Child Soldier 2 (19)
(Cannot be identified and name has to be changed-He has no official release papers so still at risk)
Child Soldier 2 was 15 when he volunteered with a friend for the Burmese Army after running away from an abusive home due to his stepdads drinking.
He had to spend 3 years in the army and during that time he escaped twice. The first time he was caught he was imprisoned and tortured by the officers who also tattooed his arm as punishment.
His parents contacted MCC Community Organiser Naw May Lyan who helped locate him and made his case known to the International Labour Organisation. He has been let out of the army and has a Protection Letter from the ILO but has still not been officially release from the army so he is afraid of the police and army and that he may be forced to return. May Lyan continues to fight for his release papers.
He is now a rickshaw driver in the Delta region.
The use of child soldiers remain a controversial issue within both the Burmese Army and the numerous ethnic group militias. There are an estimated 5,000 child soldiers still active in the Burmese Army. The government have said they would demobilise them but progress has been slow.
(See Extended Captions Word document for full details.(
With the support of Act for Peace, The Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC) trains Community Organisers whose mission is to assist their community confront cases of injustice. The Community Organisers act as a base of knowledge and intermediary between the community and relevant organisations dealing with injustice such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UNICEF, anti-trafficking police, lawyers and government officials.
From 1962 to 2011, a military junta ruled Myanmar, suppressing almost all opposition and exercised absolute power. During those periods, the people suffered human rights abuses, including the forcible relocation of civilians and the widespread use of forced labour, including children. On 1st April 2011, the Burmese Military Regime stepped down for the Democratisation of the country.
Progress has been made in the country but it still has a long way to go before all human rights are restored.