UN publishes key data on recruitment and use of child soldiers

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Children wait for water at a school where they have taken shelter from the increasingly brutal sectarian violence in the Central African Republic. Photo: IRIN/Hannah McNeish

Children continue to be used in three conflicts around the world, according to data published by the UN to mark the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers.

The Office of the Special Representative for Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) featured the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Syria in a new fact sheet.

The UN said it continues to receive "credible reports that children have been recruited and used by both Government and opposition forces" in South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan signed an action plan with the UN in 2009 in an effort to prevent and end the recruitment of child soldiers

In the Central African Republic UNICEF estimates that the number of children associated with armed groups has risen considerably.

The publication says that in Syria, children are being recruited and used by armed opposition groups as combatants, cooks, porters, lookouts, spies and messengers.

Also known as the Red Hand Day the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers on 12 February is a global call-to-action for the world's political leaders to mobilize and end the practice of child conscription.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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