The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/67/845–S/2013/245) issued on 15 May 2013.
In 2012, the United Nations received reports of violations against children by parties in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha States. Although verification by the United Nations was not possible, the allegations are supported by reports submitted to Parliament. Recruitment and use of children by Maoist armed groups otherwise known as Naxalites, is alleged to have continued during the reporting period. Reports alleged that the Naxalites resorted to large-scale recruitment of children between 6 and 12 years of age into what they term “children’s units” (Bal Sanghatans) in the affected states. Children were reported to have performed various tasks, including fighting with crude weapons such as sticks or acting as informants. Children as young as 12 years of age were reported to be present in Maoist youth groups and allied militia, handling weapons and improvised explosive devices. Children were reportedly not allowed to leave those associations and faced severe reprisals, including the killing of family members, if they did so. According to government sources, children were reportedly used as human shields by the Maoist armed groups in confrontations with Indian security forces. In Chhattisgarh, seven children were reportedly killed in the crossfire between the Central Reserve Police Force and the Maoist armed groups in June 2012. Reports also indicated that the Maoists destroyed school buildings. The destruction of 267 schools since 2006 by the Maoists, including 3 in 2012, was reported. The number of schools destroyed over the past six years has raised concerns with regard to children’s access to education. The Government has stated that it has adopted an integrated approach to address the protection needs of children in areas of civil unrest, especially relating to security, development and good governance.