“We come together to explore the social discourse and psychological processes that make it possible to hurt children and to generate some understanding of what it might take to step out of violence.” (From Born Equal’s panel abstract)
The international multidisciplinary conference “Children and War: Past and Present 2016” was held at the University of Salzburg, Austria, on 13-15 July 2016. This is the 3rd conference in this series organized by the University of Salzburg and the University of Wolverhampton, in association with the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.
Born Equal project coordinator, Dr. Judy Roth and Born equal members Efrat Even-Tzur, Tova Buksbaum and Ekram Mokari, presented papers at the conference in a panel titled Conscripted childhoods: Facing militarism and moral injury in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories
The panel addressed the question of “how family members in Israel and Palestine struggle with their ability to remain compassionate, as they are inducted from a young age into lives of militarism and political violence. The papers approach this issue from the perspective of young warriors who are socialized to dissociate their humanity, from the perspective of adolescents facing the severely damaging impact of moral injuries while still in the throes of development themselves, and from the perspective of parents and children, trying to hold onto their humanity as they live through the impact of brutality as victims and as perpetrators.”
Other panels included Perspectives of Israeli mental health professionals on the psychological effects of occupation and military detention on Palestinian minors in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem by members of the Child Arrest Group of Psychoactive: Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights Maya Mukamel, Michal Fruchtman, Sunny Gordon Bar and Manal Abu Haq, and a further panel on Israel/Palestine where Prof. Charles W. Greenbaum presented his research with Prof. Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia on Exposure of Palestinian adolescents to prolonged and cumulative military violence: A study of its mental health consequences and resiliency factors.
Link to full conference abstracts PDF
Link to the conference website