On the Way to a Real Restitution of Rights

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Jose Tomas Moron Villarreal
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Colombia has lived in an armed conflict for over 50 years. The causes of this war are deeply historical linked to high social inequality. The majority of the Colombian population has suffered in a direct or indirect way the consequences of this inequality and the armed conflict itself. Due to the Colombian social conditions, children and teenagers have been forced to be part of illegal armed groups. In this situation, Colombian government has alternatives in place for those who leave the armed groups through a reintegration program with the reestablishment of children’s rights as the main goal

The objective of this research is to determinate how the reintegration program for young ex-combatants in Colombia is impacting their wellbeing in the sense of quality of life and freedom. Qualitative methodology based on narrative approach was implemented to know teenagers’ ideas, perceptions and knowledge about their process in the reintegration program.

It was found that the Colombian reintegration program is based on policies that perceive wellbeing just as economic growth, perpetuate structure of power that establish and maintain control over people and displaces the causes of the conflict from the social conditions to an ex-combatant pathology. The way the program is structure creates a negative influence in the freedom and development process on teenagers.

This negative influence of the program on the freedom and development process on teenagers were condensed in two identified issues.

1. The teenagers are under a big umbrella of stigmatization: their condition of being under-age makes them to be perceived as incapable, their condition of being victims implies losing their individuality and their condition of being ex-combatant makes them to be perceived as not trustworthy. The teenagers’ wellbeing has been affected because the perception and recognition of them undermines who they are and their potentiality.

2. Even though the teenagers have changed the place of origin and got involved in different social institutions, the dynamics inside of these new institutions (foster family, organization, school) are still the same as the ones they experienced inside their own families or communities. Teenagers are internalizing these authoritarian power structures making them perpetuate the conflict in their life beyond war.
Udgivelsesdato20 dec. 2015
Antal sider74
ID: 224336405