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Human Rights Groups Say Burma Continues to Recruit Child Soldiers


Human rights groups say the military government of Burma continues to recruit large numbers of children into its army, despite government policies intended to prevent the recruitments.

Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma said in a report Thursday that boys as young as eleven years old have frequently been recruited using coercive and deceptive tactics.

The Associated Press quotes a senior Burmese information ministry official as denying the report.

The report followed up a survey conducted by Human Rights Watch in 2002 of Burmese child recruitment rates. At the time, the study found that up to 20% of the soldiers in Burma were children. The organization said on Thursday that the rate remains essentially unchanged since then.

The Burmese government adopted a plan of action in 2004 to prevent such recruitments but the new study says the plan has been ineffective.

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