Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In spite of democratic reforms, Myanmar has appalling legacy of child abduction and forced labor

There have been inroads made in the Asian nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma in regards to human rights and Democratic reform. Myanmar still has a shameful history of child soldiers, where boys as young as 15 are abducted and forced to serve in the military. The experiences of these forcibly conscripted young people have begun to come to light, in an effort to redress previous injustices.

According to Human Rights Watch, however, a total eradication of under-age recruitment will be a long process. 'The Burmese army still forcibly recruits children from public places, often through civilian recruiters, and coerces them to join the army,' Matthew Smith, a researcher at HRW says

According to Human Rights Watch, however, a total eradication of under-age recruitment will be a long process. "The Burmese army still forcibly recruits children from public places, often through civilian recruiters, and coerces them to join the army," Matthew Smith, a researcher at HRW says

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Myanmar, child soldiers, reform, United Nations, elections


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to several human rights organizations, many Myanmar teenagers may have lost either their futures or their lives upon being drafted into the state armed forces. An unknown number of child soldiers continue to serve in non-state armed groups, continuing the cycle of violence.

Many of these combatants manage to escape their army commanders by crossing through the porous border to Thailand. Seeking refuge in "safe houses," these displaced teens face too few choices. They find themselves caught between Thai authorities and risk being sent back to succumb to the will of their troop leaders, or living in secrecy without identity or recourse.

While the 2010 elections may have brought little solace to the majority's democratic will in Myanmar, the new administration has surprised many by making unprecedented promises in relation to child soldiers. A joint action plan signed between the ministry of defense and a U.N. Task Force vowed to "halt child soldier recruitment and discharge existing recruits under age 18."

It was the first instance Myanmar not only acknowledged the presence of child soldiers within their armed forces, but also promised to "repatriate" them to their families and communities.

The gesture has led many to say that Myanmar has entered a new era in its political history.

These developments have been fascinating for civil society actors, the U.N., experts and journalists to witness a situation that was stagnant for decades to quickly transform into a positive start for "reform initiatives." Cooperating with humanitarian agencies has been part of the administration's attempts to convince the international community that they intend to rectify the country's appalling human rights record.

According to Human Rights Watch, however, a total eradication of under-age recruitment will be a long process. "The Burmese army still forcibly recruits children from public places, often through civilian recruiters, and coerces them to join the army," Matthew Smith, a researcher at HRW says.

"Abducted kids are typically offered an option to go to prison or enlist, and they usually choose the latter, at which point their documents are falsified."

The International Labor Organization has engaged in negotiations with the Myanmar government to formulate a plan of action under Security Council Resolution 1612. The resolution, adopted by the Security Council in 2005, established a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the use of child soldiers.

"With the holding of the elections and the establishment of the new government, the situation has been markedly different with government representatives, military and civilian, prepared to address all elements of the issue culminating in the signing of an agreed plan of action in June of this year," explained Steve Marshall, information officer at the ILO.

The signing of a memorandum pledges to work towards elimination of all forced labor, including under-age recruitment, by 2015.

Marshall is confident that the cycle of recruitment can be broken through "extensive educational/awareness raising programs targeted at military personnel, civilian government personnel and the general public."

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Piece of Flight MH370? Mysterious plane debris washes up on Indian Ocean island that could be missing Malaysian MH370 Watch

Image of A sand sculpture urging all to pray for MH370.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Photos of what could be a piece of the missing Malaysian Air Flight MH370 have surfaced over the internet. The photo, posted on Twitter, appear to "a plane flap or wing that had washed up on a remote Indian Ocean island," according to Fox News. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


HOUSE OF HORRORS: 97 bodies of children, adults found stacked inside ancient Chinese house Watch

Image of In trying to determine the sudden influx of dead bodies, researchers came to one conclusion. The dead came in faster than they could be buried in a village that contained dozens of small, one-room houses.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers are baffled in a recent grisly discovery in northeast China. A small, 210 square-foot home in a prehistoric village has yielded 97 skeletons of men, women, and children. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 5,000-year-old home housed the skeletal remains ... continue reading


Chinese Christians protest 'evil Communist campaign' to destroy crosses Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian leaders have set up demonstrations in eastern China to take a stand against the "evil" campaign to eliminate crosses; a plan many see as a coordinated Communist party attack on their religion. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - No less than 1,200 ... continue reading


Military combats return to Japan after seven decades of strict restrictions Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in 70 years, Japan's military will now have limited powers to participate in military activities concerning conflicts, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe triumphed over public demonstrations and oppositions against the new legislation. The Prime Minister ... continue reading


Tibetan Monk Delek Rinpoche cremated in Chinese prison against family's wishes Watch

Image of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in prison and was then cremated against public wishes.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tibetan Monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's body has been cremated against the will of his family in a secret Chinese prison. Prior to the cremation, protests erupted after news that the Monk was killed while in prison. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Famous Siberian 60-meter deep crater mystery solved Watch

Image of Yamal crater B-1 not caused by meteor as previously thought.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "never observed" process that has puzzled Russian scientists is now understood. Through an expedition last week, researchers found out that the massively large holes, appearing in Siberia, are not actually caused by large meteorites but a former mound of land covered ... continue reading


Indonesia's rumbling volcano causes flight cancellations and panic for tourists Watch

Image of Mount Raung has been heating up over the last few weeks.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An active volcano in Java, Indonesia has been rumbling and spewing ashes over the last week, causing flight cancellations to tourist hub Bali and other destinations. Transportation authorities decided to suspend flights because the amount of volcanic ash could be ... continue reading


Inspiring story of a homeless nine-year-old Filipino boy who does his homework on the streets Watch

Image of Daniel Cabrera went viral over social media for his intense motivation to do well in school.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera has inspired people around the world with one heart-warming photo. In the viral photo, the child is shown doing his school work on the street, using an improvised bench as his study desk and a dim light from a McDonald's restaurant.  ... continue reading


Christianity not prevailing religion with China's youth -- The reality may shock you Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The prevailing faith among young people under the age of 30 in China is not Christianity, but Islam, according to a new study that was released by the National Survey Research Center and Renmin University in Beijing, China. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Chinese stunned as $2.8 Trillion is wiped from markets Watch

Image of Chinese stocks fell again earlier this week, with the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen ending down 1.8 percent.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The stock market goes up - but it eventually must come down. Over the past three weeks, the Chinese stock market has taken a beating. This comes as distressful news to many retirees, who placed their life savings in the stock market. Whatever measure Beijing ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter