UN urges steps to prevent child soldiers in Lanka
UNICEF received reports of children being recruited by the LTTE, and also Lankan army involvement in recruitment of children by the Karuna.india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 12:11 IST
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended to the Security Council to take "targeted measures" to prevent separatist Tamil Tigers rebels and a breakaway group Karuna faction from abducting children to fight as soldiers in the bloody conflict on the Island.
The 20-page report covers the period from November 1, 2005 to October 31, 2006, and notes that over these 12 months, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) received reports of hundreds of children being recruited by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and also Sri Lankan army involvement in recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.
"Despite previous commitments by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, that group continues to use and recruit children.
In addition, a particularly disconcerting development during the reporting period was the increase in abductions and recruitment of children in the east by the Karuna faction, a breakaway group of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," it states.
Outlining his recommendations, the Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate end to the conflict, which has already caused the deaths of more than 65,000 people in over 20 years, while stressing that any peace settlement must include provisions that ensure the protection of children.