16. Spotlight: Risks to Minors and Youth Populations in the Post-Accord Period
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The importance of attending to the specific needs of youth and minors in postconflict settings grounds in both risk-reduction and goal-seeking motives. For the former, young people – even those not initially at risk – may develop into “spoilers” for peace stabilization if they inherit certain systemic failings of violent societies. Regarding the latter, in contrast, youth and minors can also serve as critical bridge-builders and provide necessary momentum for peacebuilding efforts over the long term. This Spotlight analyzes first the roles and risks to former child combatants in various international settings as they may inform debates on the Colombian context. Following, it presents several general risks to minors and youth in general in post-accord settings, drawn from research conducted by scholars and practitioners in a variety of countries and institutions. The Spotlight closes with recommendations for policy and program development in post-accord contexts.