UN report reveals horrific abuse by ISIS militants.
Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are using children as suicide bombers and human shields, according to a UN watchdog.
These children include those with mental health problems, UK daily The Independent reported.
A report published by the watchdog on Wednesday said the militants were selling abducted children as sex slaves and killing others, including by crucifixion and by burying them alive.
Children from minority communities were particularly vulnerable, the report said.
Ms Renate Winter, an expert in the UN watchdog, told Reuters: "We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding.
"There was a video placed online that showed children at a very young age, approximately eight years of age and younger, to be trained already to become child soldiers."
Ms Winter, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, was one of 18 independent experts who helped compile the report that revealed a stark and widespread abuse of children in areas controlled by the militants.
"It is a huge, huge, problem," she told reporters in Geneva. "We are really deeply concerned about the torture and murder of those children, especially those belonging to minorities, but not only from minorities."
She said those communities particularly vulnerable to abuse by the Sunni extremist militants included Yazidis, Christians and Shi'ite Muslims. But Sunnis had also been victims, she added.
The report, which reviewed Iraq's treatment of children for the first time since 1998, drew attention to what it said was the "systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities by ISIS.
These include several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as "reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive".
This article was first published on Feb 06, 2015.
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