From Human Right Watch
After years of discussion and debate, Myanmar has finally enacted a law to protect the rights of children.
Consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Myanmar has ratified, the law defines a child as anyone younger than 18 and provides all children born in Myanmar have the right to birth registration.
This is important, but other shortcomings need to be addressed. Myanmar should revise the law to provide all children with the right to a nationality and not be stateless – therefore, full citizenship rights. The children of parents Myanmar does not recognize as citizens, notably Rohingya Muslims, or who face discriminatory application of the law, such as Kaman Muslims or women trafficked to China, are denied Myanmar citizenship. Without citizenship, children have difficulty entering school, obtaining health care, and traveling inside the country as well as abroad. Those born in Myanmar often will be stateless, which international law tries to prevent.
The child rights law, passed in July, appropriately sets 18 as the minimum age of marriage, regardless of gender. Child marriage is hard to track in Myanmar, but the organization Girls Not Brides estimates 16 percent of girls are married before they turn 18. Now Myanmar should create a national action plan to end all child marriage, aligning implementation of the law to Target 5.3 of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Relevant ministries should work together and develop a comprehensive plan containing measurable benchmarks and clear timelines.
Get the full story here.