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Thu, Oct

MPs endorse anti-child soldier draft law

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wolsei-jirga-yes-voteThe Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament on Saturday approved a draft law barring children from being recruited as soldiers.

The Ministry of Justice tabled the draft law in the lower house last month after being approved by the Cabinet.

Hamayun Hamayun, who heads the house defence committee, said the measure had been discussed at joint meetings of the panels and there had been no differences.

He said the law’s article six suggested three to six months imprisonment for the officials concerned failing to fire soldiers under the age of 18 years from the military.

He said a person if found guilty of recruiting underage children as soldiers would be jailed for one year under the law.

Of 126 MPs present, 124 voted to approve the draft law. Acting Justice Minister Mohammad Yusuf Halim told the house that a number of children had been recruited as soldiers in the country.

He said the recruitment had negative impact the lives of child soldiers, who could be misused.

The draft law will be forwarded to the upper house for approval before being sent to the president for signing.