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Thousands of child soldiers recruited by junta

May 7, 2009 (DVB), Tens of thousands of children in Burma are recruited as child soldiers, with the government being the biggest culprit, states a report by a global network of non-governmental organizations.

'No More Denial', a report documenting abuse of children in Burma, released this week by Watchlist, says the international community has not paid enough attention to the situation.

The report has been welcomed by Human Rights Watch, who recently slammed a UN report on child soldiers in Burma for painting too positive a picture about the government's recruitment of child soldiers.

"The Secretary General's report that came out a few weeks ago I think was very weak, it didn't get into the subject matter," said David Mathieson, Burma researcher at HRW, adding that the Watchlist report was "completely accurate".

The Watclist report criticises the UN Security Council for remaining largely silent despite evidence from UN and local sources of child soldier use and other violations against children by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

"You can't just say that the symbol of cooperation from the SPDC is good enough because I don't think it is good enough," said David Mathieson.

I think it's clear that they [SPDC] are not taking real actions on this issue," he finished.

Reporting by Rosalie Smith


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