"The number of minors in paramilitary troops have soared due to the school closures and the government's disregard for the children's living conditions in rural areas," SOS Children's Villages President Angela Rosales condemned.
According to official information, 12,481 children and adolescents were forcibly recruited in the country in 2020. The humanitarian NGO, however, believes the figure is even higher.
"Children must be protected. Recruiting them and training them to kill violates international law," Rosales added.
#Colombia | Human rights organizations denounced that 14 minors were killed during an Army bombing in Buenos Aires community, in the Guaviare Department.https://t.co/qCpYPb3E4q
This alert occurred one week after 14 minors were killed by the Colombian Army during the bombing of a camp run by Miguel Botache, a drug trafficker who forced the children and adolescents to become part of his private army.
Following the attack, Defense Minister Diego Molano claimed that the murdered children were "illegal armed combatants" and "war machines."
On Wednesday, SOS Children's Villages rejected this claim and assured that "those children were victims of forced recruitment, hunger, and desperation."