Exploring conflict legacy as a children’s rights issue

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Millions of children and young people are impacted by armed conflict globally, with an estimate of 1 in 10, (approximately 246 million) living in areas impacted by conflict. Conflict can have devastating social, political, economic, psychological and health effects on children and young people. This understanding, and the development of an internationally recognised rights framework, has resulted in increased scholarly work including empirical research on the experiences of children and young people in conflict affected societies. These studies, however, focus predominately on describing their needs and access to rights as participants in conflict, victims or witnesses during and immediately following conflict. What is largely absent from the research is a critical examination of the legacy of conflict and the residual and intergenerational impacts on the rights of children ‘not of the war’ generation. Using Northern Ireland as a case study, this paper argues that conflict legacy should be understood as a children’s rights issue, with consideration given to the residual, indirect impact of conflict on the everyday lives of children and young people. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research with almost 200 participants which examined the intergenerational impact of the conflict in Northern Ireland and Border Region in Ireland (McAlister et al, 2021), this paper shines a light on the value of examining conflict legacy through the lens of children’s rights.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 04 Apr 2023
EventSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2023 - Ulster University, Derry/Londonderry, United Kingdom
Duration: 04 Apr 202306 Apr 2023
https://www.slsa.ac.uk/images/conferences/SLSA_2023_abstract_book.pdf (Book of abstracts)


ConferenceSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleSLSA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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