They aren’t alone.
Three years after fighting first erupted in South Sudan, children continue to be recruited by armed forces and armed groups, with 1,300 children recruited in 2016, UNICEF said today. This brings to more than 17,000 the total number of children used in the conflict since 2013.
“Since the first day of this conflict, children have been the ones most devastatingly affected by the violations,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “Now, as the fighting intensifies – and despite repeated pledges by all to end child recruitment – children are once again being targeted.”
Recruited Children as Fighters From Camp for Displaced People
Iraqi government-backed Hashad al-Asha’ri militias detained and beat at least 22 men from two villages near Mosul. The militias also recruited at least 10 children in a camp for displaced people as fighters against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
“Civilians in ISIS-held territory in and around Mosul are asking themselves what will come next. The answer to that question should be greater respect for human rights,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “For some civilians who have come under the control of Hashad al-Asha’ri militias, however, the change in guard has not meant protection from rights abuses.”
After over two grueling years living under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS), Mosul’s1.2 million civilians may suffer yet more abuse when the government tries to retake the city if recent lessons from the operations to retake Fallujah, Tikrit and other areas are any guide. To avoid this scenario, the US, other international forces, and the government in Baghdad should prevent abusive forces from entering Iraq’s second-largest city during and after the military operation.
Just take a look at past operations against the extremist group in Iraq to see why. Most recently, in the May-June battle to retake Fallujah, members of the Badr Brigades and Hezbollah Brigades (two powerful units within the Iraqi government’s Popular Mobilization Forces), and, in at least one instance, Iraqi federal police officers, detained and beat men fleeing the fighting, summarily executed and forcibly disappeared others, and mutilated corpses.
State Department List Adds Iraq, Excludes Afghanistan
The Obama administration should require foreign governments receiving United States military aid to immediately end their use of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 30, 2016, the US State Department issued a new list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers as part of its annual Trafficking in Persons report. The list of 10 countries includes Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act prohibits certain forms of US military assistance to countries that either use child soldiers in their national armed forces or support militias or paramilitaries that recruit and use child soldiers. The president can waive the prohibition for national security reasons. Since the law went into effect in 2010, the Obama administration has issued such waivers in 26 of 33 cases, allowing governments using child soldiers to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid.
The Colombian Government and Guerilla Group Also Reach Deal for Release of Members Under 15.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced they will no longer recruit children under 15 years of age to be part of its insurgent group officials announced Sunday, May 15.
The Colombian government and FARC agreed to the discharge of members under 15, in accordance with the peace process taking place in Havana.
London, United Kingdom (Sputnik) – According to a documentary movie, UK’s Aegis Defense Services employed former child soldiers from Sierra Leone as ‘the cheapest soldiers globally’. A British private military company Aegis Defense Services, contracted by US Department of Defense to provide security to Project and…
In 1954, a single book destroyed the popular notion that children are innocent souls. In that book, a plane of such innocent souls crashes on a deserted island. There, in a paradise of coral and coconuts and wild pigs, the survivors soon revert to a state of nature. But such a state, author William Golding warned us, is not an idyll of flower-sniffing and poetry-writing. In The Lord of the Flies, the children turn savage, inspired not by beauty or the common good but, rather, the will to power.