War and Children
A Reference Handbook
by Kendra E. Dupuy and Krijn Peters
November 2009, 204pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36208-8
$54, £42, 47€, A74
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-36209-5
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They are perhaps war’s most tragic victims—children caught in the crossfire of conflicts around the world. The casualties are heartbreaking. Add to them nearly 36 million children not in school because fighting has made it impossible. And then there are those who are actually doing the fighting—the nearly 250,000 boys and girls worldwide who themselves are active soldiers.

A comprehensive, up-to-date presentation of how children and young people are affected by and respond to situations of armed conflict and postwar reconstruction.

War and Children: A Reference Handbook looks at one of the most wrenching aspects of armed conflict, ranging across the globe to examine the different ways armed conflict and postwar reconstructions affect children and young people, and how they have responded to both war and efforts to alleviate war’s destruction.

While war has always affected children, the nature of that impact has changed in the last half-century. Civil conflicts break out in mostly poor, developing countries with large populations of young people, and combatants are less hesitant to turn civilian areas into battlegrounds. War and Children explores these phenomena by focusing primarily on recent conflicts worldwide, with case studies dramatizing important issues and controversies—including the considerable number of children soldiers throughout the world.


  • Includes biographical profiles of real young people caught up in war and postwar reconstruction
  • Offers an annotated bibliography of key works, plus chapter-by-chapter links to further reading
Kendra E. Dupuy is a researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway (PRIO). She researches education, peace, and armed conflict, children and youth in developing countries, the socioeconomic impact of landmines, and postconflict power sharing and wealth sharing.

Krijn Peters is lecturer at the Centre for Development Studies, Swansea University, Swansea, UK. He specializes in armed conflict and postwar reconstruction, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, child soldiers, youth marginalization and exclusion, and rural and agrarian development.


Ishmael Beah, the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier movingly introduces the misuse and rehabilitation of young combatants in wars. Dupuy (International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway) and Peters (development studies, Swansea U., UK) examine the impact of war on children, their responses and those of the world. The book includes a chronology of wars throughout history in which children have been conscripted; maps; case studies; UN resolutions and other initiatives regarding children and armed conflict; a glossary; and categorized bibliography of print and film sources."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2010

"Both this overall resource and its bibliography provide an excellent starting point for further research. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and higher."—Choice, April 1, 2010

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