July 02, 2019

US-Backed Syrian Forces Pledge to End Child Recruitment

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Voice of America

Journalist Sirwan Kajjo

A major armed group in Syria has committed to identifying and releasing young boys and girls currently within its ranks, and put in place preventative, protection and disciplinary measures related to child recruitment and use, according to the United Nations.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led military alliance that has played a significant role in defeating the Islamic State (IS) terror group, signed an action plan with the U.N. to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18.

“It is an important day for the protection of children in Syria and it marks the beginning of a process as it demonstrates a significant commitment by the SDF to ensure that no child is recruited and used by any entity operating under its umbrella,” said Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main group within the SDF, has been listed in the U.N. Secretary-General's annual report on children and armed conflict for the recruitment and use of children since 2014.

Read the full article and more in Voice of America.


  • Nicholas Heras

    Former Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a former Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focused on the analysis of complex...