Summary of concerns
Myanmar’s November 2015 Parliamentary election resulted in a sweeping victory for the National League of Democracy (NLD), generating hopes that the new NLD-led government will bring about a demonstrable improvement in the country’s human rights situation. Child Soldiers International has documented the widespread recruitment and use of children as soldiers in Myanmar for over a decade, and believes that the new government needs to make a renewed commitment to ensure that the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar military) becomes a child-free army.
Over the last six months, Child Soldiers International has found worrying evidence of child rights violations by the Chadian army, and non-compliance with child protection commitments by the Chadian authorities.
The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) is among seven non-state armed groups in Myanmar listed in the 2015 Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict as a party which recruits and uses children. The UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave violations against children has documented persistent recruitment and use of children by the KIA since 2007.
The following is a guest blog from ICRtoP member Child Soldiers International. Child Soldiers International works to end the military recruitment of children and their use in hostilities, as well as other human rights abuses resulting from their association with armed forces or groups. They promote the release of children, seek their successful return to civilian life, and call for accountability for those who recruit and use them.
Myanmar: Further steps needed to end army’s recruitment and use of children
Measures identified in the UN Joint Action Plan need to be urgently implemented
Children as young as 14 have been recruited and used by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN) and other armed groups operating in southern Thailand, research by Child Soldiers International and the Cross Cultural Foundation shows. The research was conducted in nine districts in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla between September 2013 and April 2014. Detailed interviews were conducted with 26 former and current members of armed groups, at least 13 of whom were recruited below the age of 18.
20 November 2014 – Twenty-five years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Child Soldiers International and the Jesuit Refugee Service remain concerned by widespread abuses committed against children by armed forces and armed groups. Although significant progress has been made to protect children from armed conflict in the DRC, there is still a long way to go to prevent the recruitment of children, improve assistance to former child soldiers, and end impunity.
London, 11 November, 2014 - The passing of legislation to criminalise underage recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces constitutes a significant step in protecting the rights of Afghan children, Child Soldiers International said today. Last week, the Afghan Lower House of Parliament approved the draft law which criminalises the recruitment and use of children in state security forces.
The US government is continuing to exercise pressure through the application of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) by granting partial waivers to some states in order to end their unlawful recruitment and use of children in conflict. In its 2014 Trafficking in Persons report, the US Department of State listed nine states, namely the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Chad, this year, does not figure in the list compiled by the US State Department.
(New York) – Over one hundred civil society groups from around the world issued the following statement today to urge the United Nations Security Council to approve a resolution to refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court:
We, the undersigned civil society groups, urge United Nations Security Council members to approve a draft resolution supported by a broad coalition of countries that would refer the situation in Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In 2013, the deployment of Chadian troops to Mali triggered intense international and national efforts to expedite the implementation of the Action Plan on children associated with armed forces and groups (the Action Plan). As a result, since May 2013 a significant number of reforms to end and prevent child recruitment in Chad have been implemented or initiated, including the criminalisation of child recruitment and use in hostilities in Chadian law.
London, 29 November 2013 - The Myanmar government should renew its commitment to take concrete measures to end the ongoing unlawful recruitment of children into its army Child Soldier International said, on the eve of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict’s visit to Myanmar. The visit offers an important opportunity for the Working Group to reiterate its August 2013 recommendations in its meetings with Myanmar government officials, leaders of armed opposition groups, and the donor and international community.
London, 11 October 2013—The Indian government should immediately take measures to end the involvement of children in situations of armed conflicts or protracted armed violence in India, Child Soldiers International said today.
LONDON, 26 July 2013 – Rwanda must promptly implement the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to prevent child recruitment and investigate all reports of child recruitment in its territory. It must also cease any support to the M23 armed group, known to recruit children and use them in hostilities in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Chad’s renewed commitment to implement the Action Plan must be accompanied by tangible actions and strong, sustained UN involvement
London, 25 June 2013
Alors que l’ONU s’apprête à déployer sa « Brigade d’intervention spéciale » en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), Child Soldiers International et ses partenaires à l’Est de la RDC rappellent que la protection des enfants doit constituer une priorité absolue pour les troupes de la future Brigade et celles qui les appuieront, et que celles-ci devraient être équipées en conséquence.
The international community should increase pressure on Chad to end child recruitment before it is allowed to contribute to the UN peacekeeping force in Mali
London, 13 May 2013
The Chadian government should take significant and meaningful steps to fully implement a 2011 Action Plan to end the recruitment of children before Chad is invited to contribute troops to the future UN peacekeeping force in Mali.
This briefing provides Child Soldiers International’s assessment of the implementation of the main commitments of the Chadian government's signed 2011 Action Plan. On the basis of this assessment, Child Soldiers International makes a series of recommendations to the Chadian government to adopt concrete measures to strengthen recruitment procedures, monitoring and accountability.
Deliver commitments to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers
[LONDON, 23 January 2013]
Despite moves towards political reform, children continue to be recruited and used as soldiers by armed forces and armed groups in Myanmar, a report published by Child Soldiers International said today.
The report “Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers” is published to mark the tenth anniversary year of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. It examines the record of states in protecting children from use in hostilities by their own forces and by state-allied armed groups. It finds that, while governments’ commitment to ending child soldier use is high, the gap between commitment and practice remains wide.