The United Nations on Wednesday urged India to put in place measures to hold those using and recruiting children in conflict to account. A report noted the alleged use of children by Pakistan-based terror outfits in Jammu and Kashmir, and by Naxalites in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Globally, over 10,000 children were killed or maimed in conflict in 2017 while more than 8,000 were recruited or used as combatants, the annual report of the UN Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict said. The report covered 20 countries, including Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.
The UN said it had verified over 21,000 “grave violations of children’s rights” in 2017, against 15,500 in 2016.
“The report details the unspeakable violence children have been faced with, and shows how in too many conflict situations, parties to conflict have an utter disregard for any measures that could contribute to shielding the most vulnerable from the impact of war,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba.
In India, the report said there were three incidents of “grave violations” in Jammu and Kashmir last year, in which children were recruited by terror outfits during clashes with security forces. “One case was attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammed and two to Hizbul Mujahideen,” the report said.
Children continue to be killed and injured during operations of security forces against armed groups, it said. “Naxalites reportedly resorted to the use of a lottery system to conscript children in Jharkhand,” the report added.
The report urged the Indian government to “engage with the UN to end and prevent violations against children”.
The report also said the UN had continued to receive reports from Pakistan of the recruitment and use of children, including from madrassas, by armed groups for suicide attacks.