Conflicts & War

Myanmar forces violate child rights by occupying schools, Unicef ??says

(Update: adds UN statements)

Bangkok, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The occupation of education facilities by Myanmar security forces is a “serious violation of children’s rights” that will worsen the learning crisis for millions of students in the country, Unicef said in a statement Saturday.

The UN’s children agency said the military had occupied more than 60 schools and university campuses in 13 states and regions of the military-ruled country on Friday.

A joint statement by Unicef, Save the Children, and Unesco said Myanmar security forces had reportedly beaten two teachers as they entered the premises and left several others injured.

The military has also occupied other public institutions like hospitals and health centers.

The statement urged the military to vacate the facilities “immediately” as such “incidents mark a further escalation of the current crisis.”

“Schools must not be used by security forces under any circumstances,” the statement said.

At least 235 people, including several minors, have lost their lives in violent clashes between security forces and pro-democracy protesters across Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup by the country’s military, according to advocacy group Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The protests have continued despite a reign of terror unleashed by the security forces who have repeatedly opened fire at unarmed peaceful demonstrators.

Myanmar Now news portal on Saturday reported two more fatalities that occurred overnight in Yangon, the former capital and largest city.

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