The report said kids recruited by armed groups should be recognized primarily as victims who should be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.
The 52-page report, entitled “Everyone Must Confess’: Abuses against Children Suspected of ISIS Affiliation in Iraq,” criticised what it described as a deeply flawed screening process that often leads to detention and prosecution of children regardless of whether they have any involvement with IS, or the extent of that involvement.
It cites the case of a 17-year-old detainee, who said he worked at a restaurant in Mosul that served IS members, and believed that his name appeared on a “wanted” list because IS took his identification so he could be paid.
“What we see are extremely brief trials in the cases of these boys. Every single one of these trials proceeded solely on the basis of the confession that was produced by their interrogation, often with the use of torture,” Wille said.
“After the trial is done, usually in … five-minute or a 10-minute period, they receive their sentence and they return to prison.”