Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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UN Watchdog Confirms ISIS Use of Children in Suicide Bombings

A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, released on February 4, expressed grave concern over the recruitment by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) of young Iraqi children.

The kids, some of whom are kidnapped, are used as suicide bombers, human shields and sex slaves, reports Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.

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At the highest risk of the abuse of children are disabled kids, street children, young refugees, orphans and migrant children from Syria and Turkey. Also vulnerable to ISIS recruitment or kidnapping are kids from minority groups such as the Yazidis, Christians, Sunnis and Shi'ites.

The report highlights the abduction, rape and torture of hundreds of Yazidi females, both young and old, some of whom eventually commit suicide out of anger or shame. The ISIS low regard for females, especially those who are not followers of the Islam faith, is because of the extremist group's sex guidelines that says it is okay to sexually molest women who do not belong to the faith as well as use them to bear babies who would one day become part of the caliphate.

For suicide bomber, those preferred by the jihadists are kids suffering from disabilities, sold by the families to the ISIS and even mentally challenged youth who likely do not understand their fatal mission.

Regular children not yet in their teens are made to undergo military training in Mosul, captured by the ISIS in June 2014. The training includes bomb making, checkpoint manning and helping kidnap foreigners and future recruits. Based on videos posted online by ISIS, some of the child-soldier trainees are as young as 8, points out Renate Winter, expert of the UN Committee.

Outside ISIS, other militant groups are also recruiting kids who would support the Iraqi government and the Free Syrian Army.

The report urged the Iraqi government to make the recruitment of a person below 18 for armed conflict purposes a criminal act, reports Cubic Lane. The committee also criticized the Iraqi law that permits rapists to avoid criminal liability by marrying their victims. Baghdad defends the practice as "the only way to protect the victim of severe humiliation from her family."

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