London: The passing of legislation to criminalise underage recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces is a significant step in protecting the rights of Afghan children, Child Soldiers International has said.
Last week, the Afghan lower house of parliament approved the draft law which criminalises the recruitment and use of children in state security forces.
This followed an endorsement by the Afghanistan government earlier this year of a 15-point road map to implement an Action Plan signed with the UN in 2011.
The measures outlined in the road map include the criminalisation of the recruitment and use of children; the development of a policy to ensure that children arrested and detained on national security charges are treated in line with international juvenile justice standards; and improved age-verification mechanisms.
The road map was supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UNICEF in their roles as co-chairs of the UN-led Country Task Force on Children and Armed Conflict.