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Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict

June 27th, 2023  •  Author:   United Nations Secretary-General  •  5 minute read
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Myanmar  

  1. The United Nations verified 1,226 grave violations against 939 children (601 boys, 225 girls, 113 sex unknown). In addition, 39 violations against 39 children that had occurred in previous years were verified in 2022.
  2. The recruitment and use of 235 children (215 boys, 20 girls), as young as age 12, attributed to the Myanmar armed forces (112), the border guard forces (35), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) (49), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (18), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) (7), the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)/Shan State Army (SSA) (7), the Chin National Front (2), the Karen National Liberation Army (2), the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) (2) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) (1), mostly in Rakhine, Kachin and Kayin states and regions, was verified. In addition, the United Nations verified in 2022 the recruitment and use of 33 children that had occurred in previous years (32 boys, 1 girl) by the Myanmar armed forces (26), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (6) and KIA (1).
  3. The detention of 129 children (115 boys, 14 girl) by the Myanmar armed forces for their alleged association with armed groups was verified.
  4. The killing (149) and maiming (372) of 521 children (342 boys, 175 girls, 4 sex unknown), some as young as a few months old, by the Myanmar armed forces and other security forces (377), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (9), Pyu Saw Htee (1), TNLA (1) and unidentified perpetrators (133), including those resulting from explosive ordnance (87) and crossfire (33), were verified, mostly in Sagaing, Shan, Kayin, Kayah, Rakhine, Chin, Mon, Yangon, Magway and Kachin states and regions. In addition, the maiming of 5 children (4 boys, 1 girl) by the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (2), unidentified perpetrators (2) and the Myanmar armed forces (1) in 2021 was verified in 2022.
  5. The rape of 2 girls by TNLA (1) and unidentified perpetrators (1) was verified. In addition, the United Nations verified in 2022 the rape of one girl by a Myanmar armed forces-aligned militia that had occurred in previous years.
  6. The United Nations verified 105 attacks on schools (78) and hospitals (27), attributed to the Myanmar armed forces (66), unidentified perpetrators (26), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (12) and the Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (1), mostly in Sagaing, Kayin and Kayah states and regions.
  7. The military use of 115 schools and 7 hospitals by the Myanmar armed forces, including with aligned militias (118), the Arakan Army (3) and the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (1) was verified.
  8. The abduction of 286 children (134 boys, 43 girls, 109 sex unknown), some as young as a few months old, by the Myanmar armed forces (206), KIA (40), TNLA (24), MNDAA (7), Pyu Saw Htee (3), SSPP/SSA (2), DKBA (2), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (1) and unidentified perpetrators (1) was verified.
  9. A total of 77 incidents of denial of humanitarian access by the Myanmar armed forces (61), unidentified perpetrators (7), the Myanmar armed forces and the Myanmar Police Force (4), the People’s Defence Forces/local defence groups (3), the Arakan Army (1) and Pa-O National Army (1) were verified, mostly in Shan, Chin, Sagaing and Kayah states and regions. Humanitarian access has worsened owing to administrative and physical impediments to the movement of aid, increased arrests and violence against humanitarian workers, and high insecurity.

Developments and concerns   

  1. I strongly condemn the violations against children, and I am concerned by the spread of clashes to new areas and the multiplication of armed actors. I am alarmed by the scale of abductions and the killing and maiming of children, in particular by the Myanmar armed forces. I urge the Myanmar armed forces and other parties to comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, to take measures to protect children during operations, to cease and prevent attacks on schools and hospitals and on protected persons, and to prevent the military use of schools and hospitals. I call upon all parties to engage with the United Nations to end and prevent grave violations against children.
  2. I am extremely concerned by the high number of children recruited and used by the Myanmar armed forces, notably in Rakhine State. I call for the full implementation of the joint action plan on the recruitment and use of children, in close cooperation with the United Nations. I am gravely concerned by the pattern of indiscriminate and targeted attacks by the Myanmar armed forces on civilians, including children, internally displaced persons and humanitarian workers. I reiterate my call upon the Myanmar armed forces to sign a joint action plan with the United Nations to end the killing and maiming of children and prevent sexual violence.
  3. I welcome the ongoing coordination with KIA towards the reintegration of children and call upon other armed groups to strengthen their engagement with the United Nations to end and prevent grave violations.
  4. I am alarmed by increased restrictions on humanitarian access and call upon the Myanmar armed forces and other parties to allow and facilitate safe, timely and unimpeded humanitarian access.
  5. I am concerned by the high number of children in detention and by cases of torture, and urge the Myanmar armed forces to immediately release detained children and comply with international juvenile justice standards. I call for the respect and implementation of the July 2019 Child Rights Law.

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