W. Andy Knight
Professor, Department Chair, University of Alberta and IDRC Governor


Dr. W. Andy Knight, Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alberta, discusses the multidimensional challenges facing initiatives that deal with the global increase in the use of child soldiers in – primarily internal ‘civil’ – wars. Afflicted by post-conflict physical effects, and long-term psycho-social impacts on communities and infrastructure, the issue of child soldiers must be comprehensively addressed. This includes an understanding of both the gendered and societal dimensions of child soldiers. Dr. Knight offers insight into these dimensions, as well as into the problems of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of child soldiers, delving into various initiatives undertaken or proposed by domestic groups and international institutions. Dr. Knight also provides his thoughts on the future of child soldiers as individuals and as a policy issue, and argues that educating for peace is the way to prevent the loss of an entire generation of children.

Works by Dr. W. Andy Knight

Additional Resources

  • Abani, Chris.  (2006).  Song for night: A Novella.   New York: Akashic Books.
  • Achvarina, Vera and Simon F. Reich.  (2006).  No place to hide: Refugees, displaced persons, and the recruitment of child soldiers.  International Security 31 (1), 127-164.
  • Amnesty International.  (2009).  Child soldiers
  • Barstad, Kristin.  (2008).  Preventing the recruitment of child soldiers: The ICRC approach.  Refugee Survey Quarterly 27 (4), 142-149.
  • Beah, Ishmael.  (2008).  A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier.  Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre.
  • Boyden, Jo.  (2003).  The moral development of child soldiers: What do adults have to fear?  Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 9 (4), 343-362.
  • Carpenter, Charli.  (Forthcoming 2010).  War’s impact on children born of rape and sexual exploitation.  In W. Andy Knight (Ed.), Children in armed conflict.  Edmonton: University of Alberta Press.
  • Children of War.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Retrieved November 24, 2009, from <http://www.warchildren.org/index.html>
  • Child Soldier Relief.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Child Soldiers Initiative.  (2009).  Home page.
  • de Berry, Jo.  (2007).  Child soldiers and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 575, 92-105.
  • de Neuers, Renee.  (2006).  Modernizing the Geneva Conventions.  The Washington Quarterly 29 (2), 99-113.
  • Fegley, Randall.  (2008).  Comparative perspectives on the rehabilitation of ex-slave former child soldiers with special reference to Sudan.  African Studies Quarterly 10 (1).
  • Francis, David J.  (2007).  ‘Paper protection’ mechanisms: Child soldiers and the international protection of children in Africa’s conflict Zones.  The Journal of Modern African Studies 45 (2), 207-231.
  • Fonseka, Bhavani.  (2007).  The protection of child soldiers in international law.  Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law 2 (2), 68-89.
  • Gallagher, Michael.  (2007).  Soldier boy bad: Child soldiers, culture and bars to asylum.  International Journal of Refugee Law 13 (3), 310-336.
  • Gates, Scott and Simon Reich.  (2009).  Think again: Child soldiers.
  • Hick, Steven.  (2007).  The political economy of war-affected children.  The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 575, 106-121.
  • Hughes, Lisa.  (2000).  Can international law protect child soldiers?  Peace Review 12 (3), 399-405.
  • Human Rights Watch.  (2009).  Child soldiers.
  • ICRC.  (2009).  Children in war.
  • ICRC.  (2009).  International humanitarian law.
  • Invisible Children.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Isweala, Uzodinma.   (2006).  Beasts of no nation: A Novel.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Maclure, Richard and Myriam Denov.  (2006).  “I didn’t want to die so I joined them”: Structuration and the process of becoming boy soldiers in Sierra Leone.  Terrorism and Political Violence 18 (1), 119-135.
  • Mazurana, D. And S. McKay.  (2000).  Child soldiers: Where are the girls?  Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 57 (5): 30-35.
  • Rakisits, Claude.  (2008).  Child soldiers in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Refugee Survey Quarterly 27 (4), 108-122.
  • Red Hand Day.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Save the Children.  (2001).  Child soldiers: Case and protection of children in Emergencies: A Field Guide Retrieved Novembber 24, 2009, from <http://www.savethechildren.org/publications/technical-resources/emergencies-protection/ChildSoldiersFieldGuide.pdf>
  • Schultheis, Alexandra.  (2008).  African child soldiers and humanitarian consumption.  Peace Review 20 (1), 31-40.
  • Singer, P.W..  (2005).  Children at war.  New York: Pantheon.
  • Singer, P.W.  (2007).  Caution: Children at war.  Parameters: US Army War College Quarterly 31 (4), 40-56.
  • The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Thompson, C.  (1999).  Beyond civil society: Child soldiers as citizens in Mozambique.  Review of African Political Economy 80 (26), 191-206.
  • UNICEF.  (2009).  Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • UNICEF.  (2009).  Impact of armed conflict on children: Report by Graça Machel.
  • War Child Canada.  (2009).  Home page.
  • Wessels, Michael.  (2000).  How can we prevent soldiering.  Peace Review 12 (3), 407-413.
  • Wessells, Michael.  (2006).  Child soldiers: From violence to protection.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Williams, A. B. Zack.  (2007).  Child soldiers and the civil war in Sierra Leone.  Review of African Political Economy 28 (87), 73-82

Recorded July 2009