|The Reintegration of War-Affected Youth: The Experience of Mozambique (International Labour Organization, 1997, 52 p.)|
As one concerned agency has pointed out, reintegration is not an exact science.1 One researcher, speaking of the reintegration of demobilized soldiers, even opined that it was almost impossible to set immutable standards.2 It should also be remembered that reintegration is likely to be, in the words of the GTZ, into the poverty of the village. These provisos notwithstanding, it appears that Mozambique has successfully achieved a peaceful transition and that a certain level of social, economic and cultural reintegration has taken place. That success should not, however, mask the challenges and obstacles that remain. Millions of young Mozambicans have survived the war. Now they must struggle to survive the peace.
1 GTZ, Strategy for reintegration in Mozambique, information materials, Maputo, undated, p. D-1.
2 Victor Igreja, discussion with the author, 17 Dec. 1996, note on file with the author.
The primary focus of this paper is an assessment of reintegration programmes for skills training and employment for youth from 14 to 25, but given the involvement of even younger children in the armed conflict in Mozambique, either as victims or as perpetrators, and who now fall within this age range, the needs of those who might otherwise be excluded must be taken into account. Moreover, although extrapolation is inevitably a hazardous business, the recommendations are intended to reach an audience that is potentially wider than merely those involved in the planning, implementation or evaluation of reintegration programmes for youth in Mozambique. Different environments, cultural, social, economic and political, may call for different approaches. But the principle that underlies these recommendations - the desire to promote peaceful and sustained reintegration into a society that aspires to social justice - remains, it is hoped, untainted and universal.