UNICEF statement on the death of a child and his parents and injury of four more children due to a landmine explosion in Rakhine State, Myanmar
YANGON 23 November 2020 – Last week, a child and his parents were killed when the car they were in drove over a landmine and was destroyed. The incident, which occurred on 17 November 2020 in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State also resulted in the injury of four children. UNICEF extends our thoughts and condolences to the families of the victims, to those injured and to all children caught up in conflict.
UNICEF is deeply concerned by the alarming increase in child deaths and injuries by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Myanmar. Between January and September 2020, 56 children were severely injured, and 13 children died from explosion of landmines and UXOs.
Children represent 35 per cent of casualties from landmine and UXO explosions countrywide and Rakhine State has the highest rate of child casualties with 47 per cent of the total. Between January and June 2020, 43 children were killed and 103 maimed as a direct result of the conflict in Myanmar. This is more than the total casualties of 2019 or 2018.
The safety and rights of children must be the primary consideration in all contexts. Landmines and UXOs often result in civilian casualties, with children the most vulnerable. Since children are smaller than adults, they are more likely to take the full impact of the blast and are therefore more likely to suffer death or serious injury.
UNICEF urges all parties to the conflict to stop laying mines and to clear existing mines and unexploded ordinance to ensure the safety of children caught up in conflict, and to uphold their right to protection.
UNICEF also urges the Government of Myanmar to facilitate access for the provision of emergency Mine Risk Education activities so that children and other community members receive psychosocial support and mine risk education in schools and communities in all conflict-affected areas of Myanmar.
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.