The armed separatist group “Polisario” has come under intense scrutiny for recruiting children from the Tindouf camps in southwestern Algeria. This issue was vehemently denounced during the regular session of the UN’s Committee of 24, held from June 11 to 21 in New York.

Aabidine El Ouali, president of the “African Forum for Research Studies in Human Rights,” highlighted the systematic and repeated human rights violations occurring on Algerian soil by the separatist movement’s leaders. He emphasized that the involvement of children in armed conflicts by Polisario constitutes a blatant violation of international law and the Paris Principles. Numerous non-governmental organizations and media outlets have sounded the alarm over these practices, which trample on the most basic rights of children.

From a very young age, these children are subjected to indoctrination in military centers and exposed to the destructive ideologies of hatred and violence, El Ouali explained. He stressed that it is high time for the international community to act decisively to end these criminal practices and hold the responsible parties accountable.

El Ouali pointed out that Algeria bears the primary responsibility for these violations carried out on its territory by a separatist group it shelters, finances, and arms. He underscored that the Tindouf camps are the epicenter of child soldier exploitation, and such atrocities cannot be tolerated.

Furthermore, El Ouali called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be allowed to register and document the populations in the Tindouf camps to provide a clearer picture of the situation.