Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Child Soldiers Released in Burma

Burmese military officials free two young men to their families following international intervention.

The Burmese military, notorious for recruiting under-aged fighters, has released two child soldiers to their families following pressure from a global labor rights watchdog.


Phyo Sithu with his mother following his release from prison, Sept. 2, 2011.

Zaw Wai Lin, 16, and Nay Ye Lin, 15, who were conscripted into different military units, were both allowed to leave their barracks on Friday after each had spent nearly a year in forced service.

Both children had been the subject of RFA coverage after their parents reported the boys missing and local rights group Human Rights Defenders and Promoters (HRDP) filed cases on their behalf with the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Zaw Wai Lin, of Rangoon division’s Hlaing Tharyar township, told RFA that he was released from the Mandalay 111 Directorate of Signal in front of local authorities and his parents.

"A group of army officers, one local authority, and my parents were present when they released me. They didn’t say anything when I was set free,” he said.

“I will be going back to school next year. For now, I will help my mom with farming."

Zaw Wai Lin said he was forced to join the army in September last year at the age of 15... (READ FULL STORY)

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