Myanmar releases child conscripts

Feb. 19, 2013 at 9:04 AM

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The Myanmar military released two dozen children from service as part of a pledge to end conscription practices, a U.N. coordinator said.

The United Nations and Myanmar in June signed a measure that ensures the government ends its practice of recruiting children in the national forces known as Tatmadaw.

Ashok Nigam, U.N. resident coordinator in Myanmar, attended a ceremony for the release from duty of 24 children who served in the military.

"This release of 24 children is a welcome step in the implementation of the action plan by the government and reflects its commitment that children should not, and will no longer, be recruited and used for military purposes," he said in a statement.

The agreement calls on Myanmar to ensure all children are released from military service. The United Nations didn't provide an estimate of how many children were serving with the Tatmadaw.

"I call for the acceleration of the release of all children from the Tatmadaw and for the non-State armed groups to also do the same," Nigam said.

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