Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper explores the nature of children’s security within the context of modern threats from globalization and new forms of warfare. It analyzes the sources of insecurity faced by children and the survival strategies they and their families employ as a result.

espite renewed commitment by States to respect and ensure respect for the rules of international humanitarian law, the surge of violence against civilians has continued.

In the aftermath of the attacks against the United States on September 11 and the resulting conflict in Afghanistan, Western analysts and the media have referred extensively to Islamic notions such as shura, fatwa, shari’a, madrasa, and jihad in their reports on the region.

While international efforts to reach a political agreement on a provisional government in Afghanistan continue, the situation on the ground presents a series of challenges to the aid community. The most immediate of these is to ensure that assistance reaches those most in need, even as the military campaign continues.

The ongoing military action in Afghanistan is deepening what was already a severe humanitarian crisis. Further displacement of civilians will have a profound impact upon the ability of the country and its people to recover. The movement of civilian populations in search of security, as a result of conflict, or food, as a result of drought, has characterized the long conflict in Afghanistan.

Undoubtedly, Afghanistan represents one of the most complex and difficult environments in which humanitarian agencies could operate. Working amidst ongoing military operations, continuous insecurity, and the massive displacement of populations, humanitarian agencies also have to cope with a rising demand for their services and a radically different political and social environment.

This report summarizes the principal results of a series of conversations with Afghans in Kabul and Peshawar in March and April 2002. In Kabul, the HPCR conducted a series of interviews as well as group discussions with community leaders. In Peshawar, the Program hosted a twoday roundtable discussion with 15 leaders of Afghan nongovernmental organizations.

This report is the outcome of a series of discussions with Afghans in Mash’had and Zahedan, Iran, in April 2002. The participants in these discussions were mainly members of Afghan community-based groups, known for their charitable activities for Afghan refugees in both cities.

For two weeks in April and May 2002, the Conflict Prevention Initiative (CPI) of the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) hosted the first ever international e-conference on “Securing Communities for Reconstruction in Afghanistan,” attracting over 90 participants.

From 20th June through the 5th of July 2002, the Conflict Prevention Initiative of the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (CPI HPCR) in cooperation with the Center for Peace and Security Studies at the University of Gadjah Mada (CSPS) carried out a series of activities under the theme: “Building sustainable peace and fostering development in Papua”.

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