2013-05-29 17:36:12

Myanmar failing to end recruitment of child soldiers

(May 29, 2013) A year after signing an agreement with the United Nations, Myanmar is failing to make significant progress towards ending recruitment of child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. The agreement with the UN, states that the national military and rebel groups would aim to end the mobilization of child soldiers by December. “Unless Myanmar - former Burma, kick-starts the process immediately, it will be too late to make good on its pledge,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, HRW. Myanmar’s reformist government agreed to register all children in its forces by November last year ,and release them from service by December. But the registration process is “far from complete”, HRW said, and the Myanmar military has failed to remove incentives to fulfil unit quotas that encourage child recruitment.
On at least four occasions, Myanmar’s armed forces have also refused UN access to military facilities. “ Myanmar’s army is not only dragging its feet in ending its use of child soldiers, but is also obstructing the UN from doing its job to verify its efforts,” said Becker. “On this basis alone the Security Council should hand the government a failing grade on its promised progress.”

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