The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a local human rights-centered non-governmental organization, has claimed that the Iranian government is using “child soldiers” to disperse and suppress anti-government protests. According to the group, the government’s strategy, which includes arming troops aged 14-16 years with batons, air guns and clubs and ordering them to attack protesters, could breach international laws that forbid the use of underaged soldiers, the Guardian reports.

“It’s really a violation of international law. It’s no different than child soldiers, which is the custom in many zones of conflict,” the U.K.-based newspaper quotes Hadi Ghaemi, the group’s executive director. “They are being recruited into being part of the conflict and armed for it.”

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.