Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | February 15, 2011

Children Recruiting Children

This is one we have not heard happen in Colombia just yet … In the east of Chad, children dressed in good clothes are being sent to refugee camps with money and cigarettes to lure new recruits, offering $20 to $500 to those who join up, according to Amnesty International.

The children are then used in direct combat, or those as young as ten, are turned into porters and messengers.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said, “The Chadian government – and the various armed groups operating in eastern Chad – must immediately stop the recruitment and use of children under 18 and release all children from their ranks.”

About 260,000 Darfuri refugees live in camps in eastern Chad, in addition to more than 170,000 Chadians present at internally displaced persons (IDP) sites.

We—the international community—need to speak up for the rights of vulnerable civilians. I am willing to bet: If children are recruiting children in Chad, it is likely also happening among the internally displaced in Colombia.

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