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Myanmar has taken the lead in Southeast Asia to eliminate corporal punishment and child labour with the ratification of a minimum age obligation and new legislation. (Image by Suvajit Roy from Pixabay: For illustration purposes only)

YANGON: Myanmar has taken the lead in Southeast Asia to eliminate corporal punishment and child labour with the ratification of a minimum age obligation and new legislation.

According to the Myanmar Times, last November, the International labour Organisation’s Minimum Age Convention No 138 was approved by parliament.

Among others, the 18-article convention allows Myanmar and other underdeveloped countries to employ children aged 12 to 14 for non-harmful light work.

It also seeks to abolish child labour and support the physical, mental and economic development of young people.

A few months earlier, Myanmar enacted the Child Rights Law, which garnered widespread recognition and support among civil society organisations for the advancement of children’s rights.

It also ended violence against children and the legislation was applauded by the likes of Unicef, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children.

Save the Children, which has operations in Myanmar, hailed the nation as a leader in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the issue of any form of punishment perpetrated against children.

Myanmar national director of Save the Children Duncan Harvey said this was a significant step forward in the elimination of physical and humiliating punishment of children, which unfortunately was widespread not only in Myanmar, but in many countries.

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