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Myanmar works toward reintegrating child soldiers
Publication Date : 03-10-2013
Myanmar's Ministry of Labour and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) held a workshop on Tuesday to discuss reintegrating child soldiers and creating opportunities for less fortunate children.
The workshop, held at the Summit Parkview Hotel in Yangon, was attended by officials from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Welfare, the ILO and various non-governmental organisations.
"We are working for children who are legally permitted for work in spite of their tender age; to provide them with suitable jobs, ensure safety at worksites and see they do not get exploited as forced labour," said Steve Marshal, ILO liaison officer for Myanmar.
Myanmar's armed forces recently released 105 child soldiers recruited between 2012 and 2013. The workshop also discussed finding suitable work for ex-child soldiers and drawing plans for worksite safety. Steve Marshal emphasised the importance to take care of these minors so that they are not exploited in future.
"If we lose the battle to nurture these children, they could fall into a repeated circle of poverty, face forced labor and may commit crimes," he added.
The Ministry of Labour is cooperating with the Department of Social Welfare in providing vocational training for former child soldiers after they have been reunited with their families.