Children in Colombia continue to be killed, maimed, tortured, raped, recruited and abducted in the country’s violent conflict. This is despite significant government efforts, the United Nations said Tuesday.
According to the UN, the country’s guerrilla and paramilitary groups are the main perpetrators of violence against children.
“I am deeply concerned at the continued rape and other forms of sexual violence, in particular against girls, that is perpetrated mainly by illegal armed groups,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in his latest report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict in Colombia.
Ban Ki-moon adds girl members of illegal armed groups are required to have sexual relations with adults at an early age and are forced to have abortions if they become pregnant.
The report, covering the year 2008, raises the alarm about the ongoing forced recruitment of children by illegal armed groups, but also the use of children for army intelligence.
Estimates of the number of children participating in illegal armed groups range from 8,000 in Government figures to 11,000 estimated by non-government sources, according to the report.