Over the past few weeks the LTTE has released 85 children it conscripted. Though Human rights groups have accused the LTTE in the past of recruiting child soldiers the Tigers repeatedly denied such charges.
A UNICEF press release on Wednesday said,” A detailed list of the children was handed over to the UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka, Ted Chaiban, by S. P. Thamilchelvam, head of the LTTE’s Political Wing, at a meeting held in Kilinochchi on September 6” .
UNICEF has interviewed over 20 of 85 children who returned home, all of who confirmed that they had indeed been with the LTTE and have now been returned to their families.
“UNICEF is currently developing an action plan for the social reintegration of these children, such as schooling, access to vocational training and other activities,” the release further said.
reiterates, it is hopeful of a ‘child-recruit free’ Sri Lanka, and views
this latest development as a positive step, and trusts the LTTE would take
further steps to fulfill the rights of children as enshrined in the
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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