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Outside the Box: Amplifying youth voices and views on YPS policy and practice

Political transition, reintegration, and the challenges of reconciliation in Colombia from the perspective of youth

This brief, written by a young Colombian scholar and based on interviews with youth, is the first of two briefs addressing a specific aspect of youth inclusion and leadership in peace processes. The brief addresses this topic from the perspective of DDR (and particularly social reincorporation programs), noting that while youth were severely under-represented in the Colombian peace negotiations, they nonetheless played a crucial role in the peace plebiscite, and made up the majority of those in DDR processes. The brief pays particular attention to those who – although they were part of the political movement and organized in urban centers – were nonetheless not part of the formal military arm of the FARC, and who were consequently excluded from the DDR and reintegration processes.

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Laura Henao
Laura Henao is a researcher and peacebuilding practitioner performing as a project officer at USIP (United States Institute of Peace), as part of the Citizen Security Dialogue project. She holds a B.A and M.A in Economics and a Masters degree in Sociology, and is a specialist in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Her research experience includes the Colombian armed conflict, peacebuilding monitoring, and dialogue, negotiation, and mediation processes. She previously worked as the head and founder of the mediation team at CINEP (Center for Research and Popular education) designing strategies for negotiation and dialogue processes regarding land or mining conflicts, environmental decay, or the collective reparation of victims of the armed conflict between multiple stakeholders (civil society, State institutions, enterprises). Her most recent work focuses on the implementation of dialogue processes between communities and justice and security actors (police, local prosecutors, etc.).
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