Children, terrorism and counter-terrorism: Lessons in policy & practice

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Children are all too often the victims of terrorist conflicts and, as the Beslan school siege tragically illustrated, this victimisation can be extreme, deliberate and intentional. While all victims of terrorism attract a special interest, child victims unquestionably attract the most. Following this, how terrorist groups and governments initiate and react to violence which kills and maims children can play a major role in how conflicts are perceived and in how campaigns unfold. A failure to appreciate the critical issues surrounding the victimisation of children risks undermining perceived legitimacy, eroding wider support and increasing the backing opponents enjoy. Drawing on a variety of case studies, this article provides a review of how the victimisation of children has impacted in recent terrorist conflicts. Implications for policy and practice are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • terrorism
  • victims of terrorism
  • child victims
  • counterterrorism

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