Myanmar recuiting child soldiers
CNN reported that Myanmar's government is recruiting children to enter their military, a U.S. rights group charged in a report Wednesday.
CNN reported that Children are recruited because of "continued army expansion, high desertion rates and a lack of willing volunteers," the New York-based Human Rights Watch report said.
"Military recruiters are literally buying and selling children to fill the ranks of the Burmese armed forces," Jo Becker, children's rights advocate for Human Rights Watch, told the Washington Post.
Recruiters are paid cash for each recruit they sign and because of this age is often overlooked. CNN reported that children as young as 11-years-old have been recruited to the Myanmar armed forces.
The ages of the children are often augmented to 18, the legal age for service.
"They filled the forms and asked my age, and when I said I was 16, I was slapped and he said, 'You are 18. Answer 18,' " another Burmese, Maung Zaw Oo, told Human Rights Watch, recounting a 2005 incident, which the Washington Post reported.
The Washington Post reported that children are approached at train stations and other public places and told they will be arrested if they don't join, Human Rights Watch said.
Some children are sent to the front lines after only 18 weeks of trainging, the report said.
"In the coming weeks, the Security Council's working group on children and armed conflict will take up the issue concerning Burma," the Washington Post reported.