Abstract

The phenomenon of child soldiers in the Arab world, especially after the events of the Arab Spring, has become a threat to peace and stability in the post-war period. Many of these children committed crimes against their communities, and as a result, many societies refused to receive them and even demanded that they be sued. Most Arab countries are neither qualified nor prepared to deal with child soldiers. Governments do not have any kind of future plans for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs. In fact, in some countries, such as Iraq and Libya, children are treated as criminals under criminal law, and they are kept in prisons. This paper focuses on examining how restorative justice can be used as a new approach to dealing with child soldiers. Restorative justice is a method commonly used in criminal matters to achieve justice in a manner different from punitive justice. Its main purpose is to bring the perpetrator, victim, and society together to find a solution to the problem. It also aims to address the criminal responsibility of the perpetrator for his mistakes and to acknowledge the pain of the victim resulting from those acts. The paper will analyze how restorative justice can be used as an effective way to help societies accept, understand, and forgive child soldiers in the Arab world, by analyzing traditional Arab practices, particularly Sulh. Keywords: child soldiers, Restorative Justice, DDR programs, Arab spring countries, conflict resolution, peacebuilding.

Child soldiers and Restorative Justice in the Arab World Countries

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