The United States is violating the human rights of children in Afghanistan, according to a new report from the United Nations, which, according to the ACLU “paint[s] a dark picture of the treatment of juveniles by the U.S. military in Afghanistan…”
one where hundreds of children have been killed in attacks and air strikes by U.S. military forces, and those responsible for the killings have not been held to account even as the number of children killed doubled from 2010 to 2011; where children under 18 languish in detention facilities without access to legal or full humanitarian assistance, or adequate resources to aid in their recovery and reintegration as required under international law. Some children were abused in U.S. detention facilities, and others are faced with the prospect of torture and ill-treatment if they are transferred to Afghan custody.
US attacks and airstrikes have killed hundreds of children in recent years, according to the report, “due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force.”
Some US military officials are unhappy about the criticism they sometimes receive when Afghan children are killed or injured because of US operations, claiming that insurgents recruit children to plant bombs, so killing children is actually fair game. “It kind of opens our aperture,” said Army Lt. Col. Marion Carrington. “In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s looking for children with potential hostile intent.”