‘We want to be in school, safe from harm and to fulfil our potential.’
NAY PYI TAW, 20 November 2018 – For the first time in Myanmar, on World Children’s Day, children and adolescents represented by 100 U Reporters from across the country, took over the Union Parliament to engage with more than 300 Parliamentarians on how to build Myanmar for children with children. Together with the Union Parliament, UNICEF and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement supported the U-Reporters to present the most pressing issues for children and adolescents, based on the results of U-Report polls during 2018.
“To realise the hopes and aspirations of children, we have the responsibility to hear their concerns and challenges,” said U T Khun Myat, Speaker of the Union Parliament. “Together, let us ensure that every child is healthy, safe, educated and able to achieve their potential.”
“World Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational moment to reflect on the values and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to enter into dialogue about concrete actions we can all take to further children’s rights,” said Ms June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative to Myanmar.
Some of the key recommendations proposed by children and adolescents include:
- “Government should support parents to send their children to school and provide non-formal education nation-wide to support out-of-school children and adolescents.”
- “Government should establish safe spaces and trained professionals where young victims of violence can receive support.”
- “Adolescents and young people should be encouraged to contribute to fostering social cohesion among neighbourhoods and communities in Myanmar.”
“You are reminding us of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which guarantees all children and young people the right to freely express their views on all matters affecting them. UNICEF will continue to engage with you and provide opportunities together with the Government and other partners for your voices to be considered,” Ms Kunugi told the young U-Reporters.
Myanmar ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991 and enacted the Child Law in 1993. Recognising the gaps in the current Child Law, the Government has introduced the Child Rights Bill-currently with the Myanmar Parliament for review.
“Adults should look after the well-being of children including their survival, development and participation in matters concerning their future. Let us listen to children and adolescents to collectively build a brighter future for them,” concluded Dr Win Myat Aye, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.
After an in-depth discussion with the U-Reporters, Members of the Union Parliament pledged to build a Myanmar for children by re-committing to recognise, protect and promote children’s rights.
U-Report is an innovative social messaging tool allowing adolescents and young people from communities across Myanmar, to speak out and respond to polls on the issues that matter to them. U-Report was launched in Myanmar in August 2016. Already more than 20,000 U-Reporters have registered through Facebook.
Poll questions on a wide range of development topics are asked to U-Reporters every week, providing a deep source of real-time information on the views and opinions of adolescents and young people in Myanmar. The platform provides decision makers with a forum to listen to many voices across the country, giving them a unique insight into the challenges that affect young people in Myanmar.
To join U-Report go to https://www.facebook.com/UReportMyanmar/
To access and utilize U-report poll results go to https://myanmar.ureport.in/
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: