UN Authority Figures

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Board, Executive Board: Myanmar

"A child soldier wearing a Burmese army uniform." (Irrawady, April 23, 2009)

Mission of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF): "UNICEF is mandated by the UN General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority." (UN Children's Fund web-site, "UNICEF's Mission Statement")

Term of office: 2008-2009

Myanmar's Record on Children:
"The army continued to recruit and use child soldiers...The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that, compared with 2007, the number of child soldier complaints rose in the first half of the year...[L]ocal government officials placed the children of Chin Christians in Buddhist monasteries, where they were given religious instruction and converted to Buddhism without their parents' knowledge or consent...[I]ncreasing numbers of children worked in the informal economy or in the street, where they were exposed to drugs, petty crime, risk of arrest, trafficking for sex and labor exploitation, and HIV/AIDS...Trafficking in girls for the purpose of prostitution...persisted as a major problem...[F]oreign diplomatic representatives noted widespread presence of female prostitutes who appeared to be in their teens. Additionally, some brothels reportedly offered young teenage "virgins" to their customers for a substantial additional fee." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Burma)