Wednesday, September 19, 2007
allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: Fighting Exposes Children to Forced Recruitment, Exploitation - UN (Page 1 of 1): "The situation of children in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has gone from bad to worse, with 60,000 people newly driven from their homes by fighting in North Kivu province, exposing youngsters to the dangers of forced recruitment and sexual exploitation, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). 'Separation of children from the parents always puts children at risk,' UNICEF's Chief of Field Operations for the DRC Julien Harneis said. 'Then you've got the creation of spontaneous camps, which leads to measles, cholera and the recruitment of children into armed groups.' The challenges posed by forced child recruitment are vast, UNICEF said. 'Children are taken by militias against their will and used as porters and fighters or, in the case of girls, for sexual exploitation. There is also great risk, of course, of injury and death from violence and battle,' it added."