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Human Rights Watch exposes India's child soldiers

Radio Australia

September 6, 2008


A human rights group is demanding the Indian government and Maoist rebels stop using child fighters.

Claire Mackay reports the group's calling for a rehabilitation scheme the U-S based Human Rights Watch says child soldiers are being used in fighting between India's security forces and Maoist rebels in the country's eastern jungles.

The group's Jo Becker says the rebels and the government are exploiting children teaching them to use rifles, and landmines. Eyewitnesses have seen dozens of children dressed in police uniforms armed with rifles.

Human Rights Watch says it's shameful and a scheme is urgently needed to rescue and rehabilitate India's child soldiers.

The Maoist rebel movement began as a peasant uprising in 1967 and the Indian government says it's the country's greatest threat to internal security.

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