Title

Reintegration of child soldiers in Burundi: A tracer study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

10-29-2012

Journal

BMC Public Health

Volume

12

Issue

1

DOI

10.1186/1471-2458-12-905

Keywords

Burundi; Child soldiers; Conflict; Mental health; Reintegration

Abstract

Background: Substantial attention and resources are aimed at the reintegration of child soldiers, yet rigorous evaluations are rare. Methods. This tracer study was conducted among former child soldiers (N=452) and never-recruited peers (N=191) who participated in an economic support program in Burundi. Socio-economic outcome indicators were measured retrospectively for the period before receiving support (T1; 2005-06); immediately afterwards (T2; 2006-07); and at present (T3; 2010). Participants also rated present functional impairment and mental health indicators. Results: Participants reported improvement on all indicators, especially economic opportunity and social integration. At present no difference existed between both groups on any of the outcome indicators. Socio-economic functioning was negatively related with depression- and, health complaints and positively with intervention satisfaction. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates promising reintegration trajectories of former child soldiers after participating in a support program. © 2012 Jordans et al.; licensee BioMed Cent ral Ltd.

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