neither War nor Peace
in pdf format (entire book)
by Luke Dowdney

Executive Summary

Youth Testimonies


press release

Cape Town
(South Africa)


(Northern Ireland)








Rio de Janiero

San Salvador
(El Salvador)

Around the world, children and youth are engaged in armed conflict. Child Soldiers have been the focus of international attention for many years. But in countries that are not officially at war, many youth join armed organizations such as gangs, drug factions, cartels, death squads, para-militaries, and revolutionary groups.

This unique report compares armed groups in ten different countries as disparate as the USA and Ecuador. Researchers and activists from each country used a common format and questionairre to investigate the lives of youth involved in armed conflicts. While there are many differences between countries, the similarities of the voices of the children are haunting.

The new, globalized world is not necessarily a safer one for youth. Organizations of armed youth play important, if often destructive, roles within cities all over the world. The "retreat of the state" and repressive policies not friendly to youth have had the combined result of strengthening these non-state actors and increasing violence.

the study in the news