Palace to take MILF recruitment of child soldiers before UN

Published by reposted only Date posted on September 19, 2008

Malacañang aims to bring before the United Nations the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) recruitment of children as fighters.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the government has photographs to show that the MILF is using children in combat.

The photographs were seized by troops from captured MILF camps, he added.

Ermita said the issue of combatant children is based on international treaties on the protection of children in armed conflict.

Data against the MILF and New People’s Army (NPA) are being gathered for presentation before the UN, he added.
Ermita said by raising the issue of combatant children at the UN, members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) would be informed of the MILF’s illegal action.

The OIC could then send emissaries to compel the MILF to stop using children in combat, he added.

Soldiers have confirmed that they have encountered children fighting for the MILF and NPA.

Troops would have to defend themselves when facing a combatant, regardless of his or her age, he added.
However, unarmed children found in a combat zone are turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Ermita said. – Marvin Sy, Philippine Star

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