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In conflict, youth are either seen as victim or perpetrator. Why is this the case and what impact does this have on the potential for achieving peace? Youth are often left to defend themselves during times of conflict, having to take survival into their own hands. These difficult situations have led to the negative portrayal of youth in conflict. How can we change the role and vision of youth? Are agency and participation really the answer to achieving peace? Can we move children from being leaders in war to leaders in peace? To find out more, we sat down with Anne de Graaf, Professor for Human Rights and Human Security and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Amsterdam. Anne used personal experiences ranging from Liberia to Sierra Leone, to show us how the youth can create sustainable peace. But first, they need to be included. In Anne’s words, “inclusion is not about being invited to the party, it’s about being able to organise the party”.

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