Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said in a statement that militants from Islamic State (ISIL, or Daesh in the Arab world) – a terror group outlawed in many countries, including Russia – used kidnapped children as soldiers and sex slaves.
The UN documented more than 3,000 child casualties between January, 1 2011 and June, 30 2015, the envoy said, adding that attacks by ISIL and al-Qaeda accounted for over a half of those casualties.
Since the start of international involvement in Iraq in 2014, the UN began to receive worrisome reports of children being maimed and killed in airstrikes and shelling, Zerrougui’s statement continued.
Zerrougui urged the Iraqi government to take robust action to stop the recruitment and use of children by all parties in the current armed conflict and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
She warned Iraqi authorities against detaining children on security charges, stressing they must be treated as victims of war.