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U.N. Finds 'Massive' Use of Kid Soldiers

Children are used as soldiers “on a massive scale,” according to a U.N. report issued Friday that singles out 15 places where minors are fighting in armed conflicts. Despite efforts to halt the practice, the report names 22 new groups using children as combatants in Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan and Uganda. Child fighters are also found in Afghanistan, Nepal, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Russia’s Chechen Republic, Somalia and Sri Lanka, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in the report. “Children continue to be the main victims of conflicts,” the report said. “Children are killed, made orphans, maimed, abducted, deprived of education and health care, and left with deep emotional scars and trauma.” While some progress has been made to demobilize child combatants in Colombia, Congo, Somalia and Sudan, the report said, “Children are being recruited and used as child soldiers on a massive scale.” Full Story

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