Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against
civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating
situation in the country.
Hundreds of civilians, including at least 44 children (as of 31 March) have been killed in the crackdown across the
country, including a 7-year-old girl, who was shot while in her home. Countless more have been seriously injured, since
the military coup
on 1 February.
“We call on the Tatmadaw [Myanmar’s military] to halt widespread violence against children in any manifestation … the
children deserve no less”, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
, and Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children
, said in a joint statement
They also called on the military to stop the detention of children as clearly stated in the Convention on the Rights of
the Child, amid reports that over 900 children and young people have been arbitrary detained.
While many have been released, others remain held without access to legal counsel
, according to the statement.‘Deep concern’ over long-term effects
Ms. Gamba and Dr. M’jid also voiced deep concern over the longer-term effects of the current crisis in Myanmar on the
physical and mental wellbeing of children and their families.
“The longer the current situation of widespread violence continuous, the more it will contribute to a continuous state
of distress and toxic stress for children, which can have a lifelong impact on their mental and physical health”, the
The two Special Representatives also condemned the military’s use of education
and health facilities as well as widespread attacks on schools and hospitals and their personnel, which can deprive
civilians from accessing life-saving interventions.
There have been at least 35 incidents documented of arrests and violence against teachers and health personnel, as well
as 120 incidents of use of education and health facilities by the military.Fully respect human rights: Security Council
Members of the UN Security Council
also voiced deep concern at the rapidly deteriorating situation in the south-east Asian nation, and strongly condemned
the use of violence against peaceful protestors and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children.
According to the representative of Viet Nam, Security Council President for April, the members reiterated their call on
the military to exercise utmost restraint
as well as the need to “fully respect human rights” and “pursue dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will
and interests of the people of Myanmar”.
They also urged all sides to refrain from violence and called again for the immediate release of all detainees
, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
Council members also noted the Secretary-General’s call on 27 March 2021 for a firm, unified and resolute response
from the international community, stressing that they continue “to monitor the situation closely and would remain
actively seized of the matter”.