A report by legal experts have found that Myanmar's crackdown on the Muslim minority Rohingya, leading to an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from the community since August, constitutes a violation to the country's obligations under the United Nations child rights convention.
Myanmar is part of a 1991 U.N. Convention on Children's Rights and is bound by international law to protect their rights.
According to the experts' report, nearly half of the over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims are children who have been forcibly displaced by Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the military crackdown in August.
"The research finds that the response by the Myanmar Government to the August 2017 attacks on police posts, together with the ongoing discrimination against Rohingya, constitute violations of at least seven key articles of the (UN convention on the rights of the child)," their report pointed out.
The violations highlighted in the report include failure to protect children from violence, abuse, neglect, sexual and other exploitation, inhumane treatment and detention and it further points to the "indiscriminate and extrajudicial killing of Rohingya children, and the torture, ill-treatment and gender-based violence" committed against them, Reuters reported.
The analysis found both the government and the security forces to be guilty. The Myanmar government "took positive steps" to assist the military operations and there was no evidence to suggest it did anything to curtail or condemn the security forces’ actions, the report stated.
"The list of violations we have found is not exhaustive," said Guy Goodwin-Gill, emeritus professor of international refugee law at Oxford University, who co-authored the report, according to Reuters. "It represents only the most serious violations and there most likely are several others."
Experts also expressed concern over the government’s failure to conduct an independent investigation into the events following the August 2017 attacks, and the continued discrimination against Rohingya children by denying them citizenship, all as part of Myanmar's obligations to the child rights convention.
Neither the Myanmar government officials nor the military officials have responded to the report's findings so far.