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EXPERIENCING PARAMILITARISM: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF PARAMILITARIES ON YOUNG PEOPLE IN NORTHERN

Belfast Landscape

Research completed by academics at Queen’s University Belfast reveals the nature and extent of paramilitary style intimidation, attack and exploitation of children and young people in some Northern Ireland communities.  The findings by School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work academic Siobhan McAlister, and colleagues from Queen’s University School of Law and the University of Nottingham, raise concerns about the extent to which the State is meeting its obligation as a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes children’s right to protection from violence and abuse, and to freedom from torture, cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment.

Whilst the research did not find significant levels of recruitment, young people identified a range of factors which would make those their age vulnerable to exploitation and recruitment. These included family and community links, the need for protection, and a search for belonging and identity. The research findings are available at http://bit.ly/2z6fgTp

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