Abus use kids for survival — military PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 July 2011 16:53

Special Operations Task force-Basilan commander Col. Alexander Macario has revealed the Abu Sayyaf Group “is using children into their armed struggle for their survival.”
Macario made the revelation after they rescued last week in the village of Mangal, Sumisip, Basilan province a 14-year-old boy who was recruited by the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the first quarter of last year.

He said the rescue was made through an informant who told them that he recognized the minor on the pictures that were distributed to the general public in Basilan province.

Macario said the teenager, after series of trainings and brainwashing, had participated in series of “engagement with the government troops” in the province.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits were proven to be involved in series of kidnap-for-ransom, bombing, extortion and other terroristic activities in Basilan which made the people in the province apprehensive and fearful, Macario said.

He said the Abu Sayyafs are clearly violating the rights of the children that prohibit recruitment to be used in the armed conflict.
He explained that the rescue of the child is now one of the proofs that the Abu Sayyafs are violating the children’s rights.
He said the teenager is now undergoing counseling and rehabilitation “in order for him to return to the mainstream of the society.”

He strongly urged the human rights advocates to act against the recruitment of children by the Abu Sayyaf Group since it is a violation of the 1989 convention on the rights of the child and its 2000 optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

“The Human Rights Advocates must do something about this incident. They should inform the people that this act of the Abu Sayyaf Group is clearly violating International Humanitarian Law,” Macario stressed. — TPG