Hidden army of girls uncovered

// 25 April 2005

Girls around the world are being abducted and forced to work in the army, as soldiers, porters, cooks and cleaners, according to a report by Save the Children. Most of them are also forced to serve as sex slaves or ‘wives’.

According to the report, 6,500 girls serve in Uganda’s rebel Lord Resistance Army. That’s 33% of the total army.

In the Democractic Republic of Congo, an estimated 12,000 girls are still associated with the armed forces

And in Tsunami torn Sri Lanka, 21,500 girls are considered to be associated with armed conflict (43% of all the children fighting).

Mike Aaronson, Director General for Save the Children said: “When people picture conflict they think of men in bloody combat, but it\x92s horrifyingly girls who are the hidden face of war. This report reveals a shocking and inhumane life for thousands of girls around the world who are failed by the international community.But our purpose is to do more than shock. We aim to change the system and ensure there is proper funding to help these girls so they can – with dignity – regain some sense of normal life. This appalling abuse of girl’s rights demands urgent action. Its time to stop the war on children.”

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