Despite progress, life for Myanmar’s children remains struggle: UNICEF

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This 9-year-old, the son of a pastor at the village church, was injured by unexploded ordnance two years ago in Ann Ka Law village, Kayin state in Myanmar. Photo: UNICEF/Brown

Despite progress made by Myanmar to further children's rights in the country, more than half of them still live below the poverty line, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported on Tuesday.

Social and economic measures undertaken by the State since 2010 were beginning to strengthen the systems that boost children's health, education and protection, the agency said.

However, unresolved conflict, poverty and under-development are preventing children in remote parts of the country from reaping the benefits of these reforms.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

Child Alert is a briefing series by UNICEF highlighting challenges children face during crises.

In its latest alert, the agency shows how life for children in Myanmar remains a struggle, in spite of the reform and reconciliation efforts undertaken by the Government.

A draft child law and increased public funding for immunization programmes and education have demonstrated a stronger commitment to furthering children's rights in the country.

Still, up to 150 children under the age of five die each day, while nearly 30 per cent suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition, the UN estimates.

Poor children living in remote areas, or trapped in conflict situations are at risk of being excluded as are their families, according to UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth.

International attention has largely focused on Rakhine State, where more than 120,000 people have been displaced as a result of inter-communal conflict that erupted in 2012.

Many of them are Rohingya Muslims.

The report calls for improved humanitarian access to an estimated 2.2 million children affected by violence, and for an end to rights violations including the use of children as soldiers.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21”




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