UN Calls On Taliban To Stop Children’s Recruitment In Security Forces

The United Nations (UN) has called on the Taliban to recognise individuals under 18 years of age as children and prevent their recruitment into security forces, Khaama Press reported. The Khaama Press is an online news service for Afghanistan.

The UN has said that Afghan children remain in an extremely vulnerable situation. In a report released on Friday, the UN stated that over two years, from the beginning of 2021 to the end of 2022, a total of 4,519 cases of violence against 3,545 children ranging from a few months to 17 years old have been reported in Afghanistan. The findings indicate that the Taliban is the main perpetrator of these violations, as per Khaama Press.

The UN stated that the Taliban does not accept the international definition of a child as someone under 18 years old and considers a child to be someone who does not show signs of puberty. Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba said that despite some actions by the Taliban, including the issuance of a decree prohibiting the recruitment of children, the group has not yet made child protection a part of its governance agenda.

After regaining control of Afghanistan, the Taliban announced that it would dismiss underage individuals from its ranks.
The United Nations said that the absence of a child protection mechanism has led to the deprivation of their freedom due to national security-related charges and alleged or actual affiliations with opposition forces or groups, according to Khaama Press.

Gamba urged the Taliban to focus on child-related issues, advocating for protective measures and recognising anyone under 18 as a child to deter their military recruitment. The UN report, while highlighting the dire need for funding, identifies Afghan children as frequent victims of landmine incidents, lacking crucial support in the aftermath.
The report calls for global support to eliminate explosive threats, emphasising the critical need for education and increased investment in children’s safety and rights, as per Khaama Press.

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Source (ANI)