Polisario Continues To Use, Exploit Children In Armed Conflicts
The exploitation of children in armed conflicts and their obligation to bear arms is considered by the international community as the worst violation of human rights, something that has been recognized by all international legislation and by all UN instruments, including the ancestral uses and customs.
The International Criminal Court indicates that the contribution of any party, governments, armed groups or arms exporting companies, to the exploitation of children is considered a crime against humanity. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocols condemn the recruitment, training and use of children within and across national borders in hostilities by armed groups distinct from the armed forces of a State, recognizing the responsibility of those who recruit, train and use children in this regard.
Moreover, the Polisario organization does not hesitate to recruit children aged 12 to 13 as soldiers, and parade them in military parades. Something that was reported to us, as NGOs working in the region, by a group of mothers who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
The children thus find themselves deprived of their childhood to join the ranks of the militias so soon, with all the psychological impact that this entails. Numerous press articles and press releases have been published, supported by video recordings and photos - the authenticity of which has been confirmed by the United Nations and the European Parliament - showing children from the Tindouf camps dressed in military uniforms and participating in a military parade for the Polisario Front militias on Algerian state soil.