Children As Young As 14 Recruited By Terrorists In J&K, Says US

3 months ago 19
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Children As Young As 14 Recruited By Terrorists In J&K, Says US

The US said terrorists continue to recruit children to fight in Jammu and Kashmir (File)

Washington:

A US State Department report on human trafficking in India has said terrorist groups continue to recruit and use children as young as 14 years in direct hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Congressional-mandated 2020 Trafficking in Persons report of the State Department, released by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, noted that Maoist groups, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, also forcibly recruited children as young as 12 to handle weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and in some cases be human shields.

According to the report, India made significant efforts towards stopping human trafficking in 2019, but did not fully meet the minimum standards.

"Non-state armed groups continued to recruit and use children as young as 14 in direct hostilities against the government in Jammu and Kashmir," the report said.

"Maoist groups, particularly in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand forcibly recruited children as young as 12 to handle weapons and improvised explosive devices, and in some cases be human shields," the report said.

"Several women and girls formerly associated with Maoist groups reported that sexual violence, including practices indicative of sexual slavery, was a practice in some Maoist camps. Non-state Naxalite groups continued to systematically recruit and use child soldiers," it added.

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