The intersection between Early Childhood Development (ECD), peacebuilding, and sustainabledevelopment is a complex and newly emerging area of research in the cross-disciplinary field of earlychildhood and international development. This paper is important for its contribution to thedeveloping knowledge-base in its conceptualizations of the role of young children in the promotion ofsocial cohesion and peaceful societies. It begins by discussing the increasingly high profile of ECDin the global advocacy for building sustainable development. The discussion presents amultidimensional conceptualization of early childhood that is rooted in a wider social justice andhuman rights agenda and encapsulated in an ecological framework that depicts the intrinsicrelationship between the child, family, community, and wider society. The findings reveal thepotential linkages between ECD and young children’s role in fostering peace as conceptualized inthree interrelated paradigms – a rights-based, participatory, and pedagogical approach. The paperargues for the importance of advancing further research to foster greater understanding of theconnections between children and peacebuilding especially in the context of fragile and conflictaffectedcountries.
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