All boys and girls have the right to be protected from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Childhood only comes once, and what happens in early life can have enormous effects on a child’s future.
Children can experience serious harms at home, in their families, in schools, care and justice systems, workplaces and communities. Violence, abuse and neglect cut across age, sex, religion and class. Children may be affected whether their families are rich or poor. Still, inequality plays a role. Children who are poor and marginalized often struggle more to access services that can help prevent violations or provide remedies. Children living in conflict and emergency situations when normal social systems are under stress are also particularly vulnerable.
Violence, exploitation and abuse can affect a child’s physical and mental health in the short and longer terms.
Child vulnerability is closely linked with poverty and precarity. In Myanmar, close to half of all children aged 5 – 15 live in poor households, data shows. Almost 1.2 million children in this age group are working, often in hazardous conditions. Around 600,000 children live in institutions.
In Myanmar, important gains have been made to improve children’s rights, yet serious concerns over child protection remain. Children who are working at a young age, are living in institutions, are in contact with the law, or who are caught up in conflict situations and natural disasters are especially in need of protection.