Special Report On Child Terrorists and Violent Extremism in Afghanistan

Research & Reports

We are here today to discuss child terrorism in Afghanistan. The number of children used as terrorists in Afghanistan is surging each year. Historically, political and religious groups around the world have used children for fighting. But now, terror organizations like ISIS, the Taliban, and Boko Haram are using children as suicide bombers, fighters, and spies. In some parts of Afghanistan, families send their children to madrasas in Pakistan for religious studies where they become easy targets for terrorist recruiters. Preventing terrorist groups from using force and hateful propaganda to brainwash and recruit children is imperative.

Our organization, Rise to Peace, leverages education as a tool to eradicate youth extremism. We invite you to support our organization because we believe in what we do and our ability to make a difference. Before we get to the discussion of the issue, I want to first introduce you to Rise to Peace’s Interview Project. We interview children who are former terrorists and use their voices to enhance our understanding of child extremism as it exists today, and as an inoculation against future recruitment. In addition to interviews, we hold annual symposiums wherein
experts share their insights, helping citizens and government leaders alike better understand this problem. Rise to Peace aims to educate and cooperate with the public, the government and the international community to create an effective policy to halt youth terrorism. The phenomenon will continue to threaten the Afghan and U.S. governments and the world unless we do something to stop it. It is crucial that we act now. The child terrorist’s rise in Afghanistan has its roots in shortcomings related to security, poverty, and education.