Unprecedented Awareness Campaign on the Plan of Action to prevent and end the recruitment of children in the Tatmadaw
A nationwide public awareness raising campaign was officially launched on 19th November 2013 in Nay Pyi Taw to support the implementation of the 2012 Plan of Action to prevent and end the recruitment of children in the Tatmadaw, including a phone line where the public can report cases of recruitment of children. The launch was attended by Senior Tatmadaw Representatives, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for grave child rights violations (‘CTFMR’) as well as representatives from Ministries and Government Departments, including the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education as well as local NGOs.
This campaign is an unprecedented reiteration of the Government’s and the Tatmadaw’s commitment and readiness to prevent and end the recruitment of children and to identify children who are still serving in the Tatmadaw. Raising awareness of the general public is one of the commitments the Government included in the 2012 ‘Action Plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children by the Myanmar armed forces’ signed on 27 June 2012 between the Government and CTFMR . The CTFMR has been supporting the Government to address this grave child right violation. In his opening speech, Major-General Ngwe Thein reiterated the Tatmadaw’s strong commitment to preventing and ending the recruitment and use of children and expressed his appreciation for the CTFMR support. The chair of the CTFMR, Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNICEF Representative Mr. Bertrand Bainvel outlined the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action and stressed that this campaign is a another clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment towards addressing the issue of recruitment and use of children once and for all. He also added that this issue belonged to the past and that this campaign would send a strong signal that recruitment of children is not acceptable in Myanmar. He highlighted that it was key that the public knows about the current active identification process of children undertaken by the Tatmadaw and that the public can support this effort, in addition to knowing that there are no sanction for reporting cases.
The nation-wide campaign consists of billboards, stickers, posters, TV/newspaper and radio announcements disseminated by the General Administration Department (GAD), Ministry of Information, Ministry of Defence as well as other Government departments with the support of the CTFMR. TV advertisements are shown twice a day on national television and radio and newspaper announcements ensure nationwide reach, including in remote areas. Everyone in the public - parents, teachers, communities and children – need to know about this campaign, in order to be empowered to prevent and contribute to ending the recruitment of children. Anyone who knows about children who are still in the Tatmadaw can call this number: 09421166701, 09421166702. The phone lines, which are managed by World Vision on behalf of the CTFMR, are operational from 7am to 10pm every day.