The United Nations has claimed in a report by secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that both rebel and government forces have killed and maimed children during ongoing conflicts in the Philippines.
Released on Monday, the report states that 19 children were killed in conflict situations between July 2005 and November 2007, while 42 were maimed. According to the report, just over half of these cases were perpetrated by Government security forces, a fifth were attributed to the Abu Sayyaf Group/Jemaah Islamiya rebels, and 8 percent to the communist insurgents, the New People’s Army (NPA).
“There is evidence that government paramilitary forces and rebel groups, including the NPA and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, recruited children during the same period,” UN said.
Overall, Ban Ki-moon report finds that around half of verified grave violations against children were carried out by government security forces, a third by the NPA, and 15 per cent by the Abu Sayyaf Group/Jemaah Islamiya. But the report adds that the lower number of cases reported for the rebels is most likely due to a lack of access to these groups.
The UN secretary-general has recommended that state and non-state actors enter into dialogue with the UN to end the recruitment of children as well as other grave violations of children’s rights.