PhD research: The role of armed conflicts in the phenomenon of street children in Eastern Congo

October 2015 to September 2019
conflicts (violent)
health (adolescent & youth)
violence (sexual & gender-based)
psychosocial well-being
Research fields
Law and Political Science
Social Sciences
This study’s overall aim is to gain more insight into the role of armed conflicts and particular war-related experiences (i.e. child soldiering, and war-related sexual violence) in the dynamics and causes of street life involvement of children living in (post-)conflict contexts. Through enlarging this knowledge about the dynamics and trajectories of street life involvement of children living in contexts of armed conflict, we will then be able to better adapt the strategies of support and care for these children and their familial contexts.

Following research questions will guide the study:
1) Do war-related motives and experiences (displacement, sexual violence, child soldiering, parental separation, stigma following child soldiering/sexual violence,…) impact the reasons to become involved and to stay in the street, and is there a difference herein between “working children” and “street children”? (study 1)?
2) How do transition processes evolve from home to the street? (study 2)
3) What is the role of parents and other caregivers in children’s involvement in the street? (study 3)
4 How do transition process evolve from street to home? (study 4)



  • Psychosocial well-being of adolescent victims of sexual violence in Eastern Congo
  • Psychosocial support centre in Eastern Congo  
  • The impact of violent behaviour in adolescents on post-conflict recovery processes in Northern Uganda
  • War-trauma, attachment and risk behaviour in war-affected adolescents in Northern Uganda
  • Resources for former child soldiers after returning from the rebel faction 
  • Resettlement of war-affected communities in northern uganda and the longitudinal follow-up of the reintegration process of former child soldiers 
  • Psychosocial support centre Northern Uganda 

Possibility for Fieldwork / Internship: yes.