The Myanmar Government’s treatment of Rohingya children violates core provisions of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, according to a legal opinion co-authored by Professor Guy S. Goodwin-Gill of UNSW’s Kaldor Centre and Dr Jason Pobjoy, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers in London.
Since the violent attacks targeting the stateless Muslim minority Rohingya in August 2017, nearly 700,000 people are estimated to have fled into Bangladesh, half of them children.
The new legal analysis points to several specific violations: failure to protect children from violence, abuse, neglect, sexual and other exploitation, inhumane treatment and detention.
The opinion, commissioned by Save the Children Norway, also cites “indiscriminate and extrajudicial killing of Rohingya children, and the torture, ill-treatment and gender-based violence” committed against them.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child [CRC] is one of the few international human rights treaties to which Myanmar is a party, having acceded to it in 1991.
“In circumstances where children are the victims of many of the atrocities that are alleged to have occurred, and where the CRC provides the most comprehensive articulation of the rights that are owed to children, it is clearly of some importance that the events that took place in northern Rakhine State are considered through the prism of the international human rights obligations codified in the CRC,” the Goodwin-Gill and Pobjoy’s opinion reads.
Their legal analysis, based on research and fact-finding by United Nations bodies and international human rights groups, found both the government and the security forces at fault.
Read the full Legal Opinion.