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To mark International Children’s Day on 20 November, more than 200 civil society organisations (CSOs) based in Burma sent an open letter to President Thein Sein calling on his government to implement and respect its commitments to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The letter, directly addressed to the president, was signed by 230 CSOs including groups focused on human rights, peace, HIV/AIDS, and women’s and children’s rights.
“The government has a responsibility to ensure the lives of children, but if we look at the current situation, Burma still has a high rate of infant mortality and malnutrition among children, even compared to other ASEAN members, let alone globally,” said Aung Myo Min, director of Equality Myanmar.
“Recruitment of children as soldiers and child trafficking still persist, as well as child labour cases,” he said. “In ethnic areas, internally displaced children lack protection – we sent the letter to the president to highlight these issues and ask him to carry out the necessary means of implementation.”
The CSOs also called on the government to specify an age limit for children in the workplace.
Burma signed the CRC on 15 July 1991.