Myanmar: children’s death toll worries UN human rights expert

Children playing in an Internally Displacement Persons camp in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine State Children playing in an Internally Displacement Persons camp in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine State UNICEF/Nyan Zay Htet

22 September 2020

UN Special Rapporteur calls for an immediate ceasefire in Rakhine State and tells on the mounting death toll of innocent children

During the 45th regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, Thomas Andews, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, called for an immediate ceasefire in Rakhine State, reporting the continuous rise of innocent children killed by the ongoing fights. The horror and brutality of war continues in Rakhine State for far too many civilians, including children. In particular, Andrews mentioned that two five-year-old children were killed, and another was wounded by artillery fire in Myenbon Township in the second week of September 2020.

It is still not clear whether these children and their families are being caught in the crossfire war or being deliberately targeted. Despite this uncertainty, it is clear that “these assaults need to stop and the Secretary-General’s call for a ceasefire must be heeded immediately”, said the UN Special Rapporteur. In addition, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has also been ratified by Myanmar, states that governments must do everything they can to protect children affected by war and conflicts. Every child has the right to life and governments must therefore do everything they can to ensure that children survive. “We own them nothing less”, stated Thomas Andrews.

In conclusion, Andrews also underscored that Myanmar will hold national elections in a few weeks, highlighting that they will likely fail to meet the most basic standards of fairness, freedom, transparency, and credibility, because they will occur when armed conflict rages. Not to mention that another immediate challenge is conducting elections while combating COVID-19.

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26279&LangID=E

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/09/1073092

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcNYredNCNI

 

Author: Barbara Caltabiano; Editor: Gianmarco Italia

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