|Children and young mothers Agency in the midst of Conflict: a review of the experiences of young people in Northern Uganda.
|Year of Publication
|Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect
tThis paper critically examines the experiences of formerly abducted young women duringtheir captivity with the Lord Resistance Army rebels and in the resettlement and reinte-gration period. Special attention is given to their exercise of agency and choices. Using aqualitative design, narrative interviews were conducted with child mothers (N = 21), localand civic actors (N = 17), and the general community through focus groups (N = 10). Datatranscripts were analyzed using template analysis methods to derive meanings and increaseunderstanding of the situation. Abducted children faced significant difficulties during theircaptivity and also during their resettlement and reintegration process, yet they continuedto exhibit strong agency to cope with the new realities. Despite these difficulties, opportuni-ties existed which were utilized by the young people, albeit to different degrees dependingon each young person’s ability and initiative (agency). Situational factors limiting the childmothers’ agency were identified as embedded within the latter’s environment. This studyraises the importance of appreciation of the young women’s agency in both the bush-captivity experience and resettlement and reintegration processes within the community,post-conflict.