Europe

EU lawmaker calls for end to PYD use of child soldiers

Alyn Smith says there is no excuse for use of children on battlefield

20.04.2016
EU lawmaker calls for end to PYD use of child soldiers

London, City of

LONDON

A Scottish MEP on Wednesday condemned the PYD’s use of child soldiers.

In a statement, Alyn Smith called for the group to end the use of child fighters in Syria.

“War is no excuse for the Kurdish PYD to use child soldiers in the battlefield,” he said in a statement. “The EU is a values-based community and must not turn a blind eye on this, as much as I have made clear we must condemn all violations regardless of their source.”

The Scottish National Party lawmaker, who sits on the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, warned there “will be no peace without justice in Syria and the region” and said the EU had to support the vital work of agencies documenting human rights abuses “including arbitrary detention, ethnic cleansing and the unacceptable use of child soldiers by Kurdish forces.”

He added that the areas under PYD control in Syria had also seen the repression of opposition through enforced disappearances.

The PYD is the Syrian affiliate of the Turkey-based PKK terror group.

Earlier this year, the U.K.-based Syrian Network for Human Rights said it had been involved in ethnic cleansing, arbitrary arrests and forced conscription in Syria.

In a report last year, Amnesty International said the PYD had carried out enforced removals of the Arab and Turkmen populations in northern Syria.

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