Child sexual abuse. An analysis of the situation in post-war Sierra Leone

Master's Thesis, 2008

60 Pages, Grade: B




List of tables and map

List of figures

List of acronyms and abbreviations

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Overview of study
1.2 Sierra Leone civil war and impact on children
1.3 Conceptual framework for analysis
1.4 Methodology
1.5 Definition of terms and concepts
1.6 Organisation of work

Chapter Two: Conceptualising Child Sexual Abuse
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Child sexual abuse
2.3 Impact of sexual abuse on children
2.4 Child Sexual Abuse and International Protection Instruments
2.5 Key domestic protection instruments
2.6 Conclusions

Chapter Three: Understanding child sexual abuse in post Sierra Leone
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Extent of the problems
3.3 Child sexual abuse within families
3.4 Child sexual abuse in communities
3.5 Child sexual abuse in institutions
3.5.1 Residential care
3.5.2 Detention centres
3.5.3 Educational institutions
3.6 Child commercial sex exploitation
3.7 Accountability
3.8 Conclusions

Chapter Four: Interventions, preventions and responses to child sexual abuse
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1. Interventions by government
4.1.2 Government’s prevention strategies
4.1.3 government’s response strategies
4.2 NGO related interventions, preventions and responses
4.2.1 NGO interventions and preventions
4.2.2 NGO response to child sexual abuse
4.3 Traditional and socio-cultural implications
4.4 Conclusions

Chapter Five: Key finding and concluding recommendation
5.1 Key finding
5.2 Recommendations



Title: challenges of child protection in post -war Sierra Leone.

Key words:

Child, sexual abuse and exploitation, victims, perpetrators, human right, protection, instruments, responsibility, violence, rape, ministry of social welfare gender and children’s affairs, non governmental organizations civil society organizations.

Child sexual abuse is not a particular phenomenon to post –war Sierra Leone, but a common feature of most war-torn African countries. It is one of the most pervasive human rights challenges in post –war reconstruction and development. But the magnitude of the problem is often underestimated as most incidents of sexual abuse go unreported which is character of environments were the culture of silence is dominant. Although child sexual abuse predates civil wars, it is aggravated by breakdown of law and other created by the armed conflict which has physical, emotional and psychological effects on the child victims. Despite its responsibility to protect the citizens of the state, getting government to account, intervene, prevent and respond to the human rights violations including CSA is a critical challenge to NGOs, and CSOs who should be working in partnership with government to protect children from sexual abuse. This study seeks to explore these challenges in a post-conflict environment where civil authority and social structure have been destroyed and to suggest possible ways of improving the interventions, preventions and response strategies used by the government and NGOs within a culture context.


To the children of Sierra Leone, who have either been victims of sexual violence, or are at risk of being abused so that their ‘silent voices’ may be heard as they continue to agitate for protection.


My journey through this course would not have come to successful end if it were not for the support of my family, close friends and my supervisor through whose moral, financial and professional inputs I have reached yet another milestone in my quest for higher education. I would in a special way like to thank professor David J. f Francis for his supervision and suggestions as he guided me through this research, the findings of which should be a meaningful advocacy tool for children’s rights to protection from sexual abuse. I would also like to thank the board and members of the SOS children’s villages trust Serra Leone for allowing me to proceed on study leave and for filling the gap while I have been away.

Let me at this point express my appreciation to the trustees of all saints educational trust for providing the funds for my studies.

To my family and all those who supported me during the course of my programme of study, I say thank you.

List of tables and map

Table 1: frequency of child abuse of close perpetrators

Table 2: sexual abuse in communities and institutions

Map 1: map showing the districts of Sierra Leone.

List of figures

Figure 1: Patterns of Sexual abuse (2003-2007)

Figure 2: Relationship of perpetrators to child victims of sexual abuse

List of acronyms and abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Overview of study

The choice of this topic emerged from the need as a practitioner to explore and improve the understanding and challenges involved in protecting children from abuse in a post-conflict environment. However, to make it manageable, this work has focused on sexual abuse using the case study of post-war Sierra Leone. It is anticipated that the outcome of this inquiry will make meaningful contribution to peace research in an attempt to create safe and secure environments for children. But are children being sexually abused? By whom and why? How does this affect the ‘’silent victims?’’ what is being done to intervene, prevent and respond to these violations in a society emerging from a decade long brutal civil war? Finding answers to these questions have guided this study taking into consideration the current challenges of post-war reconstruction and development.

Globally, child abuse is one of the most pervasive human rights challenges but not often given the desired attention it deserves. Where states fail to uphold their obligation to protect children from abuse, they remain ‘silent victims’’. In conflict situations such as in DR Congo, Liberia and Ivory Coast, children are prone to systematic exploitation including sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), rape, neglect, abduction and conscription.1 For example, the zeid investigations of SEA allegations levied against UN peacekeepers in DR congo concluded that of the 105 cases of SEA committed by peacekeepers who were mandated to protect the vulnerable population, 45% were against girls below 18 years.2 In 2002, similar Allegations were also made against UN workers and peacekeepers in West Africa who were working with refugees and internally displaced women and children, a situation that brought the UN under disrepute.3 It is estimated that about 275 million children are potential victims of sexual violence.4 This may be an underestimation as most incidents of sexual violence go unreported.

In post-war Sierra Leone, over 10,000 children were separated from their biological parents, while 5,000 were abducted into the armed forces during the war.5 About half of the children aged between 5-14 years are being abused through child labour, domestic violence and SEA.6 Approximately, 11 percent of the child population are orphans with 20 percent either living on the streets or in alternative care where child abuse is rife.7 A further 79.9 percent of the 1,176 sexual assault incidents reported in 2007 were perpetrated against girls below 18 years.8

In view of the above, this work seeks to explore the effects of sexual abuse on children in post- conflict Sierra Leone. It argues that the intervention, prevention and response strategies by government, are largely disproportionate to the needs of child victims, hence the justification for its ‘partnership’ drive for collaboration with NGOs. It also seeks to identify the gaps and to suggest possible ways of improving the preventive and response strategies to CSA. As an exploratory work, it will perhaps provoke the need for future research.

1.2 Sierra Leone civil war and impact on children

The decade-long brutal civil war resulted in an unimaginable human suffering which left approximately 50,000 people killed or tortured.9 Human, what remains controversial is that of grounding the cause of the civil war. For instance, Yusuf Bangura argues that, what cumulate to the civil war could not be dissociated from issues bordering on the extreme concentration of power by the APC Government, the glaring personalised relationships created by government agents and the promotion of complex informal networks an argument that Paul Richards holds a different view about.10 On the other hand, the clausewitzian analysts would argue that the wars ‘’a continuation of politics by other means’’ where the rebels sought to overthrow the government while the government defended its position by counter-insurgence.11 In spite of these controversies, a near consensus of the civil war discourse is that it led to the systematic destruction of human lives, the social structures and the economy, with a systematic use of terror and violence against women and children by members of armed groups. This led to the collapse of civil authority, the rule of law and a slide to anarchy. As a survival strategy, more than 500,000 civilians fled to neighbouring countries like Guinea, Ghana and the Gambia as refugees while some two million were internally displaced.12 Approximately, 4,000 girls were separated from their families who were victim, of violence; sexual abuse and conscript although some children were recruited voluntarily among them were those who wished to avenge the death of their loved ones.13

Cchildren were also manipulated and abused by trio machinery of the war; the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the RUF and the Civil Defence Forces who abducted, kidnapped recruited and deployed them in dangerous frontline positions under the influence of drugs. This raises the argument as to whether children are ‘conscious agents’ or ‘victims of war’, a debate that cannot be discussed in this work.14 It is also estimated that by 1996, approximately 4,500 children were actively participating in war in various capacities as spies, porters, sex slaves or combatant in all three military organizations.15 Girls were coerced into becoming ‘’ bush wives’’ to commanders and subsequently, unwilling girl mothers of ‘’fatherless’’ children. The perpetration of gang and repeated rapes of women and children increased the risk of spreading HIV/AIDS among the devastated population. In addition to dehumanizing the victims, these sexual assaults also had serious health implication such as unwanted pregnancies, vesico-vaginal and rectal fistula, prolapsed uterus and other sexually transmitted infections [STIS].16 It is erroneous however for one to conclude that sexual exploitation and other forms of child abuses are aftermaths of the war, rather, it could be argued that the war aggravated the situation as more incident of SEA have been recorded during the post conflict years.

1.3 Conceptual framework for analysis

This work has focused on child protection as a multi disciplinary approach which emphasizes a complimentary process of internal inputs; aimed at an improved performance of practitioners17. It is based on a range of disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, Conflict Resolution and Human Right which helped to better place the issue of CSA within a post-conflict. In an attempt to explicate the phenomenon of child abuse, various theories including individual psychopathology, biochemical, psychological warfare and societal influences have been tested but no single theory has shown dominance in this direction which perhaps underscores the proposition of multi cause models.18 These models however, fall short of empirical proof. Perhaps, they could be better described by what I have described to as ‘situational models’ as explanation of incidents of sexual abuse are grounded on the prevailing situation such as interfamilial, canal knowledge or attempted rape this seems to underpin the existence of the range of casual theories and models which add to the complexity of the phenomenon.

From a multi-disciplinary perspective, Kate Wilson argues that, the theoretical approaches to child protection are dynamic and that these approaches go through in her words ‘seismic shifts’ which are occasioned by changes in law, practice and procedures.19 In UK for instance, the initiative imposed by the ‘’Government’s green paper, Every Child Matters’’, was considered a radical agenda for change towards cubing child abuse. Although the frame work for such a ‘’radical change’’ was tailored meeting ‘international’ protection standards where resources are comparatively available, the realization of its aims are far fetched as hundreds of children continue to be groomed for child prostitution and pornography in the country.20 Despite these challenges, Wilson seems to argue for theoretical framework from a western perspective, ignoring the cultural implication of the protection dynamics. These raises the issues of whether standards for child protection can be international if yes, then where does this leave African tradition and customary protection practices which predated the adoption of UNCRC? If the standards are international, can the west copy and replicate some of the ‘best practices’ such as ‘community child protection networks’ which have proved to be effective in Africa? In my view, what perhaps could be an applicable and sustainable approach in a war-ton Africa context, is a framework that blend both Western and African child protection concepts.

1.4 Methodology

I have selected Action Research as a methodology to improve my understanding of the problem of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse [SEA] of children within families, in institutions and local communities in a post war setting. As a problem solving approach which allows room for a systematic reflection, enquiry and action, by practitioners, it will also help me to identify the gaps in the current child protection intervention, prevention and response stratigies with the aim of seeking alternative solutions to improve the performance practitioners and orgarnizations.21

Unlike other methodologies, actions research is flexible and allows for biases on the part of the researcher and other participants. It is primarily qualitative even though some quantitative analysis has been done. I have used official statistics, child protection projects reports, generated by Government and child protection NGOs. The reliability and validity of these Data is high as it is produced by official Governmental agencies and practitioners in the field.

However, as argued by Iganski et al., I am aware that most official statistics are socially constructed, bias and skewed towards state views and operational mandates of organizations.22 But it must be emphasized that the scope of this research is limited to the analysis of such secondary data. The analysis of this work focuses on the pattern and trends associated with SEA of children of post-war Sierra Leone in an attempt to identify the protection gaps and to explore possible ways of improving the situation. It must be acknowledge that the finding will be limited by the under reportage of sexual abuse and domestic violence in the Country. My findings will be represented in a variety of ways including qualitative narratives and quantitative explanations using bar chart and tabular forms.

Suffice to say that, action research has it own weakness it is often biased to the researcher’s interest and a possible source of conflict at organizational level where researchers become over critical of other practitioners’ own work. Some of the proposed changes may not be implemented as the may be considered opposing to the existing situation. As a small scale study, the findings of this study cannot be considered generalized beyond it academic context.

This work has critically engaged the following research questions to guide the inquiry process.

1. Should sexual abuse be a concern for child protection practitioners in post-war Sierra Leone?
2. Is there a child protection system or framework in post-war Sierra Leone?
3. What is the effect of sexual abuse on children in post-war zone?
4. What programmatic interventions, preventions and responses exist to address CSA in post-war Sierra Leone?

Considering that an action research is used in real situations as a problem solving approach, I have taken into consideration some of the key ethical issues required by this methodology as advanced by Richard Winter.23 Permission and the informed consent of those whose document and data have been examined in this work that may not have been produced for this purpose was sought. As a practitioner, I have been open about the research and will take the responsibility of protecting the identities of the key actors and have also maintained confidentially. Where the works of others have been described, these have been negotiated before publication.

1.5 Definition of terms and concepts

Defining social concept and terms is always controversial as academics and practitioners hold diverse views about emerging concepts. However, below are definitions of some key concept and terms which have been defined, based on context of this research:

(a) CHILDHOOD: the UNCRC in Article 1, describes any person below eighteen as a “child’’ for whom the state is duty bound to provide care and protection.24 Although ‘childhood’ is predominantly perceived from this perspective, David Francis argues that this definition is a ‘restrictive’ and western-centric construction’ which may be at variance with the African perception of ‘childhood’.25 This argument does not only provoke debate on the need for contextual consideration and review of the existing instrument, it also questions the universality the notion of ‘childhood’ which perhaps needs a rethinking in order to make the concept of childhood practicable.
(b) ABUSE: Although literature advances many definitions of what constitutes abuse, but central of most definitions is the concept of harm caused by the act of the child and responsibility of such harm. David Gough argues that, categorizing that which constitutes harm to a child and determining the scope and nature of responsibility in individual cases is complex and open to variations within and between cultures and can vary over time.26
(c) SEXUAL VIOLENCE: This is a coercive sexual act which has both physical and psychological effect on the victim.27
(d) RAPE: rape is used for such purposes as intimidation, degradation, humiliation, discrimination, punishment, control or destruction of a person, like torture, rape is a violation of personal dignity…’28
(e) PROTECTION: this is a rather controversial concept as it abounds in ambiguity , varying across disciplines. It raises issues such as protection from what or whom, and by whom? It also requires a framework and peacekeepers or humanitarian workers as some protectors have inherent potentials of being abuser.

1.6 Organisation of work

This report has been written in five chapters. Chapter one gives a brief overview of the study, with a summary analysis of the civil war in relation to it impact on children. It also briefly discusses the research methodology that has been used with contextual definitions of some key concept such as ‘childhood’, ‘abuse’ ‘ rape’ and ‘violence’

In chapter Two, attempt have been made to bolster the conceptualization of CSA in a post-conflict setting through a critical review previous research relating to this topic. Major finding have been evaluated in relations to the theories and models used as tools for their analysis. Chapter three in situation analysis of CSA in post-war Sierra Leone which engages with primary and secondary data obtained from previous study and report from other child protection organizations. It attempts to present a representation of the problem as it permeates through the country and highlights the magnitude of the challenges and impact of the unresolved problem. Chapter four assesses the current policy and programmatic interventions. Preventions and responses that have been designed and implemented by government, NGOs and local communities as part of the protection system. Chapter five is a summary of the key findings and recommendations of this research which is anticipated to improve the situation.

Chapter Two: Conceptualising Child Sexual Abuse

2.1 Introduction

Child Sexual Abuse is not a Peculiar phenomenon to post conflict Sierra Leone, but a common feature of most post-War African Countries such as DR Congo, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire where intervening agencies have been accused of sexually abusing those they were mandated to protect.29 This perennial problem continues to plague women and children who are considered the most vulnerable population during and after war. Although sexual abuse predates civil wars, but the magnitude of the problem increases during and after armed conflicts as members of military organisations often resort to using rape as a weapon of war hence its classification by the UN as a war crime. Commentators have attempted to advance sociological and psychological explanations as possible causes of CSA and its impact on the child victims. This chapter attempts to review some of these sociological and psychological theories in relation to a post-war scenario within the international and domestic remits of child protection framework.

2.2 Child sexual abuse

As already defined, sexual abuse is a coercive sexual act which has physical and psychological effects on victims. It occurs as a result of unequal power relations between the perpetrator and the victims. The [re] discovery of child abuse in the 1960s and 1970s by career social workers, and human rights defenders, emerged from what some practitioners have referred to as a coercive demand for reconceptualising protection laws30 although james and james argue that, ‘’… the laws and policies that govern children’s lives do not take account of […] the different experiences of childhood that children may have.’’31 This can be applied to practitioners who operate on the ‘Rule of Optimism’ rather than the ‘Rule of Pessimism’ in tracking CSA at community level and as a result, permissively allow CSA to go unchecked.32

As the consequences of sexual abuse vary for victims within different socio-cultural settings, intervening and [or] responding to such abuses has also resulted in the identification of variations in abusive behaviours demonstrated by perpetrators. To close this gap, understand and improve the response strategies, practitioners developed a four-factor causation and precondition theoretical models which are:

(a) Causation factors for CSA

- Sexual Arousal to children
- Emotional congruence with children
- Blockage of other forms of sexual expression
- Lack of inhibition to abuse33

(b) Preconditions for the occurrence of CSA

- The motivation to abuse
- Overcoming internal inhibitions
- Overcoming external inhibitions preventing abuse
- Overcoming resistance by the child.34

Another view to the four-factor causation and precondition theoretical models is that advanced by seifert (1994) and card (1996) who argue that rape and other forms of sexual crimes are ‘’purposeful acts’’ which vary between war and peace times.35 Put simply, there are differences between sexual violence in peacetime and those committed during the various types of wars. In their view, rape and sexual violence serve the following purpose in war:

i. It serves as a reward
ii. A medium of transmitting messages of defeat of enemy
iii. A tool for social bonding and ‘initiation.’
iv. A weapon for destroying culture and community cohesion.36

The assertions of seifert and card are perhaps from a positivist school which may be contrary to that of the international solidarist view of human rights, who would argue that, ‘’a violation of human rights anywhere is a violence everywhere.’’ This brings into perspective, the issue of intervention agencies such as ECOMOG, who perhaps took advantage of the breakdown of the rule of law to blatantly indulge in sexually abusing children. This abuse of power led to the promulgation of a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ on SEA for UN peacekeeping troops who succeeded them although it hardly served as a deterrent as troops continued to sexually abuse women and children.37 Additionally, whereas war-time CSA is characterised by the use of violence, peace-time CSA, except in rape and other forms of violent domestic sexual assaults, could be enhanced through grooming, psychological manipulation using economic powers especially in poverty-stricken communities. This perhaps seems to throw light on why the prevalence of CSA in post-war environments although some of the children may have formed a new sex orientation as part of the ‘jungle culture’, where they were exposed to multiple sex partners which does not conform to the societal norms.

2.3 Impact of sexual abuse on children

Sexual abuse can have short and long-term effects on the victim[s], which can be physical, emotional or psychological. A UN study on the violence against children indicated that although women are generally prone to sexual violence in conflict, to a large extent, adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to their physiological make ups, power positions and assumed uninfected status of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.38

In conflict and post conflict zones, perpetrators of sexual abuse have also used ethnicity and religion as determining factors for the identification of which women or girls should be subjects of sexual violence such as in Rwanda and Sudan.39 Although some children do not experience ‘direct’ abuse, however, they are sometimes forced to witness incidents of rape of family members which is a psychological torture for them. According to the machel report, sexual abuse against boys as well as girls often goes unreported. These acts of sexual abuse also exposes victims to high risks of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS as well as traumatic experiences which psychologists have referred to as ‘post-traumatic stress disorders.’ For instance, in Cambodia, between 60 and 70 percent of child victims of SEA in 1996, who later took to prostitution as a survival strategy, were HIV/AIDS positive.40

In a similar research conducted by Catherine Kirkwood, she found out that, survivors of sexual abuse experience deep rooted fear and anger in the forms of nightmares and flashbacks of the episodes of abuse that they have experienced.41 These bitter resurgences of ill-thoughts often trigger emotional depressions which impede the psychological balance of the victims. It also obstructs their attempts to suppress past emotions while struggling to face practical realities on a daily basis. This is reaffirmed by an interviewee of the study who confirms that:

I get memory flashbacks, like for some reason, all of a sudden; it ‘ll be like I’m

Living it again and there’s a couple of real horrendous ones that are just horrendous.

And I mean it’s like reliving it. It’s not just a memory; it is like my whole body remembers,

And that is hard. For six weeks I couldn’t sleep…I lay down and all of a sudden, all i

Could do was remember.42

Furthermore, these sexual assaults also have serious health implications for survivors such as unwanted pregnancies, vesico-vaginal and vesico-rectal fistula and prolapsed uterus.43 Victims who become pregnant as a result of these sexual abuses face harsh conditions. These Emotional and psychological challenges emerge from the inadequate support system from The community including economic hardship, pervading religious and cultural expectations And the lack of access to appropriate reproductive health services. Due to their physiological Developments, young girls are at a higher risk of chronic pelvic inflammatory diseases and Muscle injury at child birth. The possibilities for complications to arise during their teen age Pregnancies are high which may result in unsafe or incomplete abortion.44 These complications can result in internal bleeding which may be caused by bruises and physical Injuries, difficulties with breastfeeding and loss of menstruation. Sometimes, it leads to death as a result of poor pre and post-natal care.45

In conflict situations, such as Rwanda, SEA especially rape was systematically used as a Weapon torture and a strategy for denting the morale of the enemy.46 Women and girls who Are invariably the most vulnerable in these circumstances suffer in silence and live with the Post traumatic disorders of sexual violence. Silence is subsumed in such circumstances due to The derogatory and humiliating perceptions attributed to rape in some cultures. Victims also live in fear of reprisal from their aggressors and or rejection from family members. These cultural imperatives sometimes force child victims to withdraw from their group think, resorting to the state of denial. The fear of stigmatisation and embarrassment can break social cohesion and community networks. It puts victims at high risks with potentials for suicidal attempts.47. Additionally, there is a high possibility of victims of child prostitution during conflicts to institutionalise prostitution after conflicts. This ‘new’ survival strategy has been gradually transformed into a lucrative ‘business’ in urban communities in post conflict zones. For instance, the number of child prostitutes sold each month in Phnom Penh in Cambodia is estimated at 100.48 In a similar context though under researched, from a five- year field based experience, I can ascertain that in post-conflict Sierra Leone, adolescent girls hang out as commercial sex workers in large numbers along the Lumley-Aberdeen Beach in Freetown, and in other regional Headquarter towns.49 A UN study on a sexual exploitation of children during conflict also confirms an increase in child prostitution and prevalence of HIV/AIDS with the arrival of peacekeeping troops on country specific missions.50 For example, preceding the deployment of the 17,500 UN peacekeeping troops in Sierra Leone in 1,999, Very serious concerns regarding the HIV/AIDS status of troops were raised as peacekeepers were identified as vectors of the virus.51 Based on this suspicion, it was feared that children,

Who fell prey of sexual exploitation and abuses perpetrated by peacekeepers were at a high riskof having contracted the virus. Responding to such emerging health needs and in an attempt to prevent its reoccurrence, raised the need for a review of the codes of conduct guiding PSOs in the field.

2.4 Child Sexual Abuse and International Protection Instruments

The child protection system has evolved through a set of conflicting practices that are

Rain forced by a network of legislation. Among the key child-focused international protection instrument are the 1977 additional protocols of the Geneva Convention of 19498, the 1989 UNCRC and its two optional protocols of 2000 and the 1990 African charter on the right and welfare of the child. The imperative to incorporate these international instructions into the domestic loss by states continues to be controversial. It has not only questioned the universality of these legislations, but has also thrown light on the variations in People’s perception of what is or is not the goal of the global protection system. Critics such as David Francis are of the view that these legal reforms will remain a mear vision on paper if the international community does not change it orientation from the culture of standard setting to rainforcing the imprementation of treaties and covenant ratified or acceded to by state government.52


1 Machel, Grace, (20010, impact of war on children, London: C. Hurst &co publishers Ltd .p. xi

2 The Zeid report (2005),’’ A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in United Nations peacekeeping operations’’ (A/59/710).

3 ibid

4 The body shop international report,(2006)’The impact of domestic violence on children’ UNICEF

5 UNICEF Sierra Leone country report 2006 available on

6 ibid

7 ibid

8 Findings from a gender based situation analysis research jointly conducted by UNEPA, UNIFEM and statics Sierra Leone, March, 2008.

9 Abdullah, Ibrahim,(2004) between democracy and terror: the sierra Leone civil war, CODESRIA, DAKAR, Senegal.240

10 Bangura, yusif (2004), ‘’the political and cultural dynamic of Sierra Leone war: A critique of Paul richards2, ibid pp. 13-40.

11 Keen David, (2005) conflict & confusion in sierra Leone, new york, palgrave,p.2

12 CIA world fact book, 2004

13 ibid

14 Abdullah, Ibrahim, Op cit.p.239

15 Ibid, p.240

16 Report on gender based analysis of Sierra Leone.

17 Murphy, Michael,(1995) working together in child protection, Aldershot: ash gate publishing limited ,p.xx

18 ibid

19 Kate Wilson and adrain James,(eds) , (2007), the child protection hand book, bailer tindall: Elsevier limited p.2

20 A statutory outcome of Lord laming’s enquiry into climber’s death in 2000

21 Frost (2002, p.25) in pyne, cited in Geoff & pyne Judy, (2004), key concept in social research, London: SAGE publication.

22 Costello, Patrick, (2003), action research, London: continuum, p.41.

23 Richard winter,(1996) cited in O’Brien, r.(1998),’ An overview of the methodological approach of action research,’ faculty of information studies, university of toroto.p.3

24 United nations conversation on the rights of the child , 20th November,1993, the African charter on the right and welfare of the child of July 20,1990

25 Francis, David (2007),’’ ‘paper protection’ mechanism; child soldiers and the international protection of children in Africa’s conflict zones’ journal of modern African Studies, 45,2,PP.207-231

26 Childhood matters: report of the national commission of inquiry into the prevention of child abuse,vol.2 1994, London : the stationery office, p.207

27 Machel, 2002, op cit p.55

28 Definition of reaped under interrtional law, articulated during the Rwandan tribunals judgment against Akayesu in 1998 for sexual violence committed during the 1994 Genocide.

29 UN secretary general’s bulletin on ‘’special measures for the protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse,’’ October, 2003.

30 Wilson Kate,(2007) Op City p.13

31 David Francis (2007) Op cit p.222

32 MichealMurphy,(1995) working together in child protection: an exploration of the multi-discriplinary task and system, Aldershot, Ashagate publishing limited p.27

33 Finkelohor (1986) cited in childhood matters op cit.p.233

34 ibid

35 Seifert (1994) and card (1996), cited in bracken, p, and petty, c(1998) rethinking the trauma of war London: free assorted brooks,pp.116

36 Ibid p.117

37 Lansana fofana,’’ Zero tolerance for UN INVOLVED IN SEXUAL ABUSE,’’ associated press, 2006

38 UN, report op cit,para 92,p.23

39 ibid

40 UN, report op cit, p56

41 Catherine Kirkwood,(1993), leaving abusive partner: from the scars of survival to the wisdom of change, London: SAGE publication, p.166

42 Ibid p.177

43 Kate Wilson and Adrian James,(2007), the child protection handbook,bailliere, Tyndale p.86

44 Machel report, op cit, p.57

45 UN, report on impact of armed conflict on children,2004 paraa.102,p.24.

46 ibid

47 World health organisation, cited in machel report,2004,op cit p.56

48 Machel, op cit p.58

49 As asocial worker, interview conducted with these girls, reveal that most of them were child excombatants who were either bush wives or victims of sexual abuse and now sex as a revenue seeking act rather than an act for pleasure.

50 UN, report on impact of armed confliction children,2004 Para 98,p.24


52 FRANCIS, DAVID, J (.2007), ‘PAPER PROTECTION MECHENSIM: child soldiers and the international protection of children in Africa’s conflict Zones, journal of modern African studies, 45, 2pp207-231.

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Child sexual abuse. An analysis of the situation in post-war Sierra Leone
University of Bradford  (Centre for African Studies Peace Studies Department)
Post Graduate in Peace Studies
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I graduated with a Masters degree with Merit and currently doing social work in Sierra Leone I have a double masters degrees in both Educational Administration and Peace Studies. I a currently a PhD Candidate with Atlantic International University in the School of Business and Economic currently researching on why development projects fail in Sierra Leone.
child, sierra, leone
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David Sidikie Yambasu (Author), 2008, Child sexual abuse. An analysis of the situation in post-war Sierra Leone, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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