Children are the toy of adults

It has been many years that the issue of using children as a tool in regional wars in the world and especially in the Middle East has been receiving much attention.

According to the reports published by the United Nations, many cases of the use of children in regional armed conflicts such as various Kurdish regions in Iran and neighboring countries as well as other regions in the Middle East have been proven, a process that has accelerated in recent years.

The use of child soldiers is a serious violation of human rights, which is prohibited under international law, but this issue is still used by many political groups and parties in the Middle East and has been rejected by them in many cases; Meanwhile, by examining the reports and images published by Kurdish groups and parties in the Middle East and the media affiliated to the PKK, YPG in Turkey, as well as Iranian Kurdish parties such as Pjak and Demokrat, a large number of girls and boys broadcast advertisements or fight in the ranks of groups.

This analysis seeks to establish an international legal framework on child soldiers employed by groups, organizations, parties and political branches, and examines why these children are used and how to end their use. considered by these organizations.

The international legal framework

According to the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons, the employment of child soldiers in conflicts is prohibited.

The Convention and its additional protocols prohibit the use of children under the age of 15 as soldiers, which is defined by the International Criminal Court as a war crime.

Paragraph 3 of Article 38 of Additional Protocol No. 2 clearly stipulates that “children under the age of 15 shall never be employed in the armed forces or groups, nor shall they be allowed to participate in hostilities” [1].

In addition, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol prohibit the participation of children in warfare.

These conventions are mostly related to states and do not cover armed groups and terrorist organizations. However, these conventions provide a framework for individual and state responsibility under international law.

They do not preclude the obligation of States parties to these conventions, nor the responsibility of their individuals. In this regard, it is necessary to understand why the groups and parties mentioned earlier use child soldiers and how other States may prevent them. Focus on using tools to help children in their activities.


Why do they use child soldiers?

The leaders and secretaries of Kurdish political parties and groups in Kurdistan, despite knowing very well that international laws prohibit the recruitment and use of children under 15 years of age and their participation in terrorist activities, still prefer to violate this violation for three reasons.

۱٫Children are used by a terrorist group as a last resort when they have no other means of support in terms of manpower.

For example: God’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, PKK and YPG in Syria and Iraq, PJAK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (both branches) in Iran all more when their power to maintain the conflict, children are horribly abused while some children serve as porters, porters, guards or cleaners, others carry weapons and by holding them They exercise power over their peers or people who may be years older than them and commit crimes against them in the same way.

Even Nazi Germany in the last months of the war, when Germany was being conquered and destroyed; Hitler put 15-year-old youths into the battlefield, therefore, the forced use of these groups of child soldiers indicates a serious loss and fall of human resources, which will be a very fatal risk for these groups to lose their status, and this It requires them to kidnap children or attract them with various promises and exploit these children.

۲٫Targeting child soldiers by a legitimate armed force raises ethical and legal questions.

Some believe that the deliberate targeting of child soldiers, as opposed to adult combatants or terrorists, is morally wrong. However, the law does not provide such a privilege for children who are directly involved in the conflict.

Who should be held accountable?

In order to effectively respond to the problem of child soldiers, the international community needs to establish a political and legal mechanism.

In the political dimension, these groups and parties should prevent any kind of propaganda that can make their behavior as heroes of these children by putting pressure on them and minimize their activities and access to minors, and so on. On the legal side, governments must be held accountable by prioritizing those they employ within their domestic legal systems.

The dominant image of this group in the foreign media is that these groups and parties are “a revolutionary group and fight for democracy”.

One of the biggest mistakes that the media has made by deliberately covering some of the activities of these groups is that their faces have been purified and they are referred to as a means of transition from dictatorship to democracy, and in fact they are “legal security forces” that help They have been trying to prevent the spread of dictatorship as much as possible.

Based on numerous reports that have been published by child rights activists and human rights observers in various Kurdish regions in Iran and neighboring countries, it can be said that the fact is that these groups have long been motivated to realize their separatist dreams inside Turkey, Syria and Iran. and for this purpose, it even forces children to join its ranks and kidnaps them if they don’t want to, and uses various threats to force them to do what they want. For example, Chia Yousefi is one of several child soldiers who was kidnapped by Pjak and died.

Iran Kurdistan Human Rights Watch website[1] has prepared a detailed report about Chia’s life and how he joined the Pjak fighters, which reveals the horrors of the kidnapping of children and teenagers to take them to fight.

Also, in other examples of this issue, on this website and other news and human rights websites, you can come across names that all of them have been abducted from their families in different ways, and the efforts of their parents to return their children from the headquarters of these fighting parties are fruitless. and sometimes either these parents themselves or their children have been threatened with death; So in short, governments and media should be more cautious in portraying the true face of these groups and parties that use child soldiers as shields in their terrorist attacks, a tool to maintain control over a certain part of society, and an inhumane tool.

War is robotically programmed to kill. However, the current image of these groups and parties in the international media is still far from providing an accurate picture of their brutal, inhuman and immoral motives.

Legal actions

States should take all necessary measures to ensure that these groups and parties do not go unpunished, and also prevent their institutions from providing any material to such groups that regularly commit war crimes.

۱٫Assisting an armed group that violates international law also entails the responsibility of sponsoring states.

The responsibility of aid and participation of states originates in the smallest instance of supporting the international wrongdoing of armed groups; While these groups and political parties are recognized as a terrorist organization and not as an armed group by the countries of the region, nevertheless, this is an obstacle for these drawers to claim the responsibility of the countries that the groups and political parties commit. It supports, not creates, war crimes.

Under this framework, a donor country may also violate international law, so it must immediately stop supporting these groups and political parties.

Today, 163 of the 193 member states of the United Nations have laws that allow the prosecution of war crimes under universal jurisdiction. [2]

Also, some states have specific laws regarding the employment of children in war. For example, the United States Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008 makes the knowing recruitment or use of soldiers under the age of 15 a federal crime and allows the United States to to prosecute any person in this field, even if these children were recruited or used. [3] Therefore, according to this law, the United States government is obliged to prosecute the commanders of groups and political parties if and when In addition, this law prohibits US military assistance to political groups and parties for the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Unfortunately, despite the implementation of this law, not only has the American government never taken such measures against these groups and political parties, it has even cooperated militarily with these groups and parties, contrary to all its obligations in this law.

These legal actions are aimed at ending all forms of support for such groups by holding donor countries accountable, as well as by prosecuting those responsible for the registration and recruitment of children for terrorist acts.







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