UN body verifying complaints of child soldiers in India

November 21st, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Nov 21 (IANS) A UN body has received complaints about the presence of child soldiers in certain militancy and Maoist-affected parts of India and has started the process to verify them, officials said.”Complaints about the presence of child soldiers in certain parts of India have come from Human Rights Watch and several other NGOs. As of now, we do not know the authenticity of those claims. We are now in the process of verifying those complaints through our country team in India,” Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, told IANS.

The complaints and evidences about the child soldiers came from northeastern states like Manipur and the Maoist-affected areas of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, she said.

“Depending on what kind of information we get, we would begin a dialogue with the Indian government,” she said.

Coomaraswamy said most of the complaints were based on newspaper clippings and media reports. In its report “Children and the Chhattisgarh Conflict” in September, the Human Rights Watch had documented the presence of child soldiers in the state and said children are being used by all parties to the conflict.

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