(HRW) – Armed groups in Iraq affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have recruited boys and girls, Human Rights Watch said today. In two cases the armed groups abducted or seriously abused children who tried to leave their forces. The groups should urgently demobilize children, investigate abuses, pledge to end child recruitment, and appropriately penalize commanders who fail to do so. Human Rights Watch documented 29 cases in northern Iraq in which Kurdish and Yezidi children were recruited by two armed groups, the People’s Defense Forces (Hêzên Parastina Gel, or HPG) and the Shingal Resistance Units (Yekîneyên Berxwedana Şingal, or YBŞ). The HPG is the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is known by its initials, the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê). The YBŞ, a militia from the Yezidi religious community, is also affiliated with the PKK.