Tamil Rebels Force Girls to Serve As Child Soldiers
Tamil rebels invade schools, homes, and orphanages to seize hundreds of children, some as young as 9 and 10 and many of them girls, and send them into battle against the Sri Lankan Army, reported the University Teachers for Human Rights. Since the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam began their fight for control of a northern region in the island, the number of children seized for military use has skyrocketed. "Girls have been in a large majority in the current round of recruitment in schools," the report noted. The Tamil Tigers regularly use torture and executions to prevent children from escaping.
Despite the gruesome nature of these atrocities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a key United Nations document that protects children in armed conflict, has not been ratified by the Senate. President Clinton signed the document on July 5th, but Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked the Convention's ratification.
Media Resources: New York Times 17 July 2000 South China Morning Po