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Civilians are increasingly implicated in modern warfare, and consequently, growing numbers of children are affected by armed strife. The potential consequences of war on children’s lives are manifold and generally seen as overwhelmingly negative. Societies across time and place have therefore sought to shield children from exposure to armed violence. At the same time, literature warns that depicting war-affected children exclusively as helpless victims risks misrepresenting lived realities and, in turn, undermining children’s coping mechanisms and sources of resilience.

Professional literature on war-affected children can roughly be organised along three branches. First, publications in the humanitarian and development field approach children predominantly through a child protection lens, highlighting how children’s rights are violated in situations of war. Second, biomedical research has shed light on the ...

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