A United Nations committee has accused the United States government of being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children in Afghanistan over the past four years. But the committee’s report was quickly rejected by the U.S.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported that it was “alarmed” by reports that hundreds of children died as a result of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan because of a “reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force,” the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The UN report also condemned the arrest and detention of children in Afghanistan.
But the U.S. military said “the reports were unsubstantiated and cited figures from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan showing that the vast majority of civilian deaths and injuries in Afghanistan over the last several years were caused by insurgents.”
In response to the UN report, Human Rights Watch called on the U.S. to “promptly carry out the recommendations of a United Nations committee of experts to improve protection of children abroad from armed conflict.”
“The US can and should do more to protect children affected by armed conflict,” Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
In response to the UN report, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jamil Dakwar said that “the U.S. must also honor its international law obligations to thoroughly and independently investigate civilian deaths and abuses against children, hold perpetrators accountable and compensate victims.”
The UN report bolsters what Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had said last year. The LA Times reports: “In April, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that 110 children were killed and 68 were injured in 2011 in airstrikes conducted by pro-government forces, led by the United States, which furnishes air power for the Afghan government. Those figures represented a doubling of the child casualties from a year earlier, Ban said.”