Fifty-one more children released by Myanmar army

04 June 2015
Fifty-one more children released by Myanmar army
A child of soldier of Myanmar Army stands on a platform as a convoy carrying journalists and diplomats visit in the Myanmar-China border town Laukkai, Myanmar on 08 September 2009. Photo: EPA

Fifty-one children and young people are being discharged from the Myanmar Armed Forces, known as the Tatmadaw, on 4 June 2015. This second batch of discharges for the year brings the total to 93 children discharged from the army since the beginning of 2015 according to a UN press release on 4 June.
The UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) on Grave Violations against Children commends the Myanmar government on this latest progress and continues to work in partnership with the government to completely end the involvement of children in armed conflict.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar and Co-Chair of the CTFMR, Ms. Renata Lok-Dessallien said, “Recognising that recruitment and use of underage children is against both international and Myanmar standards, we welcome the official discharge of the children, including those who were accused of desertion - and for not punishing them - as we formally recognize through today’s discharge that they should not have been in the army in the first place.”
In 2007, the Tatmadaw, as well as seven non-state armed groups in Myanmar, were named on the UN Secretary-General’s list of parties to conflict who recruit and use children. 
Since June 2012, when the Myanmar government committed to ending the recruitment and use of children in the its armed forces by signing a Joint Action Plan with the United Nations, 646 children have been released by the army.
Mr. Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative to Myanmar and Co-Chair of the CTFMR urged, “Reintegration of children formerly associated with the Tatmadaw requires long-term efforts and continued funding. UNICEF and its partners supports the Myanmar government’s commitment to ensuring its children are protected and have access to their basic rights.”