Child soldiers 'bought and sold' in Myanmar, report says
By Seth Mydans
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
BANGKOK: Add to the many hardships in Myanmar today one more danger: being a boy. According to a report that was to be released Wednesday, the military, struggling to meet recruiting quotas, is buying, kidnapping and terrorizing boys as young as 10 to join its ranks.
The report by Human Rights Watch, the New York-based rights group, says military recruiters and civilian brokers scour train stations, bus stations, markets and other public places for boys and coerce them to volunteer. Some may simply disappear without their families' knowledge and spend years on the front lines of a brutal war against ethnic insurgencies.
"Clearly the military is preying upon children and using children to form a substantial proportion of its forces," said a co-author of the report, Jo Becker, the children's rights advocate for Human Rights Watch.