A step in the right direction as rebels sign an agreement to protect children’s rights.
The Karenni Army (KA) and Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) in Myanmar have co-signed an agreement that protects children during the conflict.
The two groups have become the first rebel fighters to sign a commitment to protecting children with rights group Geneva Call, leading a positive example for children’s rights in conflicts worldwide.
As signatories the two groups must ensure that no-one under the age of 18 is recruited or used by the armed forces, and they also pledge to ensure that the rights of youngsters in areas of their control are met.
Children will be allowed access to food, water, education and should not be involved in the conflict or have any role within the forces.
Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW), Asia division, hopes that the agreement could lead to others making similar commitments:
“The action that they took by signing on to the document is the right way to go and we want to encourage that other non-state groups do the same.”
Putting an end to child soldier’s may have a long way to go, but this fantastic news is certainly a step in the right direction.