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Iraq: We Must Stop Militias Exploiting Children

The co-opting of children into the various fighting forces in Iraq must be prevented, the spokesman of the country’s Human Rights Ministry, Hamza Kamil, said on Tuesday. "We have evidence that the phenomenon of criminal gangs and terrorist groups recruiting juveniles – either by threatening them or luring them with money – has increased recently," he told the IRIN news service. The ministry is urging the various international organizations and local non-governmental groups to fight the phenomenon. The ministry recently interviewed more that 1,000 juveniles currently in the custody of the United States forces and Iraq’s government.