everyday peace
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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