The recruitment of children and youth from the refugee population in Jordan to the armed conflict in Syria shows some of the special protection needs that are being raised in the immediate vicinity of the war. How can we prevent children from being recruited?
Last March, I interviewed Jordanian and international aid and social workers, UN personnel, representatives of Jordanian authorities and refugees from Syria north of Jordan. As part of a research assignment, we also reviewed existing documentation to get an overview of what one actually knows about the use of children as soldiers and in various "auxiliary functions" for armed forces and groups in Syria since the outbreak of war.
Soldiers and shields. Reports on the use of children and young people in combat and support roles for armed groups in Syria were published as early as 2011. These reports were primarily related to opposition groups. Government forces and militias linked to Assad's forces have not been released, but the allegations against them have to a greater extent been linked to other human rights violations against children – particularly homicide, mutilation, sexual assault,. . .
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