UNICEF welcomes the release of 24 children in Myanmar, calls for acceleration of discharges
Yangon, Monday 18 February, 2013 - The Tatmadaw officially discharged 24 children in a ceremony in Yangon, attended by senior officials of the Tatmadaw, the Representative of UNICEF as co-chair of a UN Country Task Force on children and armed conflict, senior officials from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief, Rehabilitation and Resettlement and member agencies of the Country Task Force.
Myanmar is among 14 other countries - with armed forces or armed groups identified by the UN Secretary General as committing grave child rights violations - working together with the United Nations system to end grave violations against children in situations or armed conflict.
The CTFMR co-chair and UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Ashok Nigam, stated that "this release of 24 children is a welcome step in the implementation of the Action Plan by the Government and reflects its commitment that children should not, and will no longer, be recruited and used for military purposes. I call on the acceleration of the release of all children from the Tatmadaw and for the non-state armed groups to also do the same."
As awareness of the Action Plan increases among the Tatmadaw and the general public, and as the identification process rolls out across the rank and file of the Tatmadaw, many more children are expected to be released.
The Government’s continuing efforts to meet its obligations under this Action Plan, and to identify and release all children under 18 years of age in the Myanmar Armed Forces, signals its commitment to reform of its Armed Forces into an institution that is professional and respected on the world stage.
Under the Action Plan to end and prevent recruitment and use of children in the Tatmadaw, the Government has agreed to:
Security Council Resolution 1612, adopted in 2005, asked the UN Secretary-General to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism to provide timely and reliable information on six grave children’s rights violations, including the recruitment of children into armed forces.
*CTFMR – Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism of Grave Violations against children in situations of armed conflict – co-chaired by UNICEF and UN Resident Coordinator and membership includes: UNHCR, ILO, UNOCHA, UNDP, WFP, UNFPA, Save the Children, World Vision.
For more information, please contact:
Hagar Russ, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: +95-1-375527-32, firstname.lastname@example.org
Suleman Malik, Officer In Charge- Programme Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: +95-1-375527-32, email@example.com
Sandar Linn, Communication Officer, Programme Communication and Information Section, UNICEF Myanmar, Tel: +95-1-375527-32, firstname.lastname@example.org