Center for Global Affairs

Children and Youth in Conflict, Peacebuilding, and Development

Child soldiers, student revolutionaries, migrant workers and legions of unemployed youth are but a few of the important roles that young people play in national and international affairs. This course will consider a wide variety of ways in which young people help to shape the future. The course will begin with a discussion of international standards ¿ the Convention on the Rights of the Child, other human rights treaties, humanitarian law and the Millennium Development Goals. We also will discuss the youth bulges that affect many countries, the graying of other societies, the disparities of gender and cultural definitions of childhood and youth. Next we will turn to the complex positions of young people in societies in conflict ¿ as fighters and casualties, as suicide bombers and drug runners, as perpetrators and victims of sexual violence and human trafficking, and as demonstrators and militias seeking to end or to sustain dictatorships. We will move on to the issues of peace- building that directly involve youth: demobilization and reentry; education, training and jobs for young women and men, and efforts to reconcile ethnic, religious or other groups after conflict. The course will then review the roles that young people can and do play in developing their societies: through their openness to social and economic change, their advancement in education and entrepreneurship, their adoption of better health practices, their engagement in sports, arts and entertainment, and their efforts to establish democracy. The course assignments will ask students to develop ideas for addressing the needs of young people and harnessing the possibilities they bring to global affairs.
Course Number
Associated Degrees