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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-07-10 15:40:21
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UN hails release of Myanmar child soldiers



(July 10, 2013) Myanmar has released 42 child soldiers from its armed forces, following pressure from the UN to accelerate efforts to eliminate the practice as the country emerges from military rule. Ashok Nigam, UN resident coordinator said: “We are very happy for the 42 children and their families, but we must accelerate efforts so that many more children benefit from release." "We expect the Tatmadaw - Myanmar army will now be in a position to speed up the release of all children," he added. According to the UN’s statement, 34 of those freed were under 18, while the remaining eight were young people who had been recruited as children. They had performed soldiering and other duties. For decades, the recruitment of child soldiers has been a persistent issue for the country’s armed forces, which remains engaged in fighting with a number of ethnic insurgent groups. 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”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, and the Myanmar military has failed to remove incentives to fulfill unit quotas that encourage child recruitment.
Source: UN




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