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The United Nations  has welcomed the release of 24 children by Myanmar’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, and called for the acceleration of discharges in line with the commitment made last year by the Government to end child rights violations.

According to a news release issued by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the 24 children were officially discharged yesterday  at a ceremony in Yangon, attended by senior officials of the Tatmadaw and the Government, as well as the UN.

“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,” stated UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar Ashok Nigam.

“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,” he added.

A child in Myanmar military

Myanmar is one of 14 countries – with armed forces or armed groups identified by the UN Secretary-General as committing grave child rights violations – working together with the UN system to end grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict.

Last June, the UN and the Government of Myanmar signed an action plan that sets a timetable and measurable activities for the release and reintegration of children associated with Government armed forces, as well as the prevention of further recruitment.