Myanmar still recruits child soldiers: report
The army, which is still waging a major offensive against ethnic Kachin rebels in the north of the country, has a constant demand for new recruits because of high desertion rates, the report says.
Children are targeted as they are easier to trick and more susceptible to pressure to enlist, it says. They are being recruited on their way into schools and when they leave home in search of work, or in railway stations, bus terminals and markets. A common tactic is to threaten children with prison for failing to produce a national identity card unless they sign up for the army.
The group said it received testimony from three child soldiers in May 2012 who had been forcibly recruited and deployed on the front line of fighting against the Kachin. One 16-year-old said he was made to fight but was very scared and just fired his gun in the air. He was later caught by the rebels. It also cites a case of a 13-year-old recruited into an ethnic Karen border guard force.
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