UN: Armed Conflict Disproportionately Affecting Children

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 12:11 pm (UTC-5)
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Millions of children around the world are disproportionately affected by ongoing wars, and are being forcefully recruited, killed, maimed and abused in those armed conflicts.

According to an annual report by the United Nations special representative for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, children have become the “primary targets” of armed groups, and are increasingly used for intelligence-gathering and as human shields.

Ms. Coomaraswamy said children also were unfairly being arrested and detained because they took part in hostilities, even though they were forced into those activities.

She said children in these cases should be treated as victims, not as perpetrators.

Although 10,000 children have been released thanks to efforts on the ground, thousands more are still being abused, exploited and beaten into submission by armed groups.

The special representative called on governments to strengthen measures against the use of children in hostilities, and work to rehabilitate and reintegrate former child soldiers.