Burmese army abducting children to meet their recruitment shortfall: Report

November 14th, 2007 - 8:08 am ICT by admin  
The report claims that children are picked up at train and bus stations and markets, and are told they would be arrested if they refuse to join the army.

Some children are beaten until they agree to “volunteer,” the Telegraph quoted the report, as saying.

The daily quoted analysts as saying that recruitment may become even harder since troops were ordered to fire on revered Buddhist monks in September.

“The brutality of Burma’s military government goes beyond its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters,” said Jo Becker of the Human Rights Watch.

“Military recruiters are literally buying and selling children to fill the ranks of the Burmese armed forces,” he added.

Aung Zaw, a former child soldier, said: “I can’t remember how old I was the first time fighting. About 13 (years old). We walked into an ambush, and four of our soldiers died.

“I was afraid because I was very young so I tried to run back, but the captain shouted, ‘Don’t run back! If you run back I’ll shoot you myself’.”

The report further claimed that “child soldiers are sometimes forced to participate in human rights abuses, such as burning villages and using civilians for forced labour. Those who attempt to escape are beaten, forcibly re-recruited or imprisoned.” (ANI)

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