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Burma Denies Recruiting Child Soldiers - 2003-01-15


Burma is denying allegations by Human Rights Watch and the UN Children's Fund that its armed forces forcibly recruit child soldiers.

Burma's UN ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe told the UN Security Council (Tuesday) that there was no credible evidence that the country's military recruits children. He said Burmese law bars anyone under the age of 18 from joining the armed forces.

However, the ambassador said armed insurgent groups in Burma regularly recruit and use child soldiers.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last month that an investigation by the UN Children's Fund confirmed reports by Human Rights Watch that the Burmese military forces children into service.

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