In September 2007 the SPDC established a Working Group for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Underage Children, which engaged at a working level with the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (established by the UN country team). In addition, two government task forces were set up to address monitoring and reporting and the rehabilitation and reintegration of children released from the armed forces.[1]

An unknown number of former child soldiers continued to flee to Thailand after escaping from the Tatmadaw. Some were in refugee camps and some joined the Burmese migrant worker community

The International Labor Organization has, for the past five years, engaged in negotiations with the Myanmar government to formulate a plan of action under Security Council Resolution 1612. The resolution, adopted by the Security Council in 2005, established a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the use of child soldiers.

“With the holding of the elections and the establishment of the new government, the situation has been markedly different with government representatives, military and civilian, prepared to address all elements of the issue culminating in the signing of an agreed plan of action in June of this year, ” explained Steve Marshall, information officer at the ILO.

“Intensive discussions are now underway and are progressing positively on protocols for its implementation.”

The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ILO and the Myanmar government pledges to work towards elimination of all forced labour, including under-age recruitment, by 2015.

Long-term preventative measures are integral elements of both the Security Council resolution and the ILO action plan.

Marshall is confident that the cycle of recruitment can be broken through “extensive educational/awareness raising programs targeted at military personnel, civilian government personnel and the general public”.

Burma Releases 42 Child Soldiers, Vows to End Practice

September 05, 2012

The Burmese military has released 42 child soldiers from its ranks, as part of efforts to end the recruitment of underage fighters in the Southeast Asian country.

The state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper says army officials handed the children over to their parents and guardians at a ceremony in Rangoon on Monday.

The newspaper says Burmese officials also have vowed to rid the armed forces of all child soldiers within 18 months, in accordance with a United Nations agreement signed in June.

Obama offers praise, pressure on historic Myanmar trip

November 19, 2012

Barack Obama became the first American president to visit Myanmar on Monday, using a six-hour trip to balance U.S. praise for the government’s progress in shaking off military rule with pressure to complete the process of democratic reform.

Go back to Myanmar and Testimonials

See more information about Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of Congo

[1] Child Soldier Global Report 2008; Myanmar

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