Children as young as 14 are recruited by armed groups against govt in J&K: US report


PTI, Jun 26, 2020, 6:06 PM IST

Washington: A US State Department report on human trafficking in India has said that non-state armed groups continue to recruit and use children as young as 14 years in direct hostilities against the government 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, 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 the elimination of 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.

“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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