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Ban asks Lanka to rehabilitate 'child soldiers'

world Updated: Jul 03, 2009 16:12 IST

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked Sri Lanka to initiate steps to rehabilitate 'child soldiers' released by LTTE and ensure them access to care, protection and reintegration programmes.

Ban asked Colombo to ensure effective implementation of its "zero tolerance" position on child recruitment, including systematic and vigorous investigations for every reported case, followed by prosecutions and convictions of responsible perpetrators.

In a report on children and armed conflict in Sri Lanka, covering the period from September 15, 2007 to January, 31, 2009 submitted to the UN Security Council, Ban asked the Sri Lankan Government to build on the progress achieved with the support of the UN and other parties.

Ban said Colombo should ensure that children released by armed groups have access to care, protection and reintegration programmes, including other assistance to those recruited as child soldiers, who are now over 18 years of age.

Ban stressed for the Government to ensure that the identification, release, and rehabilitation of all children leaving armed groups and their successful reintegration into the communities is given priority and implemented in accordance with international standards.