Spotlight - Recruitment of children and adolescents: Retention as slow violence
IOM, Programa RPR
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The recruitment of children and adolescents by illegal organized armed groups has gained increasing significance on the international agenda this century, as efforts have been made to prioritize the integrated protection and restoration of their rights. However, there is little clarity on the characteristics and experiences of the phenomenon for its victims, and its specific temporal and victimizing aspects tend to be overlooked. This Spotlight offers a conceptualization and brief overview of the recruitment of children and adolescents in Colombia and around the world, followed by an analysis based on the theory of “slow violence,” a term coined by academic Rob Nixon. In the latter, the concept of retention is explored as disguised form of violence and an often-ignored aspect of the recruitment war crime , which, nonetheless, has profound consequences for the lives of all those involved.