PKK, its offshoots recruited over 1,000 children in Syria: UN report
The PKK terrorist group and its offshoots, YPG and SDF, recruited over 1,000 children in Syria in 2022, according to a report by the United Nations, News.Az reports citing Daily Sabah.
The U.N. annual report on children in armed conflict covers January to December 2022.
According to the report, 32 children as young as 11 were recruited and used in Iraq.
"I am gravely concerned by the recruitment and use of children by YPG/PKK. I urge them to end the recruitment and use of children and to release all children from its ranks, " U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report.
There were more than 2,438 grave violations against 2,407 children in Syria.
As many as 1,696 children in Syria were recruited and used mostly by "SDF/YPG/PKK" and other armed groups and non-state actors.
The PKK terror group's Syrian branch, the SDF, recruited and used 637 children, while 633 children were recruited by YPG/YPJ and four others by other components of the SDF.
International law prohibits non-state armed groups from recruiting anyone under 18, and enlisting children under 15 is considered a war crime.
The YPG’s use of child soldiers has been repeatedly documented and criticized by international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Though the PKK/YPG initially signed a pledge with Geneva Call – a Swiss humanitarian organization that works to "protect civilians in armed conflict" – to stop the use of child soldiers in 2014, its use of child soldiers has only increased since then.