World Vision calls for an immediate end to violence against children in Myanmar.
30th March 2021
As of 29th March 2021, over 40 of the 510 civilians documented1 as killed amid the political unrest in Myanmar, are children. At least ten of the 114 killed during the annual Armed Forces Day on 27th March are minors. Almost 1000 children are estimated2 to have been arbitrarily detained to date.
The violence against children in Myanmar must stop.
Children continue to be hurt or killed by the very forces meant to protect them, within homes and communities, where they should be safe. The brutality and traumatizing scenes unfolding in their lives will leave deep psychological, physical and emotional scars which a lifetime may not heal. The use of intimidation, force, tear gas, rubber bullets and firepower by security forces against children and civilians is unacceptable.
World Vision is deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of children. The violence which they face is unacceptable. World Vision is present in the communities we serve, and will continue to stand with children to ensure that they receive the best possible level of support, within a limited INGO operating context. We are distributing food rations and basic necessities to meet survival needs within disrupted communities. We are also supporting livelihoods by providing families that are facing hardship with livestock, animal feed and vegetable seeds.
World Vision is witnessing a rise in cases of early marriage, sexual and physical violence against children who are at home and in households that are under financial, physical and mental strain from the current unrest, as well as the aftershocks of COVID-193. Protracted instability will lead to generational psychological and socio-economic harm. A year of school closures and business disruption due to COVID-19 are set to worsen existing and create new vulnerabilities, increase hardship and poverty across the nation.
World Vision stands with fellow signatories of an INGO joint declaration4 which makes clear our humanitarian position, and our clarion “call-to-action" for all local and international leaders to take concrete and immediate measures to protect children during these challenging times. We urgently call for a peaceful resolution that respects international humanitarian law, so that the children and people in Myanmar have hope for the future, and can live life to their fullest potential.
World Vision’s commitment to the children and people in Myanmar remains steadfast. We have been operating in Myanmar for almost 30 years, with programming in 12 out of 14 regions. Our work impacts the lives of 1.6 million people, including 475,660 children across the country. We facilitate long-term sustainable development plans that are focused on building livelihoods, improving food security and access to health care and education.
Almost all of World Vision’s Area Programmes, directly benefitting sponsored children and their communities, are operational with some limitations which are brought upon by the current situation in Myanmar. Local postal services are currently affected, as with healthcare, transport, education and other public services. Mobile internet services have also been curtailed. Our staff are monitoring the presence and safety of over 70,000 children, gathering updates via phone or through community volunteers every week.
1 Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) https://aappb.org/?p=13942
2 Unicef Myanmar: https://www.facebook.com/unicefmyanmar/posts/3988797487854413
3 World Vision International https://www.wvi.org/publications/report/coronavirus-health-crisis/aftershocks-outtime