Srilankan children recruited as combatants by terror groups

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United Nations, Oct 19 (UNI) Sri Lanka has accused LTTE for not stopping child recruitment for combating purposes despite promises made at the international arena.

Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe speaking at the 62nd Session of UN General Assembly, under the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children, said government was taking steps to protect and rehabilitate the rights of the children.

He said, ''The Government, in keeping with its commitment to the zero-tolerance policy on child recruitment, is taking all possible measures to stop this practice in accordance with the recommendations made by the Working Group of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.'' A Committee had been established to initiate inquiries and monitor investigations into the allegations regarding the recruitment and abduction of children.

He blamed the terrorist groups for not releasing the children despite commitments given to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF.

Moreover, children released by these groups are re-recruited by them. ''The promises to release child combatants are attempts to appease the international community and gain positive media exposure.'' The key challenge for the country was to ensure that children were protected from predation by these armed terrorist groups, he said.

He urged the international community to take ''resolute action'' to arrest the practice of recruitment of children for use in armed conflict and rehabilitate those who are released from the clutches of terrorist groups.


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