The United Nations have expressed concerns over violation of children rights including their recruitment by the armed groups in the conflict-ridden Afghanistan.
The UN Secretary-General's Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict said that the world body had documented the recruitment and use of 97 boys, some as young as 8 years with majority of them were reportedly recruited by armed opposition groups including Taliban and Haqqani network to fight and even conduct suicide attacks.
"In one incident, in May 2013, a 15-year-old boy conducted a suicide attack against an Afghan Local Police (ALP) commander in Muqur District, Gazhni Province, killing three ALP officers, two civilians, and injuring 16 others," the report said.
Children, the UN report said have also been recruited to manufacture and plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as combatants, and for other roles, including as sex slaves.
According to the report, in one particular case in Laghman Province, state authorities arrested 21 children, as young as seven years, allegedly on their way to Pakistan for suicide attack training by the Taliban.
However, Taliban outfit which is largely relying on suicide and roadside bombings have rejected these allegations.
According to the UN report, the government security forces are also involved in recruiting children, "the recruitment and use of 25 children was attributed to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), including 14 by the ALP, five by the National Police (ANP), and one by the Afghan National Army (ANA)."
Giving example, the report said that a 12-year-old boy was killed when ANP elements forced him to check a suspicious looking object. One boy associated with the ANA in Kunar Province was used as a porter and injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Most of the children are believed to be in detention without charges and without opportunity for a court to assess the lawfulness of their detention, the UN report asserted.
At least 545 children were killed and 1,149 injured in 790 documented incidents. Armed opposition groups, including the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami, were responsible for a majority (889) of the recorded child casualties, according to the report.
The report also added that at least 30 children were abducted in 17 verified incidents, including 16 attributed to the Taliban and other armed opposition groups. Children were abducted for their alleged involvement in spying on behalf of government or international forces, for recruitment, sexual abuse and as reprisal on family members working or allegedly supporting the government or international forces.
Parties involved in violating the rights of children, according the report, include Afghan National Police (ANP) including the Afghan Local Police (ALP), Haqqani Network, Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Taliban forces including the Tora Bora Front, the Jamat Sunat al-Dawa Salafia and the Latif Mansur Network.
Expressing concerns over the grave violation committed against children during armed conflicts, the UN Secretary General said, " I encourage the government of Afghanistan to redouble its efforts and expedite the implementation of the Action Plan in line with the 15-point 'road-map towards compliance' drafted by the United Nations with assistance of the Office of my Special Representative in August 2013." KABUL, July 2 (Xinhua)