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Burma Reported to Have Highest Number of Child Soldiers in the World


A U.S. diplomat says Burma is believed to have the largest number of child soldiers in the world.

A statement by the U.S. Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs to the UN Jackie W. Sanders said today the U.S.-based group, Human Rights Watch, has documented the widespread forced recruitment of boys as young as 11 years old by Burma's army.

The ambassador says many child soldiers in Burma are forced to fight and commit abuses against ethnic minorities, whose armed opposition groups also use children soldiers, but to a lesser degree.

In addition to Burma, the U.S. ambassador also singled out Southern Sudan, Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Colombia as having large numbers of children forced to take part in armed conflicts.

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