Myanmar signs pact with UN to ban child soldiers

Associated Press Published: June 28, 2012

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar has signed an agreement with the United Nations to ban the recruitment of child soldiers and demobilize those already serving.

The Southeast Asian nation is one of about two dozen countries worldwide found by the U.N. to violate international law on the rights of children in armed conflicts.

The U.N. office in Yangon said in a press release Thursday that the agreement was the result of years of negotiations with a task force on child soldiers comprising U.N. agencies along with the private groups World Vision and Save the Children.

Task force co-chairman Ramesh Shrestha of UNICEF said at Wednesday's signing that supporting the demobilized youth with education and jobs is a key task.

The U.N. says seven ethnic guerrilla armies in Myanmar also use child soldiers.