Submitted by antimili-youth on Thu, 23/02/2017 - 17:32
According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria's Boko Haram militants recruited about 2,000 children in 2016 and used them as child soldiers.
As world leaders gathered in Paris for a conference on the protection of children in armed conflict, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake said "nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram, in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015."
The UNICEF chief said according to estimates there are tens of thousands under the age of 18 being used in conflicts worldwide today.
Colombia’s largest guerrilla group has agreed to release all of its soldiers under age 15. It is a move welcomed by child rights groups but it also highlights the continued use of child soldiers in conflicts around the world.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) made the pledge during talks in Cuba aimed at ending its five-decade war against successive governments. The administration of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC now need to decide upon the terms under which the child soldiers will be reintegrated into civilian life.
Two women in Lithuania are using photography to approach a very controversial topic – military conscription, which was suddenly reinstated by the Lithuanian government just a few months ago. The series is a collaboration between Lithuanian actress and TV host Beata Tiskevic-Hasanova and Lithuanian photographer and political science student Neringa Rekasiute.
SANAA, Yemen — Abdullah Ali’s 15-year-old son disappeared from home one morning three months ago. A week later, the boy called his horrified family to say he had joined the Shiite insurgents known as Houthis — becoming one of a growing number of underage soldiers fighting in Yemen’s civil war.
“He’s just a child. He’s only in the ninth grade,” Ali, 49, a civil servant who lives in the city of Taiz, said recently. “He should be at school learning, not fighting.”
The traditional season of forced recruitment into Tajikistan's military is well underway, despite President Emomali Rahmon ordering a stop to the practice earlier in the year. As draftees try to avoid two years in the country's underfunded, under-heated barracks, stories of violent kidnappings are just as common as they were last year.
Not Even Tajikistan's All-Powerful President Can Stop Forced Military Recruitment
In South Sudan, as in many parts of the world engulfed in conflict, youth are growing up in communities that have been torn apart by war. The film The Good Lie, which tells the story of the lost boys and girls of Sudan, vividly portrays their struggles during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005). Throughout the war, children were actively conscripted, both voluntarily and by force, into the national army and other armed groups. That legacy of recruiting child soldiers has continued into today’s conflict in South Sudan.
Photo: The Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project
For boys released from the army after being illegally recruited, access to education, jobs and social protection will be difficult
Dressed in white shirts over their green sarongs, dozens of young men poured down the concrete step of the army barracks and across the compound. With parents in tow, they walked towards a line of buses parked beyond the barbed-wire perimeter. Once everyone was seated, the buses moved off. The young men stared out of darkened windows; some looked blank while others, smiling, waved at the grey slab buildings as they receded into the distance.
Recruited illegally as children, the 108 boys were returning home to their families after being formally discharged from the Burmese military. Some had come straight from active service, while others had emerged from hiding or been released from prison, where they were jailed for desertion.
Colombia’s army has acknowledged that forcing youths into trucks on the pretext of checking their military status is against the law, newspaper El Espectador reported on Thursday.
In late August, after allegations made in the media about arbitrary raids for recruitment purposes by the Army, better known as “batidas”, the then Head of Army Recruiting General Felix Ivan Muñoz was relieved of his duties. Colonel Mauricio Martinez was confirmed as the replacement and now has the role of promoting “the improvement of processes for defining the military situation of Colombian men.”
This is a recurring issue. The Colombian military has in the past been accused of forced and irregular recruitment of young people and citizens exempt from military service.
These “illegal raids” are carried out in cities where army trucks illegally and forcibly pick up young men on the pretext of checking their military status.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE