Myanmar kids face threats due to Kachin fighting: Unicef

United Nations, April 23: The Unicef has warned that children fraternity in Myanmar is facing different types of dangers in the light of recent fighting between government forces and Kachin rebels.

The recent fighting and the resulting displacement of thousands of people, have significantly increased the risks to young people, including possible recruitment, limited access to basic services and the threat of landmines, Xinhua quoted the Unicef as saying Tuesday.

An estimated 1,000 children are among those forced to leave their temporary homes amid the fighting between the Myanmar National Army and the Kachin Independence Army in areas of southern Kachin state, Unicef said in a release.

“The fighting and the associated displacement of families has increased the health risks that children face, including by reducing their access to safe, reliable water and sanitation facilities,” said Bertrand Bainvel, Unicef’s representative to Myanmar.

In addition, Kachin and northern Shan are already among the most heavily mined areas in Myanmar, the UN agency said.

More than 75,000 people have been displaced since fighting between government forces and Kachin rebels began almost two years ago. For many of those displaced in the latest hostilities, it is the second or third time that they have been uprooted in the past year.

“For the sake of Myanmar’s children, all parties must immediately commit to do all they can to end the violence, to protect children from exposure to land mines and recruitment into armed forces, and to commit to peace,” Bainvel said.

“This is absolutely essential if children in Kachin are to experience the same hope and improved prospects that are now being experienced by so many other children in Myanmar as a result of the recent reforms,” he said.

IANS