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UNICEF deplores mother and child deaths, family devastation in another landmine explosion

STATEMENT 

Yangon, 8 March 2017 – UNICEF Myanmar expresses deep sadness over the tragic deaths of a ten year-old boy and his mother, caused by an explosive weapon as they were collecting vegetables in Mansi Township, Kachin State. At this tragic moment, our thoughts go to the mother’s three remaining children, who are left orphans as their father had already passed away.

 

In at least nine States and Regions of Myanmar, landmines and Explosive Remnant of War (ERW) are left behind from armed conflict or placed intentionally, continuing to cause harm to vulnerable populations, especially children and women. 

 

In the past three years, at least 24 children have lost their lives and more than 89 have been severely injured from landmines and ERW. On an average basis in Myanmar, there have been reports of landmine incidents every five days, and one survivor out of three is a child. But in many instances they are not reported. 

                                             

UNICEF and partners are providing victim assistance needed support to landmine victims including to these three orphans in Mansi. Children injured by landmines often require dozen of prosthetic devices throughout their life, it is hence important to increase access to long-term and integrated victim assistance services along the necessity to do everything to reduce exposure to landmines. 

 

Mine Risk Education (MRE) efforts that have been initiated in 2016 by the Government and UNICEF partners have already reached 115,000 people. These efforts should be sustained and UNICEF calls for the integration of MRE in the school curriculum, especially in contaminated areas.

 

UNICEF also calls on all parties to immediately stop laying new landmines and the Myanmar Government to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Addressing the scourge of landmines must also be taking centre stage in the peace process and national strategies promoting sustainable development.

UNICEF in Myanmar 

UNICEF has been working with the Government and the people of Myanmar since 1950. In partnership with the Government and the civil society, UNICEF’s current focus of work aims at reducing child mortality, improving access and quality of education and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Myanmar. 

Please visit: https://www.unicef.org/myanmar. 

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unicefmyanmar

For more information contact:

Htet Htet Oo, Communication Officer, Advocacy, Partnerships and Communication Section, UNICEF Myanmar, 09250075238, hoo@unicef.org


 

 
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