Policy

Child Soldier Global Report 2008

Optional Protocol: not signed

Other treaties ratified:

CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child. Also, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child)

 Under the 1993 Child Law, a child was anyone under the age of 16 and a youth was anyone over 16 and below 18. The law defined penalties for offences including the abuse and torture of children, and stated that “employing or permitting a child to perform work which is hazardous to the life of the child or which may cause disease to the child or which is harmful to the child’s moral character” was punishable by imprisonment of up to six months or a fine, or both (Section 65).[1]

A 21 September 2007 letter to the Child Soldiers Coalition from the Permanent Mission of Myanmar in Geneva stated that the Myanmar Defence Services Act and the War Office Council Directive did not allow a person under 18 to be enlisted. The letter further stated that forced conscription or compulsory recruitment was prohibited, and that determining the minimum age requirement for compulsory recruitment was therefore unnecessary.[2] However, in practice the Tatmadaw forcibly recruited both adults and children through intimidation, coercion and violence.[3]


[1] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of reports submitted by states parties under Article 44 of the Convention, Second periodic reports of states parties due in 1998, Myanmar, 11 June 2002, UN Doc. CRC/C/70/Add.21, 5 November 2003.

[2] Letter to the Child Soldiers Coalition from the Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations, Geneva, 21 September 2007.

[3] “Sold to be soldiers: the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Burma”, Human Rights Watch, Vol. 19, No. 15(C), October 2007.

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