Statement (8/2022)

2022 April 8

There was a reported case of abducting a 4-year-old child from his kindergarten by the junta forces wearing plain-clothes on April 5th in Ahlone township since the forces seemingly fail to find his father. It is likely that the child in question was kidnapped following the junta’s policy of “punishment by proxy”. Since the kidnapping, the whereabouts of the 4-year-old child remains unknown. It was reported later that the mother has been in interrogation centre while the child was kidnapped. Both the lives of mother and the child are in danger.

On Feb 21st, 2022, 20 young children were arrested in Chauk and threatened by the junta terrorists. On March 6th, 2022, another 4-year-old was brutally murdered with a spear in Pauk township by the military forces. When they cannot find the people they want, their family members, children and parents are taken or killed as a proxy. They are cowardly committing war crimes against children with alarming regularity. According to the data collected by the Ministry of Women, Youths and Children Affairs of the National Unity Government, there were 132 people under 18 years of age killed by the junta between the beginning of the coup and April 4th, 2022, and 216 arrested until 1 April 2022. Of these 216, 2 were given the death penalty, one of them was under 15.

According to Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it states that: “Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment”. The National Unity Government (NUG) recognizes the need to protect children. The National Unity Government (NUG) condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of children, and the abduction and arrest of children as proxies to punish or torment their families. Such barbaric and inhumane acts are all too common and wide-spread among the junta and their allies. The National Unity Government (NUG) will do everything within its power to thoroughly investigate each and every case, reunite families that have been torn apart, and hold all those responsible to account. International organizations/communities are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children in Myanmar. We strongly urge you to take effective actions against the Terrorist Military Council in order to ensure the safety of our children.

National Unity Government