Children in Northern Ireland

Abused by Military Forces and Paramilitaries

Children have suffered greatly as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland; of the almost 3,000 people who have lost their lives since 1969 in political violence associated with "The Troubles," many have been children killed by paramilitaries or by security forces. Moreover, children in the province are caught between two powerful groups - security forces and paramilitaries. Police officers and soldiers harass young people on the street Chitting, kicking and insulting them. Police officers in interrogation centers insult, trick and threaten youngsters and sometimes physically assault them. Children are locked up in adult detention centers and prisons in shameful conditions. The extent of the violence inflicted on children is appalling. Helsinki Watch heard dozens of stories from children, their parents, lawyers, youth workers and political leaders of children being stopped on the street and hit, kicked and abused again and again by police and soldiers. And seventeen-year-olds told Helsinki Watch of severe beatings in detention during interrogations by police.
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