Muhammad Karim al-Khaqani – academic and researcher in political affairs
Recruiting children is a phenomenon that deserves attention because it represents a flagrant violation of the rights of that segment of society. Because of the danger of using them to influence opponents during the fighting, terrorist groups resort to using children in wars in an immoral and inhumane manner, in addition to the dangers arising from resorting to means of violence and cruelty; By influencing the behavior of the new generation of society.
Children, as defined by the United Nations, are every human being under the age of eighteen.
Recruitment has a broader concept in applied fields in most countries of the world that have suffered from the scourge of armed conflicts, through the gathering, mobilization, and polarization of citizens, i.e., in other words, the forced use of people; to join terrorist groups/regardless of the nature of the goals these groups believe in, by preparing and training them financially and morally.
Child soldiers are any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years; They are members of an armed force or armed group, regular or irregular, and perform combative or other tasks such as cook, porter, messenger, and other services and all those who accompany groups that are not considered members of their family, as well as girls who are employed for sexual purposes and forced marriage.
Compulsory recruitment of children into armed groups is widespread in internal conflicts, as well as in areas where there is a rise in kidnapping crimes. Children are recruited with the intention of compensating fighters in battle; As a result of the repeated defeats of terrorist groups, this means the formation of new fighters in wars, and their use in military operations, which gives faster results and has a very large impact.
Hence, the phenomenon of child recruitment in armed conflicts has become common in societies that lack awareness of the rights of this segment, which is what suffers from societies that have engaged in internal conflicts among themselves. Seeing children in battles and throwing them into their furnaces is a natural scene to perpetuate its duration, under many names, as happened in Iraq before 2003, so the names Tala’i al-Ba’ath, Ashbal Saddam, and others were taken.
It can be said that the strategy of terrorist groups, including the terrorist organization ISIS, in recruiting children and throwing them into battles to compensate for the losses of fighters who were killed in the battles, is not clear or precisely known, but some indicators of that strategy can be inferred by analyzing the situations covered by the media; Through the victims themselves or their relatives, In most cases, these children come from a poor environment or live in difficult social conditions, as well as low standards of living that make children – and in light of these data and the miserable social reality in which they live – an easy prey, and thus they are a fertile and suitable environment for terrorist groups. To recruit them in the ranks of these organizations, as they constitute their labor force, they are exploited in work that is completely incompatible with their physical structure and capabilities. Among those jobs and services that they are assigned during the battles are to be messengers and guards, and other jobs that require conditions and specifications that these children do not enjoy, as well as their participation in battles.
The Security Council issued its resolution 1612 in 2005, regarding the formation of a team of 15 members representing the permanent members and the ten non-permanent members of the Council according to a new mechanism that includes a review of the report of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism; This mechanism deals with the grave violations committed against children in situations of armed conflict, especially internal conflicts, and the most prominent aspects of this mechanism are:
- killing or maiming children.
- Recruitment and use of children as soldiers in combat.
- Attacking schools, hospitals, and other vital institutions.
- Kidnapping children and cutting aid to them.
The Security Council issued several resolutions related to this situation, including Resolution 2170 on 14/8/2014, with the unanimity of its fifteen members. And based on the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations regarding actions taken in situations of international peace and security and breach of it, and the occurrence of aggression, as well as its strong condemnation of the illegal use of child recruitment in areas under the control of terrorist groups.