UNICEF condemns killings and arbitrary detentions of children by security forces during ongoing crisis in Myanmar

At least five children reportedly killed, four severely wounded and 500 arbitrarily detained since protests began last month

04 March 2021

BANGKOK, 4 March 2021 – As the crisis in Myanmar escalates, the number of children killed, wounded or arbitrarily detained by security forces continues to grow. As of 3  March, at least five children and multiple young people and adults have reportedly been killed; at least four children have been severely wounded.

In addition to those killed or seriously wounded, many children are being exposed to harm from tear gas and stun grenades, and are witnessing horrific scenes of violence, in some cases directed against parents or family members, putting them at risk of severe psychosocial distress.

Arbitrary arrests and detentions of protestors, including children, are continuing to occur. UNICEF’s partners estimate that more than 500 children have been arbitrarily detained. Many of those arrested or detained are being held incommunicado, without access to legal counsel, in violation of their human rights.

UNICEF condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of force against children, including the use of live ammunition, and the arbitrary detention of children, and calls on security forces to immediately refrain from violence and to keep children and young people out of harm’s way.

UNICEF calls on all actors to uphold the best interests of the child, one of the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as a primary consideration. UNICEF reminds all actors of the obligation to uphold all children’s rights as enshrined in the CRC, and the Myanmar Child Rights Law enacted in 2019.

Our thoughts go to the families of the victims and to all children impacted by the current crisis.


At all times, children and young people should feel safe. Together with its partners, UNICEF is providing psychosocial support to children, parents, caregivers, and service providers to children through a counselling helpline, that operates in different local languages, and legal aid services for children arbitrarily detained by security forces.


For inquiries, please contact: Shima Islam, Regional Communication Specialist, ssislam@unicef.org


Media contacts

Shima Islam
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 (0)23569407


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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