MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations welcomed the release of 109 children from the Myanmar military, which became its single biggest release of child soldiers, The Guardian reported Thursday.
According to the newspaper, Bertrand Bainvel, the head of the UN children's fund in Myanmar, said the military wanted to become a professional army, and the presence of children might preclude other countries from cooperation.
Bainvel noted that recruitment continued but at a lower rate than before. A large number of child recruits come from deprived families. For these families a son in the army could be a source of income.
Recruitment of children most commonly takes place in the cities of Rangoon and Mandalay.
Myanmar is one of seven countries with armed forces identified by the UN as committing grave child rights violations that works together with the organization to put an end to such violations in situations of armed conflict.
In March 2014, UNICEF launched the "Children, not Soldiers" campaign aimed at ending and preventing the recruitment and use of children by government security forces in conflict by 2016.