Sri Lanka: May 30, 2001


Although the rebels pledged three years ago to only recruit people 18 or older, more and more teenage rebels are being captured, some as young as twelve. Some are not even volunteers, but basically kidnapped for service in the rebel forces. The younger ones are generally left to defend fixed positions, like bunkers and camps. This is where army troops capture them. The older, and stronger, rebels do the operations that require a lot of marching and carrying heavy loads. Rebel organizations the world over prefer teenage recruits. They are easier to discipline and easier to convert to a fanatic point of view.  


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