Children of Myanmar Still Victims of Grave Violations Despite Measures to End Recruitment and Use

The United Nations Secretary-General, in his fourth report on the impact of armed conflict on children in Myanmar, documents progress in the Government of Myanmar’s efforts to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, but notes that on-going clashes and the recent wave of violence in Rakhine add to the plight of conflict affected children in the country.

“Recent violence, especially in the northern and western parts of the country, are putting the children of Myanmar at greater risk of being used and abused by parties to conflict, while jeopardizing the progress made in the past years to end the recruitment and use of children,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba highlighted.

Although the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) signed on 15 October 2015 between the Government and eight armed groups was a landmark in the peace process, grave violations were still registered during the reporting period, with recruitment and use being by far the most documented violation, followed by killing and maiming.

Cases of recruitment and use by the Myanmar Armed Forces/Tatmadaw have decreased over the reporting period, with 856 cases verified by the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR). The 2014 establishment of a tripartite mechanism involving the CTFMR and the Ministries of Immigration and Defense accelerated the verification process of children associated with the Tatmadaw, leading to the release of more than 849 children and young people between February 2013 and January 2017.

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