[JURIST] The Myanmar government on Monday release 46 underage and child recruits from the military. Myanmar has released 745 underage recruits [Reuters report] since the country became a part of a UN joint action plan in 2012. The UN believes the continued release of the underage recruits is necessary to the country's continued growth and development within society. Myanmar was also criticized by UN officials for the non-state militant groups that continue to recruit children to fight for their cause.
Last year Myanmar President Thein Sein signed a nationwide ceasefire agreement [JURIST report] with eight armed rebel groups in an effort to establish peace in Myanmar. Last March UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee called on state authorities [JURIST report] to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process in Myanmar. Previous Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana expressed concern [JURIST report] in 2014 about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country's Rakhine State [JURIST news archive]. In October 2013 Quintana warned [JURIST report] that sectarian violence between the Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State was contributing to wider anti-Muslim sentiments in Myanmar and threatening the positive changes undertaken by the country in the past two years.