Published On: Sat, Jun 30th, 2018

Terror groups operating in Kashmir, Naxalites recruiting children: UN

United Nations: Terrorist groups operating in Kashmir and Naxalites are recruiting children, according to a report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who urged the Indian government to act against those recruiting children.

Guterres said he welcomed India signing the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in June 2017

Guterres’ Children in Armed Conflict report covering 2017 identified Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen as the terror groups using children in their terrorist activities in Kashmir.

It said: “The United Nations continued to receive reports of the recruitment and use of children, including by the Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Naxalites reportedly resorted to the use of a lottery system to conscript children in Jharkhand.”

It added: “In addition, three incidents of the recruitment and use of children were reported in Jammu and Kashmir in the context of clashes with national security forces. The case was attributed to Pakistan based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed and two to Hizbul Mujahideen.”

Guterres said he would “encourage the government to put in place measures to hold perpetrators of child recruitment and use to account and engage with the United Nations in view of ending and preventing violations against children”.

Overall in India, the report said, “Children continued to be affected by incidents of violence between terrorist groups and the government, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Children continued to be killed and injured in the context of operations of national security forces against terrorist groups,” the report said.

It said that according to government data, 188 civilians were killed in Naxalite-affected regions but a break up of how many of them were children was not available.

Guterres said he welcomed India signing the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in June 2017.

The convention adopted by the International Labour Organisation in 1999, prohibits bonded labour of children and their trafficking, sexual exploitation and recruitment for terror activities.

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