UN: Tamil group abducting children

The UN has accused a breakaway Tamil Tiger rebel faction of increasing its recruitment of child soldiers, with 30 cases reported in the past week.

    The UN says young Tamils are often forced to join rebel groups

    The UN childrens fund, UNICEF, called on the Sri Lankan government to halt the abduction of child soldiers by a Tamil rebel group led by V Muralitharan - also known as Colonel Karuna.

    "Over the past week, the agency has verified reports of 30 cases in (the eastern) Batticaloa district," UNICEF said in a statement.

    "Reports of abduction and  forced recruitment of boys under the age of 18 have increased since March," it added.

    "These gross violations of their rights will also expose children to brutality and extreme violence with lifelong consequences," the statement said.

    The main Tamil Tiger rebel group released 33 children last month, saying that they had lied about thier ages to join the organisation.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch, in a November 2004 report,  said UNICEF had documented 3,516 new cases of underage recruitment by the Tamil Tigers between February 2002, when a ceasefire was reached with the government, and October 2004.

    Poverty, abuses by Sri Lankan security forces, rebel propaganda and coercion often fuel the recruitment of children, the rights watchdog said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.