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Watchdog: Syria's Kurdish militia still using child soldiers

By Associated Press 15/7/2015
 People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters. Photo: AFP
People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters. Photo: AFP

BEIRUT — An international human rights group says Syria's main Kurdish militia is still violating the ban on child soldiers, despite some progress to stop using boys and girls under the age of 18.

Human Rights Watch says the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), and its women's branch, YPJ, are not the only offenders among Syria's armed groups. The Kurdish militia has been the main force fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.

HRW says that YPG in 2014 signed a "Deed of Commitment" with the non-governmental organization Geneva Call, pledging to demobilize all fighters under 18 within a month.
HRW said Wednesday it has compiled a list of 59 children — 10 of them under 15 — who were recruited by or volunteered for YPG or YPJ since July 2014.


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Jamal | 15/7/2015
PKK and ISIS are two terorist groups which most use child as soldiers and kidnapp kids from their families in the world....Just within last 5 years PKK kidnapped 4000 Kurdish children between 12-16 ages in Turkey to wash their brain in order to be very loyal to their ideology and organizations....Pro-PKK Human rights organizations never criticize PKK about that. But when Turkish polis use tear gas or water cannon againist protestors they immediatly begin to hardly slam Government.
fermin | 15/7/2015
1. YPG has a force of around 70 000, so 59 cases under the age of 18 is 0.08% of their force, yet the reports concludes that they "recruit" people under 18. 2.They don't use anyone under the age of 18 for combat or even guard duty 3. You have those cases where YPG commanders turn down these young people but they categorically refuse to go back to their parents, either due to abuse or other reasons, some of them threaten to commit sucide if sent back, so they find a role for them like cooking or logistics or something else, that's your 59 cases out of 70 000 fighter's.
fermin | 15/7/2015
Part2: What's really interesting here is not that this occurs on rare occasions, but with all the horror and human right abuses by all the other groups in Syria these NGO's use so much time on reporting on YPG who are by far the most moderate group in Syria. If this is not political and these NGO's are sincere they would at least publish the number of child soldiers from the other groups in Syria, I'm willing to bet that they don't even have credible figures from the other groups because they've never looked into it, I will also bet the problem is worse amongst many of the other militants. But no matter what the motivation og these NGO's the YPG should have a zero tolerance for those under 18, they have been working to eradicate the practice and should just ban it all together. Build an academy for those under 18 who insist on becoming future soldiers like they have in France and the United States, and shelter's for those who are running away from abusive parents etc.
Acig | 15/7/2015
What is better for a kurdish child? To fight like a soldier or to get slaughtered, violated and sold by these half monkeys daesh?
kurdo | 15/7/2015
Its a war against terrorists, if its necassary with this Young kids to defeat them, so let it be. I dónt any foreign army helping us, so we help ourself, whatever the cost is.

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