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Youth and Armed Conflict

Youth and Armed Conflict

Involvement of youth in armed conflict is due to the fact that the youth are passive victims in war. However, it has been noted that some of the youth, especially males are a threat to world peace. Involvement of young people in armed conflict is usually caused by poverty, lack of education and employment opportunities, seeking for protection, lack of political participation, and peer pressure.

Armed conflicts bring about horrible destructive and negative impacts towards society especially youth, the environment and the economy of the country. One of major war impacts is the high rate of mortality which is caused by the war itself or even by the collateral effects of warfare such as famine, disease or lack of medical care due to destruction of health services. Other threats such as rape, sexual and physical abuse, sexual mutilation, exploitation, trafficking, prostitution, drug abuse, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), and unwanted pregnancies are greatly exposed to the youth who are involved in armed conflicts. Moreover, other impact such as lack of knowledge or required skills and mental pressure known as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) makes it difficult for the young people to be reintegrated back into society.

This particular issue has drawn many responses from a variety of stakeholders related to the protection of youth against the negative effect of warfare. These stakeholders include government, non-governmental organisation, private sectors, media and the youth. Responses from them give a clearer picture on what has been done, what is done and what can be done.

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