BANGKOK, 11 January 2022 – “UNICEF condemns the killing of at least four children, and the maiming of multiple others, during an escalation of conflict over the past week in Myanmar. On 8 January, the body of a 13-year-old boy was discovered in Matupi, Chin State, while a 12-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were injured by heavy weaponry in Loikaw, Kayah State, following intense airstrikes and mortar attacks. On the same day, a 7-year-old girl was injured by heavy weapons fire in Hpa An, Kayin State. On 7 January, one 14-year-old and two 17-year-old boys were fatally shot in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Region. On 5 January, two young girls, aged 1 and 4, were injured by artillery fire in Namkham, Shan State.
“UNICEF is gravely concerned by the escalating conflict in Myanmar and condemns the reported use of airstrikes and heavy weaponry in civilian areas. We are particularly outraged about the attacks on children that have occurred during this escalation in fighting across the country.
“Parties to conflict must treat the protection of children as a foremost priority and must take all steps necessary to ensure that children are kept away from fighting and that communities are not targeted. This is required by international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Myanmar is a signatory.
“As in the case of other recent incidents, UNICEF calls for urgent action to ensure independent investigation of these incidents, so that those responsible can be held to account. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.”