Strengthening and Protecting Child Rights in Myanmar

Feb 2017

Strengthening and Protecting Child Rights in Myanmar
Through this project we aim to empower seven villages in Thandaung Gyi Township, Karen State, to ensure that these communities provide a safe and nurturing environment in which the rights of children are promoted and protected in order to improve overall child well-being.

For more than 60 years, Karen children and their parents have suffered as a result of the armed conflict between the Burmese Government and Karen armed troops. This has been the longest on-going civil war in the world. Now, due to the national reconciliation effort, Myanmar is taking positive steps forward. However instability, insecurity, poverty, poor road infrastructure, lack of quality education and health care issues continue to persist.

71% of rural households in Thandaung Gyi villages are blighted by food insecurity, with many children continuing to have many of their basic needs unmet.

Democratic values such as respect for the rights of children, gender equality and social justice need addressing. In order for families to afford food, many children are engaged in labour rather than attending school. Cases of child abuse, including neglect, exploitation and sexual abuse are frequent and increasing.

International Needs Australia’s experience with education projects has influenced the deliberate strategy to focus on awareness, advocacy, economic empowerment and community capacity building. This approach will be key to achieving progress in these poor rural settings where financial resources are scarce and government assistance is completely insufficient.

Gender equality will be addressed by working closely with communities to ensure that female representation on management committees is at least 50%. Communities will participate in discussions on disability identification and inclusion, and training and awareness on child rights and protection will be provided to project staff, parents, children, community based organisations and community members.

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