INGOs call for an end to violence against civilians, including children, and warn of imminent humanitarian crisis

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International non-government organisations (INGOs) based in Myanmar, including ChildFund, have renewed their call to armed forces and police to refrain from all forms of violence against civilians and to respect the fundamental human rights of all people in Myanmar, including freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and free flow of information.

The 41 organisations note their deep concerns for “the dire humanitarian consequences of this crisis”.

The statement says: “Obstacles to access vital health services for those injured, or persons with chronic disease, increase the risk of long term impairment, and represent a further challenge for Covid-19 response. The occupation of education and healthcare facilities across the country undermines the right to education and health.”

The INGOs add: “We remain committed to working with our civil society partners and supporting communities with urgently needed assistance to meet their immediate basic needs and with programmes that build greater resilience over the longer term.

“The political crisis is creating new vulnerabilities, increased humanitarian needs and deepening poverty across the country. The lives, livelihoods and rights of civilians must be protected.”

Download the full statement.

On 1 February 2021, a State of Emergency was declared in Myanmar following the military seizure of power. In the weeks since mass protests have taken place across the country.

Many individuals taking to the streets are children and young people, peacefully expressing their opinions.

In recent days, security forces have escalated their actions on peaceful protestors, with children and young people being killed, seriously injured and arrested.

Children and young people are afforded special protection under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and their safety must be prioritised and safeguarded.

ChildFund strongly urges the security forces to refrain from continued use of violence against all peaceful protestors, especially children and young people, to prevent further harm.

During this extremely difficult period, ChildFund stands in solidarity with children, young people, their families, and civil society in their fight for democracy in Myanmar.