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HRW: Burma Recruiting Child Soldiers


A human rights group says children as young as 10-years-old are forced to join Burma's armed forces.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says in a report issued Wednesday that the government gives recruiters cash and other incentives for each new recruit.

The report, "Sold to Be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma," says guerrilla groups also use child soldiers, but on a smaller scale.

The report came as sources said Burma has freed six more politicians imprisoned during last month's crackdown.

Earlier, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told reporters in Bangkok that it would be impossible to change Burma's "military regime" overnight. He said trying to do so would be counter-productive.

Kouchner has proposed the creation of an international fund to provide Burma economic incentives to embrace democracy.

He will travel to China on Wednesday to discuss Iran, Burma and human rights issues with officials in Beijing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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