Download living in fear PDF

Titleliving in fear
LanguageEnglish
File Size823.4 KB
Total Pages84
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Human Rights Watch November 2004 Vol. 16, No 13 (C)

LIVING IN FEAR
Child Soldiers and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka


GLOSSARY................................................................................................................................... 1

I. SUMMARY................................................................................................................................ 2

LTTE Recruitment and Use of Children Before the Cease-fire........................................ 4
LTTE Commitments and the Action Plan for Children Affected by War...................... 7
Legal Standards ......................................................................................................................... 7
Note on Methodology.............................................................................................................. 8


II. RECOMMENDATIONS...................................................................................................... 9

To the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) .............................................................. 9
To the Government of Sri Lanka......................................................................................... 10
To the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)......................................................... 10
To the International Labor Organization (ILO)................................................................ 11
To the Northeast Commission on Human Rights (NECOHR) ..................................... 11
To the Government of Norway ........................................................................................... 11
To the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) ................................................................. 11
To Donors (including Japan, the United States, the European Union, and
Scandinavian countries) ......................................................................................................... 12
To the Tamil Diaspora........................................................................................................... 12
To Governments of Countries with a Significant Tamil Diaspora (including
Canada, Switzerland, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and
Scandinavia) ............................................................................................................................. 12
To the United Nations Security Council ............................................................................. 12
To All United Nations Member States................................................................................ 13


III. BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 13

IV. LTTE RECRUITMENT OF CHILDREN DURING THE CEASE-FIRE............ 15

V. LIFE IN THE LTTE FOR CHILD SOLDIERS............................................................ 24

Basic Training .......................................................................................................................... 24
Contact with Family ............................................................................................................... 25
Advanced Training ................................................................................................................. 26
Punishment and Discipline.................................................................................................... 27
Combat ..................................................................................................................................... 28

Page 2

VI. LTTE SPLIT AND RELEASE OF CHILDREN......................................................... 30
Deaths of Children During the April Fighting................................................................... 32
Parents Demand Children’s Release .................................................................................... 33


VII. RE-RECRUITMENT........................................................................................................ 37

Risk to Siblings ........................................................................................................................ 42
Fear of Attending School....................................................................................................... 43
Marriage.................................................................................................................................... 44
Vulnerability of Girls to Re-recruitment ............................................................................. 46
Role of Parents in Resisting Recruitment ........................................................................... 46


VIII. LTTE COMMITMENTS TO END THE RECRUITMENT AND USE OF
CHILD SOLDIERS................................................................................................................... 48

IX. THE LTTE’S FAILURE TO MEET ITS COMMITMENTS.................................... 49

X. THE ACTION PLAN FOR CHILDREN AFFECTED BY WAR ............................ 54

Transit Centers ........................................................................................................................ 55
Role of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization .................................................................. 57
Response to the Release of Karuna’s Forces...................................................................... 58


XI. THE ROLE OF UNICEF AND THE FUTURE OF THE ACTION PLAN ....... 60

XII. RESPONSE BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT ............................................ 65

XIII. THE SRI LANKA MONITORING MISSION ........................................................ 68

XIV. INTERNATIONAL DONORS.................................................................................... 71

XV. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STANDARDS.............................................................. 73

UN Security Council Efforts to Achieve Compliance ...................................................... 76

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................................................................... 78

Page 42

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VOL. 16, NO 13(C) 38

I said, “She’s a girl, I can’t let her out of the house in the middle of the
night. I will bring her in the morning.” They told me not to interfere,
and beat me. They took sticks from my fence, pushed me to the ground,
and used the sticks to beat me two or three times. They had brought
rope with them and had weapons in their hands. They pretended to tie
me up and drag me. My daughter then came out of the house. When
she did, men took her and dragged her off. She was in her nightdress.
She didn’t even have a chance to change her clothes.

We never expected it. If we had suspected, we would have sent our
daughter away. Previously, they had said she was wounded and they
didn’t need her back. They were lying.100


A woman told Human Rights Watch that her daughter had joined the LTTE at age
seventeen in 2003, returned from Karuna’s forces in April 2004, and was abducted in
July 2004:


She had registered for school. The sister (nun) had told us to bring her
on July 29 but the LTTE came first and took her. The LTTE
surrounded the house. There were seventy-five of them. Grandmother
protested and said my daughter had a high fever and that she would
bring her the next day. She said, “I already gave you my son and he died
on the battlefield. I won’t do it again.” The LTTE promised to release
her. My daughter said “Don’t let them take me away.” But they took
her.101


Between April and August, UNICEF documented nearly one hundred cases of child re-
recruitment, mostly from Batticaloa district.102 However, anecdotal evidence collected by
Human Rights Watch suggests that the number of children re-recruited may be far
higher. Witnesses from several villages north of Batticaloa town told Human Rights
Watch that in some cases, more than a third of the returnees to their villages had been
re-recruited by August.



100 Human Rights Watch interview, Batticaloa district, August 2004.
101 Human Rights Watch interview, Batticaloa district, August 2004.
102 Human Rights Watch interview with Chris Watkins, Project Officer (Protection), UNICEF, Batticaloa, August
5, 2004.

Page 43

39 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VOL. 16, NO 13(C)

A man living north of Valechennai said, “There are ten returnees in my village. Four to
six have been taken again, ages twelve to fifteen. Over-eighteens can manage and protect
themselves from the LTTE, but small children can’t do anything.”103

Another person from the Vaharai area reported:


Forty people in my village went to the LTTE. Twenty people died in the
fighting [in April] and twenty came back. Then the Vanni group took
sixteen people—the people who were physically strong. The balance
UNICEF took to towns. Otherwise the LTTE would have taken the
rest as well.104


A third person from the Vaharai area reported that in his village, there had been eighteen
returnees. He said, “The LTTE took back seven. Eleven people are in other places.... Of
the seven retaken, most were girls and most were under sixteen. They took them in the
nighttime. They were at home with their parents and the LTTE came and took them.”105

Human Rights Watch interviewed approximately thirty former cadres released from
Karuna’s forces who had not been re-recruited. Without exception, they all expressed
fear that they would be forced to return to the LTTE. Some children who worked in
security or intelligence believed that they could be shot if identified by the LTTE. One
said: “The LTTE have asked me to re-join…. They send girls who were with Karuna but
who now have returned to the Vanni side. They say, ‘Come back and join.’ They don’t
threaten to do anything as such, but they really frighten me.”106

Many children said they were afraid to return to school, worried that the LTTE would
abduct them as they travel between their school and home. Some refused to leave their
homes altogether, while others went to live with relatives, moved to other parts of the
country, or left the country altogether to take jobs in the Middle East. Some former
cadres got married, believing that marriage would provide a layer of protection against
recruitment (see further discussion below).



103 Human Rights Watch interview, August 2004.
104 Human Rights Watch interview, August 2004.
105 Human Rights Watch interview, August 2004.
106 Human Rights Watch interview with “Kaveri,” Batticaloa district, August 2004.

Page 83

79 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VOL. 16, NO 13(C)

Previous Human Rights Watch reports on child soldiers

How to Fight, How to Kill: Child Soldiers in Liberia, 2004
http://hrw.org/reports/2004/liberia0204/

“You’ll Learn Not to Cry”: Child Combatants in Colombia, 2003
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/colombia0903/

Abducted and Abused: Renewed Conflict in Northern Uganda, 2003
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/uganda0703/

Forgotten Fighters: Child Soldiers in Angola, 2003
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/angola0403/

Stolen Children: Abduction and Recruitment in Northern Uganda, 2003
http://hrw.org/reports/2003/uganda0303/

“My Gun Was as Tall as Me”: Child Soldiers in Burma, 2002
http://hrw.org/reports/2002/burma/

Reluctant Recruits: Children and Adults Forcibly Recruited for Military Service in North
Kivu, 2001
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/drc3/

War Without Quarter: Colombia and International Humanitarian Law, 1998
http://www.hrw.org/reports98/colombia/

The Scars of Death: Children Abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, 1997
http://www.hrw.org/reports97/uganda/

Burma: Children’s Rights and the Rule of Law, 1997
http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/burma2/

Page 84

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH VOL. 16, NO 13(C) 80

Children of Sudan: Slaves, Street Children, and Child Soldiers, 1995
http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/Sudan.htm

Easy Prey: Child Soldiers in Liberia, 1994
http://www.hrw.org/reports/1994/liberia2/

The Lost Boys: Child Soldiers and Unaccompanied Boys in Southern Sudan, 1994

“In the Name of God”: Repression Continues in Northern Sudan, 1994
http://www.hrw.org/reports/1994/sudan/

Similer Documents