Since the military coup on 1st February, violence has erupted and protesters, including young protesters and children, have been shot and killed. Children’s safety must be prioritised and protected under all circumstances, and the only way do that is to stop the violence altogether. Save the Children is continuing to do everything we can to support children in Myanmar.
Despite increased spending on social services and positive policy developments in areas such as health and education, children in Myanmar still face a range of significant problems.
Armed conflict continues in many regions of the country. Children living in such conflict-affected areas are vulnerable to child protection issues, including violence, abuse, trafficking and recruitment into armed forces.
Children in Myanmar are especially impacted by poverty, which often forces them out of school and into work. Approximately 21% of children under the age of 18 are working, some as young as eight, often in dangerous jobs with long hours. Only 60% of children enter secondary school, dropping to just 37% amongst the poorest students.
Poor health and nutrition, and inadequate access to healthcare affect the quality of life and survival of children, and limit their physical and cognitive development. One in 25 children die before reaching their first birthday and 29% of children under five are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. This contributes to Myanmar having the lowest life expectancy among all southeast Asian countries.
Save the Children has been working in Myanmar since 1995. In that time, we have developed innovative programmes to help address the most critical issues impacting children across the country. Our programmes include:
Improving children’s access to basic health and nutrition
Ensuring that all children in Myanmar are protected from harm
Upholding children’s rights to participation and representation
Ensuring every child receives a quality education
Addressing household poverty so that even the most vulnerable children have the opportunity to succeed
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