YANGON, 9 February 2021 – UNICEF expresses deep concern regarding the impact of the ongoing crisis in Myanmar on children’s wellbeing and reminds all parties of their obligations to uphold all children’s rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Myanmar is a State Party, and under the Myanmar Child Rights Law enacted in July 2019. These rights include the rights to protection, participation, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. They also include freedom from unlawful or arbitrary detention or separation from parents. In crisis situations, children are often disproportionally affected, and it is essential that all parties uphold the best interests of the child, one of the core principles of the CRC, as a primary consideration.
In the context of ongoing demonstrations and current events, and reports of injuries, some potentially fatal, UNICEF calls on all actors, including security forces, to exercise the utmost restraint, to resolve differences through constructive and peaceful means, and to prioritize the protection and safety of children and young people as they express their opinions.
In times of crisis, children often experience greater stress and risks, and may require additional protection. The following contacts and resources may be useful to children, parents and caregivers to provide protection and support:
- NGO-operated helplines for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS):
- On MPT network, call 08008009933
- On OOREDO network, call 9933
- Justice Tip Sheet with information for use in the event of arbitrary detention of children
- Additional resources could be found on UNICEF’s parenting portal.