Shafaq News/ February 12 marks the UN's International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers or Red Hand Day, labeling arming and exploiting children for military and political purposes as a war crime.
In a joint statement, humanitarian organizations in the Kurdistan Region, including Kurdistan without Genocide-KWG, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), and Organization Against Weapons of Mass Destruction, highlighted that hundreds of thousands of children under 18 are currently armed and involved in armed conflicts worldwide, including Iraq.
The organizations emphasized that thousands of Yazidi children's fate remained unknown since 2014, with some recruited by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, along with other armed groups globally exploiting children for military and suicide attacks.
"During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranian authorities utilized thousands of children to detonate landmines," the statement said.
The organizations called on all Kurdish parties to "adhere to state principles and refrain from accepting children under 18 into their ranks," emphasizing that arming children leads to "international crimes and the International Criminal Court imposes strict penalties for such actions."