A 13-year old child playing with his friend in bright daylight was shot in the head while trying to escape the bullets. What’s even more astonishing about the incidents that it’s not the only one of its kind; ever since the Myanmar military coup on 1 February, the country has become a living hell for its residents, especially children.
But why is the country’s military targetting innocent children? How are international governments responding to the aggravating condition of human rights in Mynamar? And is there any way out?
Myanmar Military Coup: Living Hell For Children
With the military in control, ruthlessness towards human loss, and heart-wrenching attack,s Myanmar is no more safe for children. Shooting children is not only a criminal offense, but a violation of human rights law, and above all ethically wrong.
Myanmar military coup has turned the country into a battleground; where the Burma Military is battling against its own people for establishing its governance. But in this long-drawn war, armed forces are using every tactic to control the anarchy in which children, the most vulnerable are increasingly targeted.
Khin Myo-Chita: One of Many
Mandalay: In the afternoon of Tuesday, 30th March, Khin Myo-Chita, a 6-year old child was hiding out of terror in her own home, along with her 25-year old sister and 19-year old brother; when armed men thunderously kicked open their house’s door.
As soon as the door opened, they entered the home and started searching for hidden arms and people. This freaked the little girl, and desperately in search of a safe place, she ran to her father’s lap when a bullet was fired at her.
While rushing to the hospital for medical assistance; the bleeding and unbearable pain caused by the bullet took the child’s life. “I can’t father, it’s too painful” was the last word uttered by Khin Myo-Chita; as told by her father U Maung Ko Hashin Bai in an interview by Myanmar Muslim Media.
13-year old: Shot in Head
Earlier the same week, a 13-year old boy was shot in the head‘s back while trying to escape along with his 10-year old friend. The incident happened while the boys were playing when a military truck was pulled out of blues and started firing into the air.
Both the children grabbed each other hands and started running, but one bullet ran through the 13-year old’s head and he fell to the ground. The 10-year old succeeded in hiding from the armed groups.
The Unforeseen Long-Term Damage
Children in Myanmar are going through such unthinkable incidents that no child should ever be confronted with. Yet, the list is far longer, the above were only two cases of the 43 children killed ever since the military took over the country, (AAPP) Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Along with ruining and traumatizing the young minds, Myanmar’s military is also doing the country unforeseen, long-term damage. Myanmar Military Coup will severely impact the physical and mental health of young children.
The military is also condemned for using the country’s education and health facilities and attacking schools and hospitals. This is depriving the civilians of access to life-saving assistance in times of need.
Myanmar’s military has been attacking and detaining protestors for a long time. A new report released by the authorities confirmed that about 600 protestors are being held as detainees at (Rangoon) Insein prison in Yangon. According to AAPP; more than 2,000 people including children have been arrested by the armed forces so far.
Dr M’jid, Ms. Gamba Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence against Children and Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict respectively said in a statement; “The longer the current situation of widespread violence continuous, the more it will contribute to a continuous state of distress and toxic stress for children, which can have a lifelong impact on their mental and physical health.”
Myanmar Military Coup: International Response
The international government and right groups are furious about the nefarious crimes committed by the military. But on the opposite side, Myanmar’s military is blaming the protestors for bringing violence and anarchy to the country. UNICEF has long condemned the military for killing and detaining children amidst the ongoing crisis.
Save the Children, a right group that is working at the grassroots level in Myanmar says; “The death of these children is especially concerning given that they reportedly were killed while being at home, where they should have been safe from harm. The fact that so many children are being killed on an almost daily basis now shows a complete disregard for human life by security forces”
The daunting incidents of killing that can run anybody’s blood cold are daylight realities for children in Burma. Its high time for international governments to build pressure on the military to stop the violence not only against children but everyone.