“ [The Lost Boys] are victims who suffer in silence… they too experience health complications, such as physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, psychological stress and trauma.”   –  Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2013

[The Lost Boys] are victims who suffer in silence… they too experience health complications, such as physical injuries, sexually transmitted diseases, psychological stress and trauma.”

Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, 2013


ADDRESSING THE CYCLES OF VIOLENCE FOR THE LOST BOYS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

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The Lost Boys of the 21st Century is a unique and innovative solution developed by the 1st NAEF to address a critical and highly dangerous gap in the recovery, rehabilitation, and re-integration of young male victims of gender-based violence.

Call to action: We urgently require sustainable funding and support to implement this life-changing program.

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?

Abused, tortured, indoctrinated… and ignored.

Young males (8-16 years of age) rescued and recovered from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captivity and indoctrination are not being recognized, or treated appropriately, as victims of violence or sexual violence in conflict. They have also been radicalized and indoctrinated into violent extremism and intolerance by their captors.

They are being excluded from available treatments necessary for their recovery because of their gender and because of a pervasive flaw in global narratives surrounding victims. The programs offered, that they so desperately need, were said to be not for them – because these services were designed and implemented to specifically help women and girls.

The consequence of not recognizing or treating these ‘Lost Boys’ should be clear. Within 5 to 10 years, we will most likely be fighting many of them, as they are at very high risk of becoming the next generation of violent perpetrators and/or extremists.

We need to take immediate action. We are years behind already. This is why we have created the ‘Lost Boys’ solutions framework.


WHAT IS OUR SOLUTION TO THE CHALLENGE?

The Lost Boys of the 21st Century is a multi-level solution framework – which aims to use education, rehabilitation, and counter violent extremism initiatives to help young male victims of violence and sexual violence in conflict to recover and reintegrate back into their communities.

The program will address the critical gaps failing the Lost Boys of ISIS and gender-based violence in conflict with three inter-related initiatives:

  1. Leading a global awareness campaign that will:

    a) Highlight the plight of the Lost Boys of the 21st Century, and

    b) Reduce gender bias in the treatment and care of victims of gender-based violence. We advocate gender-specific and gender-inclusive care and treatment of ALL victims of violence and sexual violence in conflict.

  2. Developing a flagship recovery and de-radicalization center – including live-in accommodation, education, medical, and recreational facilities – in Kurdistan Iraq to treat Yezidi young male victims (8-16 years of age) of ISIS captivity;

  3. Undertaking a knowledge-building outreach initiative, to share our best practice insights, recommendations, and solutions framework with other treatment centers and practitioners.

WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?

OUR MISSION

To break the cycle of violence and protect the vulnerable. We want to be a catalyst and guiding light towards achieving gender-specific and gender-inclusive treatment, education, de-radicalization, and re-integration of ALL victims of violence and sexual violence in conflict.

OUR POSITION

We are gender-neutral and non-partisan. We believe that ALL victims of gender-based violence should have dedicated gender-specific care and recovery programs, to help them overcome their traumas and rebuild their lives. We want to help ensure that humanitarian aid and development programs do not impart gender bias directly or indirectly.


WHO ARE THE INTENDED BENEFICIARIES OF OUR WORK?

This program has been designed to specially aid young male victims of violence, sexual violence, or indoctrination in conflict – with education, recovery, and reintegration.

KEY BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM

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The program will help break the cycle of violence and protect the vulnerable. It will:

  • Provide quality education

  • Address areas of psychological and medical care of young male victims of gender-based violence treat their physical and mental wounds

  • De-radicalize young males at very high risk of continuing the cycles of violence

  • Enable effective community re-integration

  • Lead to global peer engagement

  • Provide leadership development and youth empowerment

  • Lead the cause to reduce gender-bias in the treatment of all victims of violence or sexual violence in conflict


WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE?

  1. To raise awareness of this urgent issue.

  2. To design, build, and collaboratively operate a recovery center for the Yezidi lost boys in Kurdistan Iraq.

  3. To develop and implement a knowledge-building outreach initiative for sharing the solutions concept with other clinics and practitioners treating victims of gender-based violence.

  4. To influence global policy and reduce gender-bias in the treatment of all victims of violence and sexual violence in conflict.

SUPPORT US

We require considerable support to help us act on this critical and highly dangerous aid gap, and to implement this life-changing program.

This includes sustainable funding and operations capital, as well as buy-in, advocacy, sponsorship, and ambassadorship from international organisations, NGOs, foundations, thought leaders, and decision-makers – to increase global awareness, promote the cause, and generate support for our work.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”  – Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss