Child Soldiers International’s shadow report to the Committee documents concerns about the involvement of children in armed conflict in Myanmar, to inform the examination of Myanmar’s 3rd and 4th periodic reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Myanmar government is one of the few remaining governments whose national army (Tatmadaw Kyi) continues to systematically recruit and use children in armed conflict, and has been listed in the UN Secretary-General‘s report on children in armed conflict since 2003. Information collected by Child Soldiers International shows that the Tatmadaw Kyi military officers and informal recruiting agents continue to use intimidation, coercion, and physical violence to gain new recruits, a sizeable number of which are underage and a system of incentives to reward recruiters still exists. Once recruited, child soldiers are required to perform a range of tasks which include combat, exploding landmines, scouting, spying, guarding camps, portering, cooking and other support functions. Many children who attempt to escape from the army are arrested on charges of desertion, tried in military courts and commonly sentenced to imprisonment. Child soldiers are also present in the majority of Myanmar‘s non-state armed groups.