Child recruitment for conflicts has been on the rise in recent years. Emergence of child soldiers in states such as Chattisgarh and other north-eastern states are a cause of serious concern.
According to a Human Rights Watch Report titled ‘Dangerous Duty: Children and the Chhattisgarh Conflict’ found that children between ages 6 and 12 were being recruited to wage wars.
“The conflict in India’s Chhattisgarh state has irreparably damaged children’s lives. All parties to the conflict-Maoist rebels, state-supported anti-Maoist vigilante groups (known as Salwa Judum), and government security forces-have recruited children in different capacities that expose them to the risk of injury and death,” it read.
These young children are often forced to perform crimes.
This horrific trend has a number of root causes. Children are seen as ”attractive” participants in armed conflict. They are vulnerable to outside influences, can be trained to become efficient soldiers and can be made to perform the most dangerous (and brutal) of tasks, through intimidation, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs.