Target: United Nations Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon
Goal: Prevent the Burmese military, with its long history of human rights abuses, from participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions
A recent offer by the United Nations to accept Burmese armed forces in peacekeeping missions could lead to human rights abuses, undermining the mission. Representatives of the United Nations extended the invitation to the Burmese defense services commander in chief, during a recent visit to Burma. The Burmese military is one of the most abusive in the world, and the international human rights community has documented widespread killing, torture, sexual violence, the use of child soldiers, and forced labor in the Burmese army. This decision by the UN must be reconsidered until the Burmese military takes the necessary steps to fall in line with international human rights regulations.
Despite recent reforms in Burma, the military has maintained the control it gained when it took power in 1962. When a new constitution was drafted in 2008, the military government in power at the time included a clause stipulating that the military would be given immunity for past crimes. This has made it seem acceptable for the military to continue its rampage, as there is little chance for punishment. In the Kachin State of Burma, for example, the army has continued its campaign of violence against ethnic Kachin civilians.
These abuses should immediately remove Burmese soldiers from being used in peacekeeping missions. It would be impossible for UN screening programs to catch and remove all abusers in the army before sending out units on a mission. In particular, the United Nations would be forced to confront the fact that the Burmese military continues to use child soldiers. This fact alone should have convinced Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon to not allow Burmese soldiers to join peacekeeping missions. Sign this petition and demand that the United Nations retract its offer to the Burmese military.
Dear Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon,
The recent decision within your organization to include Burmese soldiers as part of future peacekeeping missions is horribly misguided. The Burmese army is notorious for severe human rights violations and there is no way to guarantee that this unacceptable behavior would halt once they left the confines of Burma. I ask that you immediately remove the invitation to the Burmese military until they drastically improve their human rights record.
In particular, the use of child soldiers in the Burmese army is distressing. Your organization listed them as a “persistent perpetrator” in 2012, and human rights organizations have seen little to no improvement since. By providing the Burmese government with the reward of being involved in UN peacekeeping missions, you are stating that the UN is fine with the Burmese military’s use of child soldiers. I ask that you immediately make them aware that their human rights abuses will not celebrated.
[Your Name Here]
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