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Children and armed conflict

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Watchlist Action - Myanmar (Burma)
Date of publication: 01 May 2013
Description/subject: Press Releases and Other Documents and updates from 2007...includes links to Security Council material
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Child Soldiers International
Description/subject: Child Soldiers International, formerly Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers...Search for Myanmar - the structured search at the left has more options than the one at the bottom. Also try pasting Myanmar site:child-soldiers.org into a Google search box
Language: English
Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Description/subject: Click on Myanmar in the drop-down Countries list, or use the Alternate URL
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/myanmar/
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


Individual Documents

Title: Child rights in Myanmar: preventing recruitment and use of children by the Myanmar armed forces
Date of publication: December 2014
Description/subject: "From 17-31 October 2014, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict conducted a field mission to Myanmar. In partnership with UNICEF, Watchlist trained staff of UN agencies, as well as international and national NGOs, on the UN-led 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM). The mission took place amidst ongoing negotiations between the 1612 Country Taskforce on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR), and the Government of Myanmar, on a work plan on the implementation of the June 2012 Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by the Myanmar Armed Forces, also known as the Tatmadaw, including the Border Guard Forces (BGF)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2014


Title: Extract on Myanmar from: "Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General", 15 May 2014.
Date of publication: 15 May 2014
Description/subject: Extract on Myanmar from: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General , 15 May 2014. General Assembly document (A/68/878), Security Council document (S/2014/339)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: pdf (75K-extract; 232K-full report)
Alternate URLs: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/68/878
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2014


Title: Children and armed conflict: Security Council debate on children and armed conflict, June 2013
Date of publication: June 2013
Description/subject: "Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict recommends that delegations participating in the 2013 Security Council debate on children and armed conflict urge the Security Council to commit to the following actions to strengthen implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: pdf (810K)
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013


Title: Myanmar Progresses Towards Armed Forces Without Children
Date of publication: 20 May 2013
Description/subject: "New York, 20 May 2013 – Myanmar is making progress towards the realization of its commitment to end the recruitment and use of children in its armed forces. “The signature of an action plan in June 2012 was a major breakthrough and I commend the Government of Myanmar for taking important steps to better protect children,“ said Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. The action plan signed by Myanmar with the United Nations set a timetable for the release and reintegration of children associated with the Tatmadaw, the country’s national army armed forces. The Government also committed to put in place measures preventing future recruitment of underage soldiers. In a report providing information on grave violations against children in Myanmar between April 2009 and January 2013, the Secretary-General noted that children continued to be recruited in the Tatmadaw, but that following the signature of the action plan, the number of new cases of recruitment has decreased..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


Title: Briefing on the situation of underage recruitment and use by armed forces and groups in Myanmar
Date of publication: 15 May 2013
Description/subject: "Nearly a decade since international engagement on the issue first began and despite the signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN in June 2012, children continue to be present in the ranks of the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces, as well as armed opposition groups. Nearly a decade since international engagement on the issue first began and despite the signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN in June 2012, children continue to be present in the ranks of the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces (BGFs), as well as armed opposition groups. Some children have been released from the Tatmadaw Kyi but no programs are currently in place to verify the presence of children in the BGFs which function under the command of Tatmadaw Kyi. Research conducted by Child Soldiers International shows that a persistent emphasis on increasing troop numbers - accompanied by corruption, weak oversight and impunity - has historically led to high rates of child recruitment in the Tatmadaw Kyi. An absence of effective, national monitoring mechanisms coupled with significant legal and practical obstacles to hold military personnel criminally accountable for underage recruitment are other factors which contribute to the practice. A system of an incentive-based quota system in the Myanmar military continues to drive the demand for fresh recruits and contributes to underage recruitment which is often coerced In this briefing, Child Soldiers International makes recommendations to the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which, after nearly four years, is considering the issue of child soldiers in Myanmar..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
Format/size: pdf (235K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.child-soldiers.org/research_report_reader.php?id=663
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013


Title: Chance for Change - Ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Myanmar
Date of publication: 23 January 2013
Description/subject: "This report shows that despite nearly a decade of international engagement and the June 2012 signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN, children continue to be recruited and used as soldiers by the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces (BGFs) in the country. Some releases of children have taken place from the Tatmadaw Kyi but as yet no programs are in place to verify the presence of children in BGFs. Children are also formally and informally associated with the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), two armed groups on which research has been conducted for this report. The report recommends that international assistance provided to Myanmar needs to mainstream the prevention of recruitment of children and their use in hostilities by ensuring that recruitment procedures used by the Myanmar army and the BGF are strengthened and effective age verification measures introduced. The report urges the Myanmar Peace Centre (set up by the government with the support of the international community) to ensure that protection of children is made an integral part of on-going negotiations with armed groups. Independent access by the UN and other agencies is vital to ensure the verification and release of children from the ranks of the groups."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
Format/size: pdf (936K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.child-soldiers.org
Date of entry/update: 28 January 2013


Title: Meeting Myanmar's former child soldiers
Date of publication: 04 August 2012
Description/subject: "Teenagers continue to serve in both the state military and armed groups, despite new approach by country's leaders...Myat Win, a 19-year-old former child soldier, says he was forcibly conscripted into the Myanmar military, taken off a street by a pair of policemen at the tender age of 15 and sent to an army traning centre under deceitful promises, and without the knowledge of his family. According to numerous reports by human rights organisations, many other children of Myanmar have shared Myat Win's fate, while many more may have lost either their futures or their lives upon being forcibly conscripted into the state armed forces. Additionally, an unknown number of child soldiers continue to serve in non-state armed groups, thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle of violence. IN VIDEO Watch Myanmar's former child soldiers tell their own stories Those underage combatants who manage to escape the clutches of their army commanders often cross through the porous border to Thailand. They seek refuge in "safe houses", faced with little choice between being caught by Thai authorities and sent back to succumb to the will of their troop leaders, or living in secrecy without an identity or recourse..."
Author/creator: Preethi Nallu
Language: English
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


Title: Men at 15 - The child soldiers of Myanmar (video)
Date of publication: 04 August 2012
Description/subject: "Under-age combatants - especially those who escaped after being forced to serve in the state armed forces - are currently unable to return home due to a combination of ostracism, the risk of being caught by authorities and a lack of legal protection under domestic laws. At the same time, they are reportedly afforded neither refugee nor asylum seeker status in Thailand because of their "combatant" backgrounds. In the absence of clear international and domestic mechanisms, many former child soldiers remain pariahs, awaiting a better future while confined to safe houses without a legitimate status or legal identity. These former child soldiers claim they were forcibly conscripted by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The testimonies were collected in late 2011. Since then, significant changes have reportedly taken place, in terms of the attitude of the new administration, unprecedented levels of cooperation with UN agencies in initiating comprehensive plans to "dismantle" under-age recruitment, and the returning home of current child soldiers. Meanwhile, comprehensive peace talks between 11 different ethnic groups and the government have yielded tangible results, albeit without a full resolution of conflict issues. To further complicate legislation, according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, "state parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities". The optional protocol to the convention calls for all parties to conflict to take "all feasible measures in order that children who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces". Neither convention calls for absolute measures to end conflict, instead resorting to the term "feasible". Also, children who are between 15 and 18 years old are not fully protected, even if under-aged..."
Author/creator: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
Language: Burmese audio, English subtitles
Source/publisher: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


Title: Myanmar's former child soldiers speak out (text and video)
Date of publication: 04 August 2012
Description/subject: Three child soldiers and a former Myanmar Army battalion commander describe the treatment of under-age fighters....Hiding with or joining the rebels, fleeing to Thailand or remaining on the run, the fates of Myanmar's former child soldiers differ greatly, though trauma and suffering haunt them all. Under-age combatants - especially those who escaped after being forced to serve in the state armed forces - are currently unable to return home due to a combination of ostracism, the risk of being caught by authorities and a lack of legal protection under domestic laws. At the same time, they are reportedly afforded neither refugee nor asylum seeker status in Thailand because of their "combatant" backgrounds. In the absence of clear international and domestic mechanisms, many former child soldiers remain pariahs, awaiting a better future while confined to safe houses without a legitimate status or legal identity. These former child soldiers claim they were forcibly conscripted by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The testimonies were collected in late 2011. Since then, significant changes have reportedly taken place, in terms of the attitude of the new administration, unprecedented levels of cooperation with UN agencies in initiating comprehensive plans to "dismantle" under-age recruitment, and the returning home of current child soldiers. Meanwhile, comprehensive peace talks between 11 different ethnic groups and the government have yielded tangible results, albeit without a full resolution of conflict issues..."
Author/creator: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (audio); English (text and sub-titles)
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html and Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, December 2011
Date of publication: 16 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 40-year-old Buddhist monk, Saw T---, who is a former member of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Border Guard, who described activities pertaining to Border Guard Battalion #1013 based at K'Hsaw Wah, Papun District. Saw T--- described human rights abuses including the forced conscription of child soldiers, or the forcing to hire someone in their place, costing 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74). This report also describes the use of landmines by the Border Guard, and how villagers are forced to carry them while acting as porters. Also mentioned, is the on-going theft of villagers money and livestock by the Border Guard, as well as the forced labour of villagers in order to build army camps and the transportation of materials to the camps; the stealing of villagers' livestock after failing to provide villagers to serve as forced labour, is also mentioned. Saw T--- provides information on the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Border Guard, describing how villagers are forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the Border Guard, do not receive treatment when they are sick, are not allowed to visit their families, nor allowed to resign voluntarily. Saw T--- described how, on one occasion a deserter's elderly father was forced to fill his position until the soldier returned. Saw T--- also mentions the hierarchical payment structure, the use of drugs within the border guard and the training, which he underwent before joining the Border Guard. Concerns are also raised by Saw T--- to the community member who wrote this report, about his own safety and his fear of returning to his home in Papun, as he feels he will be killed, having become a deserter himself as of October 2nd 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (331K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b63.html
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


Title: Expanding Accountability Options for Grave Violations: KHRG statement to the UN Security Council, July 9th 2012
Date of publication: 09 July 2012
Description/subject: "This paper contains the full text of a five-minute statement delivered by KHRG's Field Director Saw Albert to the UN Security Council during an Arria formula meeting in New York City on July 9th 2012. KHRG's presentation was framed by the Action Plan signed by the Government of Myanmar in Yangon on June 27th 2012 to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers by Tatmadaw armed forces by 2014. During this statement, KHRG stressed the need for a responsive and accessible accountability mechanism for grave violations perpetrated against children in armed conflict that prioritises local perspectives and addresses existing impunity for perpetrators. In acknowledging that international leverage can help create space for communities' own protection strategies and ability to hold perpetrators to account, KHRG also urges support for the development of strong domestic legal frameworks and institutions that will contribute to accountability at the local level."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (231K) , html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c2.html
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


Title: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (extract on Myanmar)
Date of publication: 26 April 2012
Description/subject: "...Children continued to be recruited by the Tatmadaw. The majority of underage recruits interviewed after release stated that their recruiter had not asked their age, or had falsified age documentation for presentation at the recruitment centre. Reports continued to indicate that, in addition to children who were formally recruited into the Tatmadaw, children were also used by the Tatmadaw for forced labour, including as porters. In Kachin State, there were verified reports in late 2011 of children being used by the Tatmadaw alongside adults as porters on the front line. 69. Reports of recruitment and use of children by non-State actors in Myanmar also continued to be received. In 2010, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) split into two factions, with the majority joining the Tatmadaw as a border guard force, and the remainder allying itself with the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA). In 2011, with respect to both the DKBA border guard force and the separatist DKBA troops, reports were received of forced recruitment of children, unless payment in lieu of recruitment was received. The country task forces on monitoring and reporting was able to verify this practice in Kayin State, Ta Nay Cha and Thandaunggyi townships, in April and August 2011. Reports of increased recruitment by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) were also received in the second half of 2011, as tensions mounted in Kachin and northern Shan State. The country task force also received allegations of children joining KIA purportedly to avoid being used by the Tatmadaw as porters on the front line. The country task force also confirmed one report of a 15-year-old boy recruited by the Kachin Defense Army (KDA) in northern Shan State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations (A/66/782–S/2012/261)
Format/size: pdf (76K-extract); 402K - full report
Alternate URLs: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/320/83/PDF/N1232083.pdf?OpenElement
http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/myanmar/
http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/A66782.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


Title: Myanmar - Summary by United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Date of publication: 26 April 2012
Description/subject: Myanmar: The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/66/782-S/2012/261) issued on 26 April 2012... "The number of complaints of underage recruitment, including children under 15 years of age, continued to rise, from 194 in 2010 to 243 in 2011, reflecting an increased awareness of the age of recruitment by the Tatmadaw, and the existence of reliable vetting mechanisms, including the International Labour Organization forced labour complaints mechanism and community-based structures for complaints about underage recruitment. The Committee for the Prevention of Recruitment of Underage Children in Myanmar received more complaints than in previous years as a result of its extensive public awareness campaign. The vast majority of complaints in 2011 reflected recruitment in Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy and Mandalay regions. Children continued to be recruited by the Tatmadaw. The majority of underage recruits interviewed after release stated that their recruiter had not asked their age, or had falsified age documentation for presentation at the recruitment centre. Reports continued to indicate that, in addition to children who were formally recruited into the Tatmadaw, children were also used by the Tatmadaw for forced labour, including as porters. In Kachin State, there were verified reports in late 2011 of children being used by the Tatmadaw alongside adults as porters on the front line..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


Title: Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage: An assessment of grave violations of children’s rights in conflict zones of southern Burma
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: "Research by the Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP) has demonstrated that grave violations of children’s rights continue to occur in southern Burma despite the creation, by the United Nations, of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) pursuant to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict passed in 2005. The Burmese government has failed to meet the time-bound action plan under Resolution 1612, demonstrated by the fact that WCRP researchers found numerous accounts of ‘grave violations’ under United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1612 on children and armed conflict. These violations, committed by Burmese soldiers against children in southern Burma, include recruitment of child soldiers, killing and maiming, rape and sexual abuse, and forced labor. Though the Burmese government agreed to the implementation of a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM), pursuant to Resolution 1612, to report on instances of these grave violations, WCRP has found that abuses have continued unabated since 2005. The data detailed below provide evidence of widespread and systematic abuses, the vast majority of which were committed by soldiers from the Tatmadaw, the Burmese military. These confirmed cases of grave violations, taken from just 15 villages in two townships, committed over a period of 5 years, suggest that the Burmese government has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to protect children during situations of armed conflict. Limitations imposed by the Burmese government on the UN country team has made it difficult for them to receive, or verify, accounts of grave violations, in turn preventing the MRM from making a noticeable impact on the continued widespread abuse of children in southern Burma. WCRP’s data strongly suggests that the real numbers of abuses against children is vastly greater than officially recognized. Additionally, despite the fact that WCRP’s primary research covered only the period from 2005 through November 2010, recent updated reports suggest that all of the violations documented by WCRP have continued to occur over the course of the past year. Despite the political changes that may be underway in Naypyidaw, children in areas where armed conflict is ongoing continue to suffer grave violations. Thus, the international community must take further action to ensure that the MRM can effectively protect the rights of Burma’s children and realize the objective put forth in Resolution 1612, an end to the grave violations of children’s rights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB - OBL version; 2.1MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/archives/2182
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2012


Title: Forced recruitment, forced labour: interviews with DKBA deserters and escaped porters
Date of publication: 13 November 2009
Description/subject: "...This news bulletin provides the transcripts of eight interviews conducted with six soldiers and two porters who recently fled after being conscripted by the DKBA. These interviews confirm widespread reports that the DKBA has been forcibly recruiting villagers as it attempts to increase troop strength as part of a transformation into a government Border Guard Force in advance of the 2010 elections. The interviews also offer further confirmation that the DKBA continues to use children as soldiers and porters in front-line conflict areas. Three of the victims interviewed by KHRG are teenage boys; the youngest was just 13 when he was forced to join the DKBA..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2009-B11)
Format/size: pdf (629 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09b11.html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009


Title: Forced recruitment of child soldiers: An interview with two DKBA deserters (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 25 August 2009
Description/subject: "Over the past year, forced recruitment by the DKBA has seen a marked increase as the group has intensified attacks on the KNU/KNLA while also preparing to become a "Border Guard Force" under at least partial command by the SPDC army. Struggling to find sufficient numbers of volunteer soldiers, the DKBA has been ordering villages to provide recruits or pay large sums to hire substitutes. Villagers have also been arrested and forced to enlist, or pay to avoid conscription. The following report includes testimony from two teenage boys, aged 17 and 19, who were detained while working on a farm near their village in Pa'an District, forcibly recruited into the DKBA and taken to a military training camp in Shwe Gko Gkoh, southeastern Pa'an District. On July 20th 2009, just one month after they were initially seized, the boys deserted. Three days later they were interviewed by KHRG.
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (413K - English; 433K - Burmese), html (English)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg09b9_karen_language.pdf (Burmese)
http://khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09b9.html
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


Title: Child Soldiers: Burma's Sons of Sorrow
Date of publication: 22 July 2009
Description/subject: "Since 1988 because of the Burmese peoples' unwillingness to engage in military actions against its own people and their desire for democracy The Burmese Military government has widely used a policy of forcible recruitment into its army. In order to achieve its purposes The Burmese Military Government also committed itself to recruiting under age children to employ as Child Soldiers. Despite evidence to the contrary, the military government of Burma, The State Peace and Development Committee (The SPDC) has always denied and still continues to deny the recruitment of under age soldiers into their army. It retorts that these accusations are the deceptions and lies of western nations and border based Human Rights organizations. In 2003 The Human Rights Watch Report disclosed that there were approximately 70,000 under age soldiers in The Burmese Army. The world now was aware of and recognized the extent of the problem of the forcible recruitment of children and their deployment in military actions by The Burmese Army. Following The Report The United Nations forced the military government of Burma into agreeing to cooperate on the issue and on January 5th 2005 The UN organized A Committee for The Protection of The Recruitment of Child Soldiers. The Committee was namely formed but has been totally ineffective in its actions and the widespread recruitment and deployment of Child Soldiers in military operations still continues today unabated, as this report and the children who have fled The SPDC's Army and arrived at organizations along Burma's borders clearly shows. The UN Commissioner of Children of Children Affairs in Armed Conflicts was sent as a delegate to reach agreement between The UN and The SPDC on the issue but in order to meet The SPDC's need for an annual increase in the size of its army children are being forcibly recruited by any means available. It is a child human trafficking market based upon hunger, fear and the greed for money. For a period of nine(9) months from January to September 2008 our news agency YOMA 3 thoroughly investigated and reported on the forcible recruitment of children and their deployment in military actions by The Burmese Army. The main intention of this report is to provide conclusive evidence to The UN and Human Rights Groups on the continual widespread recruitment of Child Soldiers in Burma and their deployment in military operations. It reveals the methods that are used to The SPDC to carry it out. By again highlighting it as an issue it is hoped it will be totally eradicated. Furthermore it hopes the world community and The UN will bring to account, prosecute and appropriately punish The SPDC and those responsible for their hineous crimes agaist children and humanity."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Yoma3 News Service
Format/size: pdf (4.6MB (reduced, for Acrobat 7.0 onwards); 7.31MB (original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.yoma3.org/bookmark/CSreport/Yoma3CSreport220709.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 July 2009


Title: Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar
Date of publication: 01 June 2009
Description/subject: Summary: "The present report, which has been prepared pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), covers the period from 1 October 2007 to 31 March 2009 and is the second report on children and armed conflict in Myanmar to be presented to the Security Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The report provides information on the grave violations against children in Myanmar and identifies State and non-State parties to the conflict responsible for such violations. It highlights the fact that United Nations agencies and its partners in Myanmar remain constrained by the absence of an agreed action plan and access and security impediments which present a challenge for effective monitoring and reporting efforts, and for the provision of a comprehensive account of grave violations being perpetrated by a range of armed forces and groups in Myanmar. The report notes various levels of contact and some progress in establishing child protection dialogue between the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the United Nations country team, the country task force and the Government, as well as some ceasefire groups. It also recognizes several important ongoing initiatives by the Government of Myanmar to address the issue of underage recruitment into military service since my first report and pursuant to Security Council Working Group conclusions, including actions to discharge underage children, and training and awareness-raising activities for military personnel on international and national law on the prevention of recruitment of children. The report stresses the need for the Governments concerned to facilitate dialogue between the United Nations and the Karen National Union and Karenni National Progressive Party for the purposes of signing an action plan in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005), following their initial deeds of commitment. Finally, the report contains a series of recommendations aimed at securing strengthened action for the protection of children in Myanmar."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Security Council (S/2009/278)
Format/size: pdf (107K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/UNSC-Children_and_armed_conflict_in_Myanmar.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 June 2009


Title: No More Denial: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in Myanmar (Burma)
Date of publication: May 2009
Description/subject: "In the midst of Myanmar’s enduring political and socioeconomic turmoil, thousands of children also experience the devastating consequences of protracted armed conflict in parts of the country. For decades Myanmar Armed Forces and associated armed groups have engaged in low-level armed conflict with opposing non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in parts of Kayin (Karen), Kayah (Karenni), Shan, Mon and Chin States. Even in so-called ‘ceasefire areas,’ some NSAGs have retained their arms and in some cases acting as proxy forces of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), wreaking havoc on children and their communities. The high occurrence and brutality of reported human and child rights violations makes it impossible to deny that Myanmar Armed Forces and NSAGs commit grave violations against children in Myanmar’s armed conflict. The SPDC must no longer deny these children access to sufficient and lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Finally, the UN Security Council and the international community must not deny the urgency of protecting children from violence, maltreatment and abuse in Myanmar’s ongoing armed conflict..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://watchlist.org/reports/pdf/myanmar/myanmar_english_summary.pdf
http://watchlist.org/reports/pdf/myanmar/myanmar_summary_burmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 May 2009


Title: FORGOTTEN FUTURE: CHILDREN AFFECTED BY ARMED CONFLICT IN BURMA
Date of publication: September 2008
Description/subject: "...Yan Aung’s childhood ended prematurely. When he was 11 years old he was abducted by two soldiers and forced to join the Tatmadaw, Burma’s armed forces. Although he had no interest in serving in the army, he had to sign a prepared statement af"rming that he had voluntarily enlisted and that he was 18 years old at the time. The year Yan Aung should have completed the fourth grade, he attended basic training at the Pinlaung military training facility. He went on to serve as a private with Light Infantry Battalion No. 135 under the supervision of Captain Aung Aung. At the age of 13 he was sent to Kaingtaung in Southern Shan State to train as a corporal. Shortly after, Yan Aung was sent to Mawchee Township in Karenni State where, under the direction of Major Aung Naing Soe, he took part in an attack against the Karenni Army (KA), the armed faction of the Karenni National Peoples Party (KNPP). During the battle Yan Aung’s friend and fellow child soldier, a 15 yearold boy by the name of Tin Re, was shot and killed right in front of him. After "ve consecutive stints on the frontlines of Burma’s civil war, Yan Aung managed to escape to Thailand. However, along with abandoning military life he also left behind his family and friends. Now he is a refugee, living along the Thai-Burma border. He is 17 years old...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)
Format/size: pdf (1.34MB;10.87MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.emergencyburma.org/images/CHILDREN%20AND%20ARMED%20img.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009


Title: Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar
Date of publication: 16 November 2007
Description/subject: Summary: "The present report has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1612 (2005). It is presented to the Security Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as the first country report pursuant to paragraphs 2, 3 and 10 of that resolution. The report, which covers the period from July 2005 to September 2007, provides information on the current situation regarding the recruitment and use of children and other grave violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict in the Union of Myanmar. While the monitoring and reporting structures as outlined in the mechanism endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution in 1612 (2005) are in place, the modalities of an effective mechanism, including security guarantees, access to affected areas and freedom of movement of monitors without Government escort, are lacking. This first report therefore sets forth the general scope of the situation based on the information available to the United Nations country task force on monitoring and reporting at the present time. Although there has been progress in terms of dialogue with the Government of Myanmar and two non-State actors, the report notes that State and non-State actors continue to be implicated in grave child rights violations. The Government of Myanmar has made a commitment at the highest level that no child under the age of 18 will be recruited. The Government has set up a high-level Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Underage Children and a working group for monitoring and reporting on the same issue. Further, there are Government policies and directives prohibiting underage recruitment. To date, the Government has not acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2000). Two non-State actors (the Karen National Union and the Karenni National Progressive Party) have signed Deeds of Commitment to cease the recruitment and use of children, to declare their adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and have committed themselves to appropriate follow-up action. The Government has committed to bringing its current action plan on the prevention of the recruitment of children into its armed forces, the Tatmadaw Kyi, into line with international standards and to facilitate action plans with the United Wa State Army and other non-State actors. The Government of Myanmar has also recognized the need for the United Nations country task force in Myanmar to engage the Karen National Union and Karenni National Progressive Party in the development of action plans and monitor their compliance in accordance with Security Council resolution 1612 (2005). A principal difficulty with regard to monitoring grave violations of children’s rights remains the lack of access to some locations of concern. Access to conflict-affected areas is severely restricted by the Government, a situation that impacts greatly on monitoring and possible responses to child rights violations."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Security Council
Format/size: pdf (91K-English.) Avaiulable also in French(107.5K) , Russian(341.7K) , Spanish(102.9K) , Arabic(238.6K) , Chinese(263.2K)
Alternate URLs: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/574/91/PDF/N0757491.pdf?OpenElement
http://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/574/91/pdf/N0757491.pdf?OpenElement
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2007


Title: Sold to be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma
Date of publication: 31 October 2007
Description/subject: I Summary: The Government of Burma’s Armed Forces: The Tatmadaw; Government Failure to Address Child Recruitment; Non-state Armed Groups; The Local and International Response... II Recommendations 14 To the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) 14 To All Non-state Armed Groups 17 To the Governments of Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, India, and China 18 To the Government of Thailand 18 To the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 18 To UNICEF 19 To the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict 20 To Member States of the United Nations 20 To the UN Security Council 21 To the International Labour Organization 21 To the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar 21 III Methodology22 IV Background24 V The Tatmadaw: The State Military 29 The Tatmadaw’s Staffing Crisis29 Recruitment 32 Key Factors in Child Recruitment33 Children as Commodities: The Recruit Market 41 Recruitment of the Very Young 43 The Su Saun Yay Recruit Holding Camps45 Training 50 Deployment and Active Duty 56 Combat 60 Abuses against Civilians62 Desertion, Imprisonment, and Re-recruitment 63 The Future of Tatmadaw Child Recruitment68 The Government of Burma’s Response to the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers 68 The Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Underage Children 71 Demobilization73 Reintegration76 Measures for Raising Awareness77 Enforcement of Recruitment Laws and Regulations 81 Government Cooperation with International Agencies 84 VI Child Soldiers in Non-State Armed Groups 94 United Wa State Army 97 Karenni Army 98 Karen National Liberation Army 102 Shan State Army – South 105 Kachin Independence Army 107 Democratic Karen Buddhist Army 109 Kachin Defense Army 111 Mon National Liberation Army 112 Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front 113 Shan Nationalities People’s Liberation Army 115 Rebellion Resistance Force116 KNU-KNLA Peace Council117 VII The International Response120 The United Nations Security Council 120 United Nations Country Team 122 UNICEF 123 ILO 124 Neighboring country and cross-border initiatives 125 VIII Legal Standards 129 Child Recruitment as a War Crime 130 International Standards on Demobilization, Reintegration, and Rehabilitation 131 Acknowledgements 132 Appendices 133 Appendix A: SPDC Plan of Action regarding child soldiers 133 Appendix B: Human Rights Watch letter to the UN Mission of Myanmar, August 22, 2007 137 Appendix C: Reply from the UN Mission of Myanmar, September 12, 2007 139 Appendix D: KNPP Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers 142 Appendix E: KNLA Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers 146
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (2.1MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://hrw.org/reports/2007/burma1007/ (Full report, html, English. Link to Summary and Recommendations in Japanese);
http://hrw.org/french/docs/2007/10/31/burma17208.htm (Press release, French, Francais);
http://hrw.org/spanish/docs/2007/10/31/burma17207.htm (Press Release, Spanish, Espanol)
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2007


Title: Despite Promises: Child Soldiers in Burma’s SPDC Armed Forces
Date of publication: September 2006
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Child involvement in armed conflict is a disturbing trend of modern times. Nowhere is this trend more evident and extreme than in Burma, where children are aggressively recruited and forced to join the military. “While going to school, I was taken against my will by an unnamed person. I was brought to Danyingone New Recruitment Center and then to the 9th Basic Military Training School. I attended the training and passed. I was brought to Hpa-An Township, Karen State, to serve in the Signal Battalion.” Former child soldier, recruited into the SPDC armed forces in 2004 at age thirteen The government of Burma, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has been expanding its armed forces—the “Tatmadaw”—at an alarming rate; and this expansion is sustained by the recruitment of children. In 1988 there were approximately 200,000 men serving in the Tatmadaw, in 2004 estimates were nearly 380,000 troops, and it is reported that the SPDC wants to increase that number to 500,000. This report examines the ongoing recruitment and use of child soldiers in Burma. Most children interviewed for this report were forcibly recruited into army ranks; they were coerced and deceived. Other child recruits cited economic hardships and social pressures as their reasons for joining, the very conditions that make them easy targets for SPDC recruiters. Recruiters also use intimidation tactics to convince children to join the armed forces. “Join the military or go to jail,” were the “options” that many children were offered. This fear-inducing strategy is effective, almost guaranteeing that the child will “choose” to join the military. Once recruited, children are detained at local army posts, police stations or recruiting offices. They are instructed on how to fill out registration forms; including lying about their age, as officially children under the age of 18 years are not permitted to join the army. However authorities at all levels circumvent this rule by forcing every recruit to say they are at least 18 years old. “I was brought to the recruitment center, where they [military personnel] immediately started cutting my hair and filling out forms for me. I was only requested to give a thumb print. They asked me how old I was and I told them that I was 14. They told me to say 18. Then I was given a medical examination. At first the doctor wouldn’t let me join the army because I didn’t have any pubic hair. But, the corporal who recruited me bribed the doctor.” Former child soldier, recruited into the SPDC armed forces in 2003 at the age of fourteen According to interviewees, children are then sent to complete military training programs and subsequently sent to the frontlines to fight “enemy” rebel groups or serve as porters, cooks, or servants for higher ranking officers. If sent to the frontlines they rarely know who they are fighting or why. Children report that conditions in the detention centers and training camps are horrible; the barracks are overcrowded and they are bullied by older recruits. Moreover, children are routinely beaten if they make mistakes during training. These conditions cause child soldiers to suffer from mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Children, still in varying stages of development, are unable to accommodate the stress generated by military activities. As reported by many of the interviewees, child soldiers often cry themselves to sleep in quiet humiliation, scared any show of weakness could invite additional reproach from fellow soldiers and officers. As soldiers, children are forced to perpetrate violence and commit human rights violations. They take part in destroying villages suspected of supporting ethnic insurgent movements; they also participate in extrajudicial killings. Children are not prepared for the physical, emotional or psychological experience of war. Therefore some run away from the army, some attempt suicide, while most attempt to rationalize their experiences, which distorts their fundamental sentiments of right and wrong. The SPDC has promised action and in an effort to quell the recruitment and use of child soldiers, has created the ‘Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Under-age Children.’ However, rather than spending its time aggressively fighting against the recruitment and use of child soldiers, the committee focuses on contesting allegations from the UN and international and national human rights groups about the use of child soldiers in the country. The SPDC must stop recruiting and using children in the military. The government’s official policies, which prohibit children from entering the military, must be implemented and those who violate such policies should be punished. The SPDC must play a central role in disarming, demobilizing, and rehabilitating (DDR) former child soldiers and invite assistance from international and local organizations willing to help with DDR programs. The SPDC promises change; but despite promises, evidence continues to point to SPDC’s continued recruitment, training, and deployment of child soldiers."
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)
Format/size: pdf (2.83MB)
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2006


Title: Interview with an SPDC child soldier
Date of publication: 26 April 2006
Description/subject: "The SPDC claims that there are no child soldiers in its army and has appointed a Committee to spread this story, while independent outside reports reveal the Burma Army as having more child soldiers than any other army or country in the world. Boys as young as 11 are deliberately targeted by recruiters who trick or beat them into joining, record their ages as 18, and buy and sell them like cattle. They are treated brutally in training, and in the field they are forced to loot villages to survive. This report lets a 15 year old deserter tell his own story, which reveals that the past five years have not brought any improvement in the SPDC's record on recruitment or treatment of child soldiers."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


Title: Running Scared
Date of publication: March 2006
Description/subject: Life in Burma"Volunteer" Army... "In a letter to the United Nations dated May 8, 2002, the Burmese military government stated unequivocally that all its soldiers serve the country without coercion. "The Myanmar [Burma] Tatmadaw [armed forces] is an all volunteer army. There are no conscripts, and the recruitment into Myanmar armed forces is entirely voluntary." "Like so many of the government's claims—especially the unequivocal ones—the statement to the UN bears little resemblance to the truth. Thant Zin, a 17-year-old former soldier, has first-hand experience of the Tatmadaw's voluntary conscription policies. During a trip to see his brother in Taungoo, a small city in central Burma, Thant Zin was approached by soldiers at the train station, told that he would now be a soldier in his country's army and threatened with physical violence when he refused..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers: Global Report 2004 -- Myanmar/Burma
Date of publication: 17 November 2004
Description/subject: "Thousands of children, possibly tens of thousands, remained in the Myanmar armed forces and forcible recruitment continued to be reported. Child soldiers, mostly aged between 12 and 18, were forced to take part in combat and subjected to harsh living conditions and beatings. Nearly all armed political groups recruited and used child soldiers and several thousand were estimated to remain in the ranks of such groups."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers
Format/size: pdf (68K)
Date of entry/update: 18 November 2004


Title: Deserting from the Rape Commanders
Date of publication: July 2004
Description/subject: "A child soldier, recruited into the Burma Army at age 11, tells his gruesome story. Sixteen-year old Maung Myo (not his real name), a deserter from the Burma Army, said he wants to go back home and be reunited with his mother. If he tries he risks being arrested and court-martialed by the military..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


Title: ACTION APPEAL 12-2002: MYANMAR (Burma)
Date of publication: 11 December 2002
Description/subject: "Myanmar is believed to have more child soldiers than any other country in the world.[2] More than 70,000 children may be serving in the national army alone, making the government of Myanmar the greatest single user of child soldiers worldwide.[3] The national army, the Tatmadaw Kyi, is known to forcibly recruit children as young as 11. Children, some under the age of 15, are also present in Myanmar's myriad opposition groups, although in far smaller numbers. Of non-state armed groups in Myanmar, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the largest user of child soldiers, with some 2,000 in its ranks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Adult Wars, Child Soldiers
Date of publication: 30 October 2002
Description/subject: Voices of children involved in armed conflict in the East Asia and Pacific Region. 20 interviews with Burmese child soldiers.
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNICEF
Format/size: pdf (861K) 84 pages
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: "MY GUN WAS AS TALL AS ME" - Child Soldiers in Burma
Date of publication: 16 October 2002
Description/subject: "Burma is believed to have more child soldiers than any other country in the world. The overwhelming majority of Burma's child soldiers are found in Burma's national army, the Tatmadaw Kyi, which forcibly recruits children as young as eleven. These children are subject to beatings and systematic humiliation during training. Once deployed, they must engage in combat, participate in human rights abuses against civilians, and are frequently beaten and abused by their commanders and cheated of their wages. Refused contact with their families and facing severe reprisals if they try to escape, these children endure a harsh and isolated existence. Children are also present in Burma's myriad opposition groups, although in far smaller numbers. Some children join opposition groups to avenge past abuses by Burmese forces against members of their families or community, while others are forcibly conscripted. Many participate in armed conflict, sometimes with little or no training, and after years of being a soldier are unable to envision a future for themselves apart from military service. Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), claims that all of its soldiers are volunteers, and that the minimum recruitment age is eighteen.4 However, testimonies of former soldiers interviewed for this report suggest that the vast majority of new recruits are forcibly conscripted, and that 35 to 45 percent may be children. Although there is no way to establish precise figures, data taken from the observations of former child soldiers who have served in diverse parts of Burma suggests that 70,000 or more of the Burma army's estimated 350,000 soldiers may be children..."
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html (in sections); pdf (570K) 214 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/burma/Burma0902.pdf
http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/10/burma-1016.htm (press release and other links)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The impact of armed conflict on the children of Burma
Date of publication: August 2002
Description/subject: Submission by the Burma UN Service Office-New York & the Human Rights Documentation Unit National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma To The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict For The preparation of the Secretary-General’s third report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict, on the implementation of resolutions 1261 (1999), 1314 (2000), and 1379 (2001)... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Who would want to be a child in Burma? Four decades of military rule, mismanagement and armed conflict have resulted in widespread poverty, poor health care, low educational standards and widespread and systematic human rights abuses. The government spends 40% of the national budget on the military, while spending on healthcare and education is one of the lowest in the world at under 1% (US$0.60 and US$0.28 per capita respectively). The World Health Organization’s 2000 report graded Burma 190th overall in health system of 191 countries surveyed. According to UNICEF, of the 1.3 million children born every year, more than 92,500 will die before they reach their first birthday and another 138,000 children will die before the age of five. The main causes of death are malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases. More than 1 in 3 children under 5 will be malnourished. These health problems are exacerbated by the on-going armed conflict, which disproportionately affects ethnic groups. Children from ethnic groups have extremely limited access to health care and immunization as UN agencies do not have access to these areas. Nor do they have access to internally displaced persons (IDPs) - of which a large proportion are children. Military violence coupled with displacement, forced relocations and resulting food insecurity are the main causes of malnutrition and other related illnesses. These children are also most at risk of serious human rights violations including sexual assault and trafficking. According to UNAIDS, HIV prevalence in 2000 crossed the 1.0% threshold, making Burma one of only three countries in Asia to have an HIV epidemic considered to be ‘generalized’ throughout the population. An estimated 14,000 children have HIV and another 43,000 are AIDS orphans. Data from antenatal clinics record HIV prevalence of 2.8-5.3% among the youngest group (15-24 years old) of pregnant women. The HIV prevalence in military recruits has shown an increase (0.82% among those 15-19 years). Low educational attainment is a serious social, economic and political problem. Only three out of four children enter primary school and of those only two out of five complete the full five years. That is, only 30% of Burmese children get proper primary school education let alone secondary and tertiary education. Female students are disproportionately affected by high dropout rates as fewer than one third of all girls who enroll make it through primary school. As a result, thousands of children are forced to drop out, interrupt or receive substandard education. The ongoing armed conflict has resulted in: the lack of an educational infrastructure; teachers; physical dangers due to lack of security; transience due to forced relocation; and Burmanization policies which force the closure of non-Burman schools in ethnic areas or discriminate against ethnic students. Government displacement programs have taken place at least since the late 1960s have aimed at securing areas, cutting links between civilians and armed groups and reducing the impact of armed groups. Relocation orders by government authorities either specify where the villagers should relocate to - ‘relocation sites’ - or simply state that villagers should leave the area. To prevent villagers from remaining or returning, villages are burnt down and designated ‘free fire zones’. Independent monitoring or assistance to IDPs has not been authorized by the Burmese government. Estimates of the total number of IDPs in Burma range between one and two million. Most asylum seekers arriving in Thailand lived for some time as IDPs. An estimated 400,000 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees are currently living in neighboring countries. The U.S. State Department’s second annual ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report released on 5 June 2002 lists Burma as a country of origin for women and girls trafficked to Thailand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan for sexual exploitation, domestic and factory work. Thailand is believed to be the primary destination with an estimated 40,000 Burmese women and children, most of them from ethnic groups, working as sex workers. A new trend shows that trafficked girls are increasingly virgins who are in demand due to the belief that young girls are less likely to the HIV positive. In practice, young girls are sold as virgins several times until the amount for which they can be sold steadily decreases. When girls are no longer profitable because of pregnancy or disease they are often turned out on the street. Child labor has become increasingly prevalent and visible. Approximately one quarter of children in the age group 10-14 are engaged in paid work and there is a growing number of street children in concentrated urban areas. Street children and orphans are particularly vulnerable to forced recruitment into the armed forces. Burma is believed to be one of the world’s single largest users of child soldiers with up to 50,000 children serving in both government armed forces and armed opposition groups. Burmese law does not specifically prohibit child labor and children are forced to labor on infrastructure development projects and income generating projects for the military, especially in ethnic areas. Children are also forced to serve as porters in combat areas, and frequently suffer beatings, rape and other mistreatment. Porters are used as human minesweepers and human shields during military operations and children are no exception. The number of landmine casualties, although unknown, is now believed to surpass even that of Cambodia. There is more chance of fatality if a child steps on a mine. This report evidences that the present government of Burma is not adhering to Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict."
Language: English
Source/publisher: National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
Format/size: html (260K), Word (200K), pdf (938K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/BURMA-submission_to_office_for_children_and_armed_conflict.doc
http://ncgub.net/NCGUB/Armed-Child%20Report%20%2020050115.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2006


Title: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers - Global Report 2001 : ASIA-THE PACIFIC - MYANMAR
Date of publication: 12 May 2002
Description/subject: "Myanmar is estimated to have one of the largest numbers of child soldiers of any country in the world, with up to 50,000 children serving in both government armed forces and armed opposition groups. The ILO has condemned the forced recruitment of children in Myanmar and has taken measures to address the government's use of forced labour. The activities of God's Army, a breakaway Karen group led by young twins, focused world attention on the use of child soldiers by ethnic armed groups. Armed groups in the Shan State have declared they will not recruit children below 18. Fighting continues in many parts of Myanmar with armed opposition groups pitted against the military government or State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) some ethnic based, others political exiles. The Karen movement remains the strongest, although weakened in recent years.[2] A number of opposition forces in Myanmar have accepted cease-fires with the government. These have had the effect of fragmenting opposition groups even further, with some factions continuing to control their territory under arms, breakaway forces continuing their fight against the government, and internecine fighting between different armed groups. Tens of thousands of villagers in contested zones have been forcibly relocated or internally displaced within the region..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Stillgestanden - rechtsum! Kindersoldaten in Burma
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: Johnny und Luther Htoo sind vielleicht die berühmtesten Kindersoldaten der Welt. Die beiden 14-jährigen, Zigarre qualmenden Zwillinge waren die Anführer der sogenannten Armee Gottes, die im Januar 2000 ein Hospital in Thai land stürmte und dabei Hunderte Personen als Geiseln nahm. Aber während diese Aktion Schlagzeilen in aller Welt machte, schenkte man dem zugrunde liegenden Problem der Kindersoldaten in Burma nur wenig Aufmerksamkeit. Child Soldiers, God's Army, Child soldiers in the Tatmadaw, in the rebellion armies
Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Deutsch von Markus Gerboth
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Südostasien Jg. 18, Nr.3 - Asienhaus
Format/size: pdf (43K)
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2003


Title: Abuse under Orders: The SPDC and DKBA Armies Through the Eyes of their Soldiers
Date of publication: 27 March 2001
Description/subject: "This report looks at the armies of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta ruling Burma and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a Karen group allied with the SPDC, through the eyes of their own soldiers who have fled: the recruitment, the training, life in the battalions, relations with villagers and other groups, and their views on Burma’s present and future situation. What we find, particularly in the SPDC’s ‘Tatmadaw’ (Army), is conscription and coercion of children, systematic physical and psychological abuse by the officers, endemic corruption, and the rank and file of an entire Army forced into a system of brutality toward civilians. According to Tatmadaw deserters, one third or more of SPDC soldiers are children, morale among the rank and file is almost nonexistent, and half or more of the Army would desert if they thought they could survive the attempt. The Tatmadaw has expanded rapidly since repression of the democracy movement and the creation of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, former name of the SPDC) in 1988. The Armed Forces as a whole have expanded from an estimated strength of 180,000 to over 400,000, making it the second-largest military in Southeast Asia after Vietnam. Military camps and soldiers are now common all over Burma, especially in the non-Burman ethnic states and divisions. With this increased military presence has come a rise in the scale of abuses and corruption committed by the Army. To achieve this military expansion, children as young as nine or ten are taken into the Army, trained and sent to frontline battalions. Of the six SPDC deserters interviewed for this report, five were under the age of 17 when they joined the Tatmadaw..." The SPDC and DKBA Armies through the Eyes of their Soldiers.Symbolically released on the SPDC's 'Armed Forces Day', this report uses the testimony of former SPDC soldiers to document the deteriorating situation in the ever-expanding Army: the conscription and coercion of 13-17 year old children who now make up as much as 30% of the rank and file, the corruption of the officers and their brutal treatment of their own soldiers, the systematic abuse and exploitation of the civilian population, and the crumbling morale, desertions and suicides. Also looks at the declining relevance of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) as the command structure weakens and units are left to pursue black market businesses to support themselves.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2001-01)
Format/size: pdf (2.8 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0101.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Bewaffneter Konflikt in Myanmar (Birma) Berichtsjahr 2000
Date of publication: 2001
Description/subject: Bericht zu den mehr als fnfzig Jahre andauernden bewaffneten Konflikten in Myanmar/Birma fr das Jahr 2000. Trotz eines allgemeinen Rckgangs der Kriegshandlungen, haben sich die Kmpfe im Jahr 2000 fortgesetzt. Die Autorin geht sowohl auf die Kinderarmee "God's Army" als auch die KNU ein. Mit Links zu weiteren Quellen.
Author/creator: Franziska Stock
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rstung und Entwicklung, AG Kriegsursachenforschung, Institut fr Politische Wissenschaft der Universitt Hamburg
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Asia-Child Soldiers
Date of publication: 10 May 2000
Description/subject: A coalition of social activists is scheduled to meet in Nepal next week to discuss ways to enact a global ban on the use of children as soldiers. The activists say the use of children in armed conflicts is widespread in Asia. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Bangkok, they also say it is not just rebel opposition groups that indulge in the practice.
Author/creator: Gary Thomas, Bangkok
Language: English
Source/publisher: Voice of America
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Slaughter of the Innocent Soldiers
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: Recruitment • Roles And Duties • Treatment and experiences. They are about 13 or 15 years old, wear army uniforms and carry war weapons. By all other measures they are still children, but it is not war games they play. Burmese history is full of stories of different kings at war with each other and the modern period since 1948 -- when the British surrendered their colonial rule -- has been little different. Almost from the day the British lowered the Union Jack, Burma has been home to a continuous civil war described by some observers as one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: No Childhood at All - Child Soldiers in Burma
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: "...The phenomenon of child soldiers in Burma can only be understood within the context of militarization of the society as a whole. War in Burma has affected every segment of society, its fallout having severest repercussions for the most disadvantaged groups. The political instability engendered by civil war has left the country in economic crisis and has isolated rural conflict areas from receiving badly-needed development assistance. NGO activities have been severely curtailed, mitigating most attempts to correct the situation. Consequently, many children in Burma are living in grinding poverty, uneducated and in poor health, with under-age labour one of their few choices to make ends meet. The everpresent reality of armed conflict is also deeply embedded in the consciousness of all Burma's peoples. With 36% of all Burma's inhabitants under the age of l5,1 most of the country's population have grown up under the shadow of civil war. The rapid expansion of the armed forces since 1988 has both forced and encouraged recruitment of minors into the ranks. Army entrance is sometimes perceived by children, especially orphans, as offering a protective haven from hunger and abuse. Many children therefore see joining the armed forces of any of the warring parties as their only means of survival. Unfortunately, research suggests that they are likely to find it just the opposite. While Burma has acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as yet there is little indication that its provisions are being followed in good faith, or that recruitment of children into the Tatmadaw has decreased..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia, Thailand
Format/size: pdf (513K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen guerillas -- insurgency in Karen State (front-line photos, 1991)
Date of publication: April 1991
Description/subject: Photos taken March-April 1991 at Manerplaw and the front line north of Manerplaw, where there was heavy fighting at the time. Several photos of child soldiers. "Burma has been torn by civil war since the end of colonial rule from the British. One of the largest ethnic groups is the Karen-people. For a long time they maintained their own state, Kawthoolei or Karen land, in the east of the country bordering Thailand. From its base in Manorplow the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) led the armed struggle. In the late eighties they where reinforced by Burmese refugees from the All Burma Student Democratic Front (ADSDF) who escaped the crack down on the democracy movement. The failure of different ethnic groups to unite led to great success for the junta in the mid 90's. Today only a fraction of the KNU remains active and many Karens are living as refugees in Thailand. Many other armed groups have struck deals with the military junta (SLORC) or entered the lucrative drug-trade."
Author/creator: Bjorn Svensson
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003