Media Relations Manager
Yangon, MYANMAR (June 27, 2012) — World Vision applauds the decision of the Government of Myanmar to sign a “Joint Action Plan” that will keep children from being forced to serve as soldiers. The plan promises to release under-age recruits from the armed forces and prevent further recruitment of soldiers under the age of 18.
The Action Plan, signed in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday, is a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Defense and the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting. This agreement is a significant step, following several years of negotiations between the Government and the task force, composed of various UN agencies and civil society including World Vision.
By signing the action plan, the government commits to cease recruitment of children under 18 and discharge any children currently serving in the armed forces in Myanmar. The agreement also includes raising awareness through campaigns to stop underage recruitment, granting access to UN agencies and partners for monitoring underage recruits, and coordinating with non-state armed groups to stop underage recruitment.:
This agreement represents a work in progress since the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1612 in 2005, calling for the protection of children affected by armed conflict. The task force was activated in 2007 and has been negotiating the action plan to protect children in armed conflict since 2008.
“We welcome today’s signing as a very significant milestone toward the protection of children in Myanmar,” said Chris Herink, National Director of World Vision Myanmar. “This plan underscores the government’s commitment to stop underage recruiting, and we will continue to support the government and local communities to keep children safe.”
In Myanmar, World Vision works to help prevent underage recruitment through raising awareness in communities, and supports the reintegration of former child soldiers back into their families and communities. To date in 2012, World Vision Myanmar has assisted in the reintegration of 20 former child soldiers.
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World Vision Background: World Vision has been supporting Myanmar children since 1959, and in 1993 we opened our first in-country office in support of four HIV/AIDS projects. Today, World Vision has 140 projects in 11 states and regions. More than three million people are benefiting from our work in 1,202 wards and villages.
Our 35 Area Development Programs (ADP) focus on regions where we’ve been partnering with community, government and non-governmental organizations for 12 to15 years. This commitment fosters long-term, sustainable development enabling families to restore livelihoods, improve food security, access health care, and invest in education so children can have hope for the future. World Vision works at all levels to support greater recognition of the Convention for the Rights of the Child, and encourages participation from children in program planning.
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About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews