Hizbul, JeM Recruited Children During Kashmir Unrest: UN Report

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Srinagar: According to a report by United Nations (UN), Pakistan-based banned terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen recruited and used children in Jammu and Kashmir (J&k), during clashes with security forces last year.

Using the phrase, “grave violations”, the report said during clashes with the security forces, three incidents of recruitment and use of children by the two terror outfits were reported in Jammu and Kashmir.

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“One case was attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed and two to Hizbul Mujahideen,” the report said.

The “unverified” reports also show the use of children as informants and spies by the security forces, it further added.

The annual report of the UN Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict that covered the January-December 2017 period, said more than 10,000 children, worldwide, were killed or wounded seriously in conflict. Over 8,000 were recruited and used as combatants. It covers 20 countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, India, the Philippines and Nigeria.

The report of Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG) Antonio Guterres said children in India are getting constantly affected by the violent incidents between armed groups and the government forces. He named states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, which are witnessing growing tensions.

According to the report, children were employed by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. “Naxalites reportedly resorted to the use of a lottery system to conscript children in Jharkhand,” it said. Children recruited, continued to die during the operations between the government and the insurgent groups.

Guterres urged the government to take steps to capture perpetrators of child recruitment and engage with the UN to end and prevent violations against children.

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