CRI Update: Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban, militants buying child soldiers in Mali, and more...
Oct 15, 2012 at 11:07 am
CRI Director Brooke Goldstein discussed the recent shooting of a 14-year-old girl by the Taliban on America Live with Megyn Kelly, which can be viewed here. For more information, see first news story below.
Unconscious and in critical condition after being shot by Taliban gunmen, Malala Yousufzai has been transferred from a hospital in a province that is a militant haven to a specialist hospital in the army garrison town of Rawalpindi. She was shot with two other girls on Tuesday as she left school in Swat, northwest of Islamabad. One of the girls is out of danger and the other remains in critical condition. A Taliban spokesman said they would try to kill Yousufzai again if she survived. The shooting has drawn condemnation from world leaders and many Pakistanis.
The UN has condemned a targeted attack by Taliban gunmen on Pakistani schoolgirls, one of whom was 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, widely known for advocating for the education of girls and highlighting Taliban atrocities. The girls were shot and seriously wounded in a schoolbus. In the past, Ms. Yousufzai has received the Pakistani Government's highest civilian award for her activism, along with numerous death threats from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the group responsible for the attack.
Militants in tribal regions of Pakistan no longer recruit youth by indoctrinating them into a religious battle based on Islamist fundamentalism and jihad but rather employ psychologically sophisticated techniques that exploit children's isolation and subsequent ignorance about global affairs to "keep the wheel of insurgency in Afghanistan and terrorism in Pakistan turning." Militants show children wreckage from drone strikes, convincing them that the US wants to destroy Islam and Pakhtun culture, and force them to watch videos of white men raping women, claiming that Americans will likewise rape the children's mothers and sisters.
The United States and Pakistan must seize upon recent anti-militant sentiment within tribal regions to establish direct links with locals, offering them a different narrative about the "War on Terror" and the United States, to present kids aged 9-20 from being recruited as insurgents and suicide bombers.
Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr was transferred to a Millhaven top security jail in Ontario over the weekend while waiting for authorities to decide how best to handle his case. Canada's Conservative government says it fears he has become radicalized, while Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who like his cabinet colleagues has shown little sympathy for Khadr over the last decade, referred to him as a convicted terrorist and said Canadians needed to be protected while he was in jail.
A nine-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were fatally shot by militants in Afghanistan after their father refused to quit his policeman post in Ghazni. The Taliban had warned the father that his family would be at risk if he did not leave his job.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) has expressed grave concern over the detainment of Ebrahim Al Muqdad (15) and Jehad Sadeq (16) for more than 60 days after being interrogated without a lawyer. The children disappeared after a peaceful pro-democracy protest this summer. They may be prosecuted under the law of terrorism, which may result in death penalties or life imprisonments. BCHR has called upon the government to abide by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and immediately release Al Muqdad, Sadeq, and all other detained children.
Armed groups in the state of Manipur, one of the most militarized zones in India, have been abducting children to add underage fighters to their ranks.
Egyptian authorities released the two Coptic Christian boys detained for allegedly urinating on the Quran. The boys remain under investigation, however, and local leaders of Gamaa Islamiya, a militant group, have rallied Muslims to protest the order to release the boys.
The Egyptian Coalition on Children's Rights (ECCR) has strongly condemned the arrest of two Coptic Christian boys, 10-year-old Nabil Nagy Rizk and 9-year-old Mina Nady Farag, for "insulting religion" after local village Iman Ibrahim Mohamed Ali accused them of tearing up pages of the Quran. The rights group warned against using children to escalate religious tensions in Egypt.
Indonesia and Swaziland joined the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. The Protocol guides States in their efforts to prohibit, prevent and end the sexual exploitation of children and sale of children for non-sexual purposes including forced labor and illegal adoption. Indonesia and Swaziland, along with Nigeria, also joined another Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, which prevents children from being recruited into military service.
President Obama granted waivers to countries that recruit child soldiers for the third consecutive year. The President signed a memorandum waiving the 2008 Child Soldier Prevention Act (CSPA), effectually allowing military assistance to Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and the Congo—4 of only 6 nations on the State Department's list of foreign governments that recruit and use child soldiers.
Since a military coup in March overthrew the country's democratically elected president, Islamists have taken over the north, recruiting more than 1,000 children from poor rural towns to become soldiers. The UN children's agency has corroborated at least 175 reported cases of child soldiers, with parents receiving between 500,000 francs (about $1,000) and 600,000 francs (about $1,200) per child. However, some families have reportedly received as much as 1 million francs ($2,000).