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Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch.  The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against…
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Families Displaced as Groups Dispute Control of River

(Washington, DC) – Two armed groups competing for control over stretches of Colombia’s San Juan river are committing serious abuses against Afro-Colombian and indigenous Wounaan riverside communities, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Wounaan people gather in a community building by the San Juan river, in Chocó, Colombia, March 2017.
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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(Hagadera Refugee Camp, Kenya) - For months, 18-year-old Ahmed Abdullahi had dodged the mortar shells that whizz daily through Mogadishu, the war-ravaged capital of Somalia. The one that finally drove him from Somalia tore though his family's house and…
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Deception Used to Enlist Refugees to Fight in Somalia

(Nairobi) - The Kenyan government should immediately stop the recruitment of Somalis in refugee camps to fight for an armed force in Somalia, Human Rights Watch said today. Kenyan authorities have directly supported the drive, which has recruited…
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Known Child Recruiters Promoted to Key Government, Military Posts

(New York) - The United Nations Security Council should impose sanctions on governments and armed groups for using child soldiers, sexual violence against children, and attacks on schools, and should promote effective prosecution of the commanders…
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U.N. Security Council to Discuss Colombia’s Child Soldiers

Colombia’s armed groups are among the worst violators of international norms against the recruitment and use of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Colombian government should ratify and implement the United Nations treaty prohibiting this…
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Over the last five years, the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers has garnered an impressive series of successes, including new international legal standards, action by the UN Security Council and regional bodies, and pledges from various…
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By Joanne Mariner, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division Published in FindLaw.com September 29, 2003     When Paula Calderón was fourteen, her mother died. A few weeks after the funeral, Paula’s father brought her to a guerrilla…
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(Santafé de Bogotá, September 18, 2003) -- More than 11,000 children fight in Colombia's armed conflict, one of the highest totals in the world, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Both guerrilla and paramilitary forces rely on child…
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(New York) - Governments and armed groups using child soldiers are under new scrutiny by the U.N. Security Council and must take immediate action to end child recruitment, Human Rights Watch said today. Following a full-day debate on children and armed…
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Colombian guerillas call their child soldeirs "little bees," because they sting before the enemy realizes it's under attack. Tens of thousands of children are being used as soldiers by all sides to thebloody conflict underway in Colombia, according to a…
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Throughout the world, thousands of children are used as soldiers in armed conflicts. Although international law forbids recruiting children under fifteen as soldiers, such young children may be found in government armies and, more commonly, in armed rebel…