Although it is against government policy, in Afghanistan child recruitment is ongoing. There were 23 verified recruitments and use of children by armed groups in 2010. Children should be able to be just that, children. Not soldiers or warriors for a cause or war they don’t fully understand.
According to a report by DigitalJournal of December 31, 2011, insurgents in Kandahar continue to recruit children as suicide bombers. This is done by kidnapping the children and then taking them to training camps where they are brainwashed that they will go to heaven. According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), on August 27, 2011, there have been increases in the number of attempted suicide bombings by children. The children are usually given amulets that have Koran verses and told that it will protect them from the explosions. The Taliban is also notorious of capturing children and training them as suicide bombers. Reuters had reported that the afghan president Hamid Karzai met the children who were trained by the Taliban and ordered them to be sent back to their parents. This shows that the government is aware that children are recruited to such groups as the Taliban (Didymus).
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The IRIN news agency reports that the recruitments are done by pro-government militias who recruit and sexually molest the underage boys. In attempts to counter this insurgency, the government in Afghanistan assisted by the US and NATO forces have set up controversial community based militias in insecure provinces. The Human Rights Watch Commission in Afghanistan (AIHRC) also reports that they have information on these recruitments. Interestingly, IRIN reports that the children are recruited and used for military purposes for the anti-government groups as well as by the Afghan national police. Some of the anti-government groups involved in the recruitment include Tora Bora Front, Hezb-i-Islamic, Haqqani network, and Jamat Sunat al-Dawa Salafia. Children are terefore used as foot soldiers, suicide bombers and using improvised explosives (IRIN).
The government however backed by the UN and other international bodies says that it is committed to tackle problems that adversely affect the children. But AICHR accuses the government of promising to act but delivers little on the issue.
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