A Turkish model, how the Taliban recruit child soldiers in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, the propaganda war of the Taliban in recent months gives no respite. Children from rural and remote areas of Southeast Afghanistan are increasingly being targeted. In the last year, Islamic fundamentalists have full control of the provinces on the border with Pakistan. Despite the Doha agreement, the attacks do not seem to stop. Indeed, they have increased exponentially, also, thanks to the Turkish support. And with them, the recruitment of child soldiers is rapidly growing, in finding the Afghan security forces without excessive controls.
In a video circulating online, which we have decided not to publish to protect minors, the Taliban in a village in the province of Kunar located in the south-eastern part of Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan, encourage children to use weapons and artillery. Their words in the Pashto language are unmistakable. “These are the soldiers of God, and they will sacrifice themselves for the love of Almighty. They will drive the infidels out of Afghanistan. Children at this age are ready for sacrifice in the name of Allah. The Afghan people are with the Taliban, both women and the elderly, and especially children will help the Taliban. With their support, we will defeat the infidels. Allah will accept their sacrifice.” The children respond with great fervor: “Allahu Akbar. Long live the Taliban and death to the Afghan government and local militias.”
In recent years, in Afghanistan, the Taliban recruited dozens of children to fight among their ranks. A well-known practice that violates international law and human rights, banning the use of child soldiers. According to local activists and international NGOs, they used Islamic religious schools to train kids from a young age. They often begin studying religious subjects at the age of six and learn military skills around age 13. Usually, these guys do not get taken strongly. Adopting the same “Turkish model” in Syria, the Taliban madrasahs attract many poor families, covering their expenses and provide food and clothing for their children. In some cases, they also offer money.
International humanitarian law prohibits the recruitment and enlistment of children under the age of fifteen in armed forces or groups or using them to actively participate in hostilities. It is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which Afghanistan belongs. Those who commit, order, assist or have command responsibility for war crimes are subject to prosecution by the International Criminal Court or national courts.