Iraq Detains More than 1,000 Children as ISIS Suspects
Iraqi authorities detained over 1,000 children, some as young as nine years old, last year on national security charges, primarily for suspected links with the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a new United Nations report.
Some detained children said they had been recruited to fight with ISIS, while others said that they worked as cooks, drivers, or simply participated in a few days of training.
International law prohibits the recruitment or use of children by armed groups, yet Iraq is treating these children as criminals, even if there is no evidence they participated in violent crimes. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Iraq to release the children.