US drops Iraq from list of countries that recruit children for war
BAGHDAD – On June 27, the State Department’s report on human trafficking for 2017 removed it from its list of Iraq, after the country was classified in 2016 to recruit children in combat.
The measure raises questions about what Iraq could do to take this positive position from Washington to Baghdad, although Human Rights Watch has said in a report published on August 30, 2016 that tribal militias backed by the Iraqi recruited Iraqi government To fight Islamic State (IS).
On June 5, press reports have accused “some militias to open centers in Sunni provinces to train children and teenagers to use guns.”
These charges also include the Kurdistan region in the north. The executive director of the Division of Human Rights Watch’s Child Rights Division, Zama Neff said on Jan. 6
“Human Rights Watch documented 29 cases of child recruitment in which armed groups linked to the [Kurdish Party of PKK] had recruited children in Sinjar and in the Kurdistan region of Iraq – even if the commanders of the group committed to Put an end to the practice “.
On 12 June, the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights said: “The PKK Kurdish Peshmerga and the party also recruit children targeted at Kurdish and Yazidi families and force them to fight and combat security checkpoints.
Recruitment of children is a war crime and contravention of UN Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005) and 1882 (2009). It is also a crime under the national laws of Iraq. ”
International law prohibits the recruitment of children under the age of 15 as soldiers. It is also defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.
The Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center regards Iraq as a violation of this law in its report of June 17, which also noted that the popular mobilization units (PMU) formed children for the transportation of arms.
The most important manifestations of child recruitment were when the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, one of the largest blocs of countries, including armed groups fighting the IS, trained children in the use of weapons in the city of Najaf, in the center Of Iraq on June 29.
Critics have likened these children to Ashbal Saddam fighting for Saddam Hussein, overthrown by the US invasion in 2003, while others have compared them to the “Lion Cubs of the Caliphate”, fighting for the ES.
All of this has led Human Rights Watch to demand June 29 that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson returned to Iraq on the US list of countries accused of recruiting children.
However, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council, Sadruddin Qabbanji, sees no reason why Iraq should be charged with such charges. On May 29, he told the media: “Najaf training sessions are defensive physical activity, not an army training.”
PMU chief al-Rayan Kaldani told Al-Monitor: “Children who have been trained in the use of guns have never participated in battles because the PMU leadership rejects and considers it a violation Of the rights of children “.