the end of hostilities) receive superior, relatively well-organized reintegration services that
directly address the trauma of conscription and fighting. 99
Child soldiers and juvenile gang members share another point in common: the question
of how voluntary their joining of a gang or armed force may be and how that may affect their
being held to a more adult standard of accountability. 100 While many child soldiers are forced into
their fighting careers, many others do volunteer. 101 Similarly, young gang members may not see
themselves as having been forced or even coerced. 102 Both populations describe their own agency
in their activities within their respective organizations as well. 103 Former child soldiers receive the
care they do based on the societal focus on recovering from the conflict and reintegrating into
communities where the former child soldier must live and work. 104 Research on child soldiers in
Uganda has shown that the voluntariness of the participation does not necessarily indicate a lesser
risk of psychological harm from participation in the conflict, and instead, the amount of violence
experienced is what correlates most closely with lasting distress and decreased earning power. 105
This research, taken together with research on trauma and juvenile delinquency, urges a response
to juvenile gang members that, like the internationally-accepted response to child soldiers, aims
to heal rather than punish. 106
IV. SUGGESTIONS FOR RECOGNIZING AND RESPONDING TO JUVENILE GANG MEMBERS AS
VICTIMS OF LABOR TRAFFICKING
A. Delayed Adjudication Pending Services and Other Incentives to Testify Against Accused
One benefit former child soldiers receive under international law is immunity from
prosecution as adults for acts committed in the course of the conflict in which they were
compelled to fight. 107 This encourages reintegration of former child soldiers into their
communities without fear of being punished for actions of which they may not have been fully in
(2007) (discussing ease of exit for gang members); Beth Verhey, Child Soldiers: Preventing, Demobilizing and Reintegrating 9
(World Bank Grp., Working Paper No. 23, 2001), available at http://www.worldbank.org/afr/wps/wp23.pdf (discussing
demobilization issues for child soldiers).
99 Id. at 785–86.
100 Farrell & Marceau, supra note 76, at 1545, 1548–55 (2013); Jones, supra note 12, at 497– 99 (discussing economic coercive factors
of trafficking victims involved in criminal activity with respect to victim accountability); see Kathleen Kim, The Coercion of
Trafficked Workers, 96 IOWA L. R. 409, 436–64 (2011) (examining “situational coercion” in labor trafficking as a factor in
101 Braunstein, supra note 40, at 79.
102 Id. at 78–79; Kerig et al., supra note 83, at 775–76.
103 Kerig et al., supra note 83, at 775–76.
104 Id. at 785–87; Theresa S. Betancourt et al., High Hopes, Grim Reality: Reintegration and the Education of Former Child Soldiers
in Sierra Leone, 52 COMP. EDUC. REV. 565, 567 (2008).
105 Blattmann & Annan, supra note 90, at 893–95.
106 See Anjana Madan et al., Brief Report: Do Delinquency and Community Violence Exposure Explain Internalizing Problems in
Early Adolescent Gang Members?, 34 J. ADOLESC. 1093, 1094 (2011); see Dawn Delfin McDaniel, Risk and Protective Factors
Associated with Gang Affiliation Among High-Risk Youth: A Public Health Approach, 18 INJ. PREVENTION 253, 257–58 (2012).
107 United Nations Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of
Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II) arts. 4.3, 6.5, June 8, 1977, 1125 U.N. T.S. 609. The United States is a signatory to
Protocol II, but has never ratified it. But cf. Q&A on LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen and the ICC, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (Jan. 9,
2015), http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/01/09/qa-lra-commander-dominic-ongwen-and-icc, and Gregory Warner, A Former Child
Soldier Will Stand Trial In The Hague For War Crimes, NPR (Jan. 23, 2015, 4:35 PM),
http://www.npr.org/2015/01/23/379419891/international-criminal-court-to-try-former-child-soldier-with-war-crimes (both describing
the January 2015 and anticipated criminal trial of former child soldier Dominic Ongwen, the only former child soldier ever indicted by
the International Criminal Court). See also Braunstein, supra note 40, at 82–86 (discussing applicability of Geneva Conventions to the
classification of gang warfare as cognizable belligerents).