12 Feb 2015
Children are increasingly vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups as conflicts around the world become more brutal, intense and widespread, according to the United Nations.
On the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers marked on Thursday, the organization is calling for urgent action to end what it called these “grave violations”.
Stephanie Coutrix reports.
While governments of the world have made progress to recognize children have no place in their armies, the UN says the recruitment of child soldiers is still a huge problem.
The organization estimates that tens of thousands of boys and girls serve in conflicts in over 20 countries around the world.
Many have been forced to participate in what the UN Children’s Fund has called “acts of unspeakable brutality”.
UNICEF says the release of all children from armed groups must take place without delay.
It added that the global community cannot wait for peace to help children caught in the midst of war.
The agency also works with partners to support children once they are released from armed groups.
Recently, the release of approximately 3,000 children from the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction has begun.
Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.