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US adds Pakistan government to child soldier recruitment list

Washington/Islamabad: The US has included Pakistan, along with 14 other countries, on the list of the Prevention of Child Soldier Act, which identifies foreign governments that have government-backed armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers, A designation that may result in a ban on certain security aids. and commercial license of military equipment.
The US Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, listing foreign governments that recruited child soldiers during the previous year (April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021) have or have used them.
The countries that have been added to the US State Department’s annual TIP list are Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
According to the State Department, the governments identified on the list are subject to restrictions on some security support and commercial licensing of military equipment in the next fiscal year.
The term “child soldier” means any person under the age of 18 who takes part directly in hostilities or who is compulsorily recruited into the Government Armed Forces, the police or other security forces.
It means any person under the age of 15 who has been voluntarily recruited into the Government Armed Forces, the police, or other security forces or any person under the age of 18 who has been recruited or recruited by armed forces other than the armed forces. used in hostilities. of a state.
It also includes anyone who is serving in any capacity, including a supporting role, such as “cook, porter, messenger, physician, guard, or sex slave.”
The CSPA restricts aid to governments identified on the list under the following authorities: international military education and training, foreign military funding, additional defense articles, and peacekeeping operations, with the exception of certain programs carried out in accordance with the Peacekeeping Operations Authority.
It also prohibits such governments from issuing licenses for the direct commercial sale of military equipment.
Effective October 1, 2021, and throughout fiscal year 2022, these restrictions will apply to listed countries, in the absence of a presidential waiver, applicable exceptions, or resumption of aid in accordance with the terms of the CSPA.
The determination of the government to be included in the CSPA list is informed by a number of sources, including direct observation by US government personnel and research from various United Nations entities, international organizations, local and international NGOs, and international and domestic and reliable research. Reporting is included. media outlets.


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