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After recruitment by Al-Shabab, children face difficult conditions in detention

How is it that children get involved with Al-Shabab in the first place?   Al-Shabab uses many means to recruit children, including enticements, deceit and force. Poor rural communities, with little protection, are particularly vulnerable to…
Photo of Somali children blindfolded.
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It is now widely acknowledged that after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began a global detention and interrogation program through which it tortured and abused prisoners. Yet the US government has failed to hold…
Illustration of the scales of justice replaced by two people shackled by their wrists and dangling in the air.
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Around the globe, Human Rights Watch has documented the recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Today, child soldiers are fighting in at least 14 countries: Afghanistan – Insurgent groups, including the Taliban and other armed groups, use…
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SummaryBackgroundAnalysis of the Draft Anti-Terrorism Legislation     Defining Terrorism     Infringement of Freedoms of Speech and Expression     Expansion of Police Powers without Due Process Guarantees         Powers of Arrest, Search, and Seizure…
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Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
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List of Detainees Published by Human Rights Watch

The following is a list of persons believed to be in U.S. custody as "ghost detainees" -- detainees who are not given any legal rights or access to counsel, and who are likely not reported to or seen by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective    The Commission on Human Rights should strengthen its monitoring of the abduction and military recruitment of children in armed conflict, and request the personal intervention of the Secretary-General in particularly egregious situations…
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A Briefing Paper to the U.N. Security Council

Liberia: Upsurge in Fighting and Humanitarian CrisisCôte d'Ivoire: On the PrecipiceGuineaSierra Leone    The Sierra Leone Special CourtProtection of Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and ECOWAS NationalsChild SoldiersUse of Proxy Forces and Support…
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Since the collapse of the corrupt Fujimori government in November 2000 the human rights situation in Peru has improved significantly. During Fujimori's last term in office (1995-2000), Vladimiro Montesinos, the de facto head of the National Intelligence…
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Special Briefing from the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

“I handed him over to the school to learn the Qu’ran, not to handle guns.  He is too young to fight in a war.” – the father of 13 year old Maroof Ahmad Awan who was sent by his local Jamia Islamia school to fight in Afghanistan in 1997[1].…
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A Human Rights Watch Background Briefing

An estimated 300,000 children under the age of eighteen are currently participating in armed conflicts in more than thirty countries on nearly every continent. While most child soldiers are in their teens, some are as young as seven years old. While many…