UNICEF Myanmar has expressed deep sorrow over the death of four children last week when an explosive device went off while they were collecting fire wood in the forest near Htike Htoo Pauk village of Buthedaung Township in Rakhine State. Five more children were injured in the incident.
UNICEF, in a statement, said it was deeply concerned about the continued reports of killings and injuries of children, as a result of intensified fighting between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army in the conflict-affected areas of Rakhine State.
In 2019 alone, 16 children lost their life and 36 have been severely injured in conflict affected areas of Myanmar as a result of incidents caused by landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs).
UNICEF urged all parties to the conflict to stop laying mines and to clear existing mines and unexploded ordinance to ensure the safety of children caught up in conflict, and to uphold their right to protection.
It also urged the Government to facilitate access for the provision of emergency Mine Risk Education activities so children, teachers and other community members receive psychosocial support and mine risk education in schools and communities in all conflict-affected areas of Myanmar.