Child soldiers still recruited in Myanmar

2013-01-24 14:27
Child soldiers are still being recruited in Myanmar despite the nation's recent political reforms. (Soe Than Win, AFP)

Child soldiers are still being recruited in Myanmar despite the nation's recent political reforms. (Soe Than Win, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - Child soldiers are still being recruited in Myanmar despite the nation's recent political reforms, an advocacy group said on Wednesday, as it urged better monitoring of the powerful military.

In June Myanmar's government agreed to a plan with the United Nations to end the use of child soldiers, one of the persistent human rights violations that have brought international criticism of the nation formerly known as Burma.

Child Soldiers International, which carried out three research missions in Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand last year, said the army has since freed 42 children and that more could be released.

But the London-based group said that the army, border troops and rebel groups still used children, with the army facing internal pressure to increase its ranks and successful recruiters receiving bonuses or early leave.

"Military officers and informal recruiting agents continue to use intimidation, coercion and physical violence to obtain new recruits, including under-18’s," Child Soldiers International said in a report.

Children are also recruited by civilians or police, who find the youngsters on their way to school or in crowded parts of urban areas such as bus and rail stations and markets, the report said.

Punishment for recruiters


The group said it was difficult to put an exact number on the number of child soldiers due to the problem's nature. A UN report last year listed 243 complaints of underage recruitment in 2011, but Child Soldiers International said that figure likely represented only a fraction of the cases.

The group voiced hope that the Myanmar government's efforts to broker peace with ethnic rebels would result in agreements on eliminating the use of child soldiers.

The report recommended technical assistance to help Myanmar verify the ages of potential troops and the creation of a central database with information on all forces.

It also called on authorities to ensure punishment for recruiters who violate age standards. A UN task force should visit military sites where children may be present and engage in a dialogue with rebels on the issue, the report said.

One of the most notorious cases of child soldiers involved Johnny and Luther Htoo, who as 12-year-olds led a small group of Christian rebels from the ethnic Karen minority who believed the two brothers were impervious to bullets and landmines.

The boys, who are now in their early 20s, were photographed smoking cigarettes surrounded by followers with guns taller than the boys. They surrendered to Thai forces in 2001.

- SAPA
Read more on:    un  |  myanmar
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.