Taliban kill 10-year-old hailed as militia hero
Updated: 2016-02-04 10:10
Mourners attend the funeral of the boy in Uruzgan province of Afghanistan on Feb 3, 2016. [Photo/IC]
"They had been performing all responsibilities of a police officer, which included securing checkpoints and engaging in combat for the last few years," the report said.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission laid blame for the boy's death with his family, the government and the Taliban. Spokesman Rafiullah Baidar said local police had hailed the boy as a hero after he battled a Taliban siege following the death of his father in fighting.
"Possibly he took up arms to take revenge for his father's death, but it was illegal for the police to declare him a hero and reveal his identity, especially to the insurgents," Baidar said. "One side made him famous and the other side killed him – both sides ignored the law and acted illegally."
Afghanistan ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child in 1994, committing the country to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The Child Soldiers International report said that in the troubled Kunar, Logar and Zabul provinces "10% of law enforcement officials are suspected to be underage". Although statistics are not available, recruitment is believed to be highest where the insurgency is strongest, notably the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, and provinces bordering Pakistan.
Children are also used by the Taliban in active combat, as spies and as suicide bombers, the report said. It cited a number of attacks, including one last year on the French Institute in Kabul during a packed performance that killed at least two people and wounded another 20.
Children recruited into the armed forces or insurgent groups are vulnerable to sexual abuse, Child Soldiers International said.
Despite a decree from President Ashraf Ghani last February criminalising underage recruitment into the armed forces, the government has "failed to implement proactive mechanisms to identify, verify and release children" who had been recruited, the report said.
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