Watchdog: Syria's Kurdish militia still using child soldiers

AP News
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Posted: Jul 15, 2015 6:12 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — An international human rights group says Syria's main Kurdish militia is still violating the ban on child soldiers, despite some progress to stop using boys and girls under the age of 18.

Human Rights Watch says the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, and its women's branch, YPJ, are not the only offenders among Syria's armed groups. The Kurdish militia has been the main force fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.

HRW says that YPG in 2014 signed a "Deed of Commitment" with the non-governmental organization Geneva Call, pledging to demobilize all fighters under 18 within a month.

HRW said Wednesday it has compiled a list of 59 children — 10 of them under 15 — who were recruited by or volunteered for YPG or YPJ since July 2014.