While the talks of saving children , children being used as bonded labor, Terrorist Groups like LTTE using child soldiers, media India has so far not high lighted the child soldiers of India.
The recruitment and use of children, as young as 6 years of age, by Maoist armed groups in India, also known as Naxalites, continued in 2013. Although no disaggregated data on the number of children associated with armed groups in India was available to the United Nations, independent estimates indicate that at least 2,500 children are associated with armed groups in Naxal-affected areas. Notably, Naxalite recruitment also continued to affect girls and women. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, boys and girls between 6 and 12 years of age were recruited into specific childr…[+]“
n 2012, another spate of child soldier recruitment was reported from Manipur. TEHELKA in its investigation, Why children are picking up the gun (14 July 2012) profiled around 10 cases of abduction that had surfaced in the Imphal valley alone in 2012. Parents alleged that minors are being abducted or lured by rebel groups to be trained as child soldiers. According to Manipur Police sources, at least 66 children aged between eight and 17, have been kidnapped and recruited as child soldiers by the rebels in Manipur in the past five years.
“The actual number is much higher, but many parents do not report abductions to the police, fearing retribution from the rebel outfits,” says Montu Ahanthem of the Manipur Alliance for Child Rights. “A commitment to seek a political solution to end the long-drawn armed conflict, instead of a repressive militarisation policy, is clearly missing on the part of the government, and the children end up as victims. In conflict-torn areas, child rights face extraordinary denial and violation.”
Forget political will to keep children away from armed conflict, it seems New Delhi believes in denying that the problem even exists. In 2011, in its first ever report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, on the ‘Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict’ India categorically stated that the country “does not face either international or non-international armed conflict situation”. The report was prepared by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The government’s denial of armed conflict involving ‘child soldiers’ recruited by terror groups has irked rights activists.
Click the first Link for country specific data.