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Colombia: HRW Issues Report On Child Combatants
Description: Santa Fe de Bogota – Human Rights Watch released a comprehensive report on how armed groups in Colombia have recruited a significant number of child soldiers in recent years. The document titled ”You’ll Learn Not to Cry: Child C
Date: 17 September 2003
Author: Press Release
Source: Liu Institute for Global Issues
Santa Fe de Bogota – Human Rights Watch released a comprehensive report on how armed groups in Colombia have recruited a significant number of child soldiers in recent years.

The document titled ”You’ll Learn Not to Cry: Child Combatants in Colombia“ focuses on the more than 11,000 children engaged in armed conflict in the South American country.

Both guerrillas and paramilitaries have exploited the desperation of poor children in rural combat zones. One of every four irregular combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) or the National Liberation Army (ELN) is under eighteen years of age. Several thousand children recruited are under the age of fifteen, a violation under the Geneva Conventions.

In his position of Chair of the Human Rights Watch Americas Advisory Committee, Lloyd Axworthy, Executive Director and CEO of the Liu Institute for Global Issues, commented on the abduction of children from their communities. ”To those armies and rebel groups responsible, the message should be clear. Children have no part in war. If you have children in your ranks, set them free,“ said Axworthy.

UBC’s Liu Institute has demonstrated a commitment to the eradication of child combatants in armed conflict. Last year, the Liu joined with Human Rights Watch and the Makerere University Human Rights and Peace Centre, to launch an international project to end the ongoing cycle of violence in Northern Uganda.

Read the full report on the Human Rights Watch website www.hrw.org
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