They call for an "urgent and in-depth investigation" into these "flagrant violations"

Spanish NGOs denounce the military enlistment of children in Tindouf

Campamento de refugiados de Boudjdour en Tinduf, en el sur de Argelia - PHOTO/REUTERS
Boudjdour refugee camp in Tindouf, southern Algeria - PHOTO/REUTERS

Two Spanish human rights associations have denounced the serious violations committed by the armed militias of the Polisario Front in the refugee camps in Tindouf. In particular, they denounce the military enlistment of children and their exploitation for political purposes. 

"The enlistment of innocent children in the Tindouf camps by the armed militias of the Polisario Front in the face of an incomprehensible international inaction must be denounced and investigated", underlined the Spanish NGOs "Freedom is a right" and "Pedro Ignacio Altamirano'', during a meeting on Saturday in Seville, according to the Moroccan news agency MAP. 

Articles 38 and 39 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted on 20 November 1989, are clear and must be respected from a moral and ethical point of view. This is why we must examine the inhuman exploitation of children in wars all over the world, and more particularly in the Tindouf camps, by the armed militias of the Polisario", stressed the NGO "Pedro Ignacio Altamirano", focusing on the terrible experience of the abducted populations in the Tindouf camps - located in Algeria - as well as the drama of the exploitation of child soldiers recruited by the 'Polisario.

For this reason, the Spanish association insisted on the launching of an "urgent and in-depth investigation" by the international community and independent civil society into these "flagrant violations of a fundamental human right which affects children and those most in need".  

Campamento de Tinduf (FOTO/ARCHIVO)
Tindouf camp - PHOTO/FILE

"Consequently, the cases of persons arrested and detained by the armed militia of the Poisario in the Tindouf camps should be taken into account by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights", the NGO also stated, adding that Polisario members must be held accountable for these violations before international justice.  

"As civil society, we cannot allow the persistence of attitudes which harm the full development of children, enshrined in the Declaration of Human Rights, and even less so when it is a question of intolerable violence against the rights of innocent children, victims of violations by the Polisario", warned the NGO "Freedom is a right", before an audience of experts and jurists. 

Children in Tindouf - PHOTO/FILE

In the face of "incomprehensible international inaction", the recruitment of children in the Tindouf camps is a "serious violation of human rights that must be denounced", said the association, which works for the defence of human rights. 

"It is time to assume our social responsibility in the defence of human rights, particularly with regard to the children held and exploited in the Tindouf camps," it concluded.