Sample International Relations Article Review on Impact of conflict and displacement on Adolescents

Most East African countries like Southern Sudan and Somalia are chaotic with political instability. There are political tensions and instability which often result to anarchy and outrages. Southern Sudan, for instance, is constantly at conflict as communities are fighting against each other. Women and youths, especially the adolescents, are the most affected. There are numerous dramatic changes resulting from war and forced migration. These changes affect both the traditional values and practices surrounding the adolescents. Nonetheless, the changes may positively influence the lives of young people. The article reviewed is based on the author’s extensive experience as a female psychologist from Ethiopia attached to war-affected children. Despite other challenges associated with conflict and hostility, the journal purposefully examined the lives of the adolescent in the conflict-induced situation.

The impact of conflicts on adolescents have widely been discussed and explored in this article. According to Hirut Tefferi, political turmoil and upheaval in East African countries has eroded the basic structures and functioning of many communities. The author established that conflicts and displacement had disrupted important institutions, which would otherwise provide a framework that enhances transition of youths into adulthood. From Tefferi’s findings, the following are some of the implications of conflicts on the adolescent;

Breakdown of Family and Community Structures

East African communities distribute social roles and responsibilities based on age and gender. That is, the community norms require the elderly population to provide steadfast leadership roles and guidance to younger generations. This process enhances their successful transition into adulthood. However, the author established that this community norm could not be achieved due to migration. Moreover, some roles and responsibilities of the elders have been wrongly targeted by the conflicted parties to propagate more violence. Lastly, the author has established that conflict-induced displacement has offered great resistance for the adolescent boys to attain their successful transition into adulthood. The teenagers in the camps are overwhelmed with excessive powers and responsibilities delegated to them.

Suspension of Practices around Transition

East African communities value the ceremonies around transition processes. The ceremonies form an essential part in moving one from childhood to adulthood. The researcher established that in some communities, the transition process is considered incomplete when there is no performance of initiation ceremony. Political and social cohesiveness is critically necessary for successful performance of initiation rites. However, during conflict-induced displacement, social cohesion may be limited. In the absence of initiation ceremonies, teenagers remain at this stage despite their age. Such teenagers have no respect in the society even when they are turning fifty years of their lives. Stigmatization on adolescents may interfere with their daily activities as well as the health status.

Destruction of Family and Community Ties

According to Tefferi’s report, conflict and displacement undermine the ties which are supposed to bind teenagers to their family and community. Conflicts, in most cases, interfere with the process of socialization and initiation. Inculcation of established values and practices may not be achieved during conflict displacement. Tefferi also discovered that conflict displacement destroys the communities and traditional rituals. The adolescent will, therefore, miss out on a meaningful engagement with the established process, which would otherwise give them a sense of belonging to the community (Tefferi 307). Consistent conflicts also jeopardize the economic sustainability of the community thus compelling youths to join military forces to prevent the country from attacks. In conclusion, conflict and displacement have several impacts on the transition of teenagers to adulthood. Political and social cohesion is crucial to enhance the smooth transition of teenagers into adulthood.

Work Cited

Tefferi, Hirut. “Reconstructing adolescence after displacement: experience from Eastern Africa.” Children & society 21.4 (2007): 297-308.