International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers celebrates in Mae Sot

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Equality Myanmar organized the activities of International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers (12th February) and Burma Children’s Day (13th February) at Thwe Thit migrant School, on February 12, 2012. The ceremony was attended by students, parents and other public, numbering around 600, from Thwe Thit school, New Wave school, and local Thai schools.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Pan Tsun, Child Rights Coordinator of the Equality Myanmar, gave a speech about the aims of Red Hand Day. A member of United Act, Ye Yint Naung, delivered the message about the history of Red Hand Day and the current situation of global child soldier issues. U Zaw Lwin Oo, principal at New Blood school, then delivered the message about the history of Burma Children’s Day.

During the ceremony, along with the delivery of these messages, the United Act Theater Group, which is formed by Mae Sot based Burmese migrant students, performed a play called “Victim of War”. Audience members attentively watched the play which is based on the tragic story of three children who are forced to serve in the military. In addition to this play, guest singers Yuri and Zaw Zaw performed songs related to child rights.

DVB television is broadcasting a Red Hand Day anniversary song called “Pencil which is not heavier than army boots” produced by Equality Myanmar on time at the same day. Moreover, this song and other anti-child soldier drama CDs were given to the audience.

The protocol of the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding children in armed conflict officially came in to force on February 12, 2002. In order to add support to the fight against the use of child soldiers, February 12 is marked as Red Hand Day and International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, and anti-child soldier campaigns are performed annually.

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