Rights groups call for the protection of children in Myanmar

16 February 2020
Rights groups call for the protection of children in Myanmar
Rakhine ethnic children, who fled from conflict areas, take refuge at A Myo Thar Monastery temporary camp in Sittwe, Rakhine State. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

In the wake of the injury of children in a shelling incident and the death of others who drowned escaping, rights groups are calling for the protection of children in Myanmar.

Rights groups have attacked all forms of violence against children in conflict situations as fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army intensified in Rakhine State, with 20 children  injured in an incident when their school was hit by mortar shells in Buthidaung Township in Rakhine State February 13.

Both sides blamed the other for the school attack.

Duncan Harvey, national director for Save the Children in Myanmar, said in the wake of the attack that their thoughts are with the children and their families impacted by this horrible incident.

“It is not just our moral obligation to make sure children are safe and secure but a legal one too. All the warring parties in Myanmar have a duty under international law to make sure children are protected and schools are kept out of the line of fire,” he said, according to a report by UCA News.

In response to a separate incident involving children, Athena Rayburn of Save the Children spoke of the death of children as Rohingya Muslims died in a boat accident when they were trying to flee to Malaysia.

She said Save the Children called on Myanmar to take all necessary steps to ensure the Rohingya community can return to their homes in a safe and dignified manner and that the tragic drowning of women and children should be a wake-up call for us all.