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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Linda Sánchez Avendaño

Thesis title

'Childhood amidst gold mining and armed conflict: Agency, child labour and humanitarian response in Colombia'

Through an analysis of the situation of children recruited into the mining industry in Colombia and the satellite industries around mining controlled by different armed groups, my PhD research would like to unravel the origins of this phenomenon and some of their complexities in areas where children and youth have been trapped and victimized. This will provide a greater understanding of how the armed groups currently operate, the relation between illegal mining industry and armed conflict and why children are recruited and used in those specific economic activities in Colombia and other cases around the globe. My research will contribute from a theoretical and empirical approach of investigation bringing new and updated elements to analyse and explain the international and political implications of the abduction and recruitment of children in economic activities managed by armed groups at the national and international level.


Research interests

Children and armed conflict; child labour; post-conflict reconstruction; conflict theory; humanitarian practice; extractive economies; human rights.

Education experience

2012 Master of Arts in Post-War Recovery Studies

Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit, University of York, York, UK

Dissertation (With Distinction): The Uncloaked Women within the LRA: Reintegration of Female ex-combatants in Northern Uganda through the utilisation of acquired skills and agency capacity

2010 Specialization in Armed Conflict and Peace

Los Andes University, Bogotá, Colombia

2008 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia

Relevant work experience

Seven years of experience working on diverse research projects and humanitarian relief programmes with different Colombian governmental organisations, think tanks and NGOs such as Nuevo Arco Iris Corporation, the National University of Colombia, Counselling Program for Victims of the Armed Conflict and serious violations of Human Rights and lately with the National Centre for Historical Memory. Within my experience, I also had the opportunity to work as an intern for a local organization in Northern Uganda called Youth Social Work Association (YSA) and as a consultant for UNICEF Colombia and the Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES).

Why I'm doing a PhD at HCRI

HCRI is one of Europe's top institutions specializing in humanitarian affairs and one of the world's most renowned schools with an important trajectory in Political Science, and specifically in conflict studies. The PhD offered by the HCRI, bring the possibility to gain additional knowledge base on class discussions, feedback and interaction with other students with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. I consider the PhD program on Humanitarian and Conflict Response is very comprehensive with an experienced staff of professors. The programme has an interesting academic approach and the method offered allows the acquisition of an important variety of knowledge. Likewise, it offers the possibility of conducting research by applying empirical and theoretical approaches to contemporary conflicts which facilitates a holistic approach to my studies in humanitarian affairs.

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