Maoists are recruiting and indoctrinating children as part of mass mobilisation, a United Nations report said.
The annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict was submitted to the Security Council last week.
The report said Naxalites were using children particularly in Chhattisgarh and some districts in adjoining states.
“Maoist armed groups were recruiting and indoctrinating children, and had constituted children’s squads and associations (Bal Dastas, Bal Sangham and Bal Manch) as part of mass mobilisation,” it said quoting official record.
The UN said the information was supported by a 2010 National Commission for Protection of Child Rights report.
The NCPCR report indicated that children were being recruited by Naxals through intimidation and abduction and were used in support roles, including as lookouts, messengers, porters and cooks.
It also pointed to the recruitment of children by now defunct militia Salwa Judum.
Referring to Home Ministry’s statistics, the UN report said in 2011, Maoist armed groups destroyed 258 school buildings, mostly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar.
The UN report said in January 2011, the Chhattisgarh government conceded that security forces were using 31 schools and the use of schools by the security forces continued to be reported in various states in 2011.
The present UN report covers the period from January to December 2011.
The present report provides information on grave violations committed against children, in particular the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, the abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children by parties to conflict in contravention of applicable international law.
Source: UCAN India