conscripted child soldiers

Highest Number of Conscripted Child Soldiers: Myanmar

A 12-year-old soldier in the Karen rebel army
REUTERS/Jason Reed

Myanmar has the highest number of forcibly conscripted child soldiers in the world, rights activists say. The government is attacking ethnic Karen minority villages forcing many thousands to flee. Refugees say the military has shot children.

  • Some 70,000 children make up a fifth of Myanmar's army (Human Rights Watch).
  • Many have been forced to commit atrocities against ethnic minorities (HRW).
  • Rebel groups are also accused of recruiting child fighters.
  • Children and teenagers are used for forced labour and portering.
  • Thousands of children are living as refugees in Thailand, India and Bangladesh.
  • Many others are hiding in the jungle with no food after fleeing attacks.
"I have no idea where my parents are now."

Dang, 18, now living in a camp after escaping an army raid on his village.

Child Soldiers and Project AK-47 
Project: AK-47 is a team of people who are always ready to invade the next hopeless situation for children in armed conflict. Our staff members on the ground are nationals who are committed to rescuing and restoring the lives of children who otherwise would only know lives of violence and exploitation. We also do a fair share of raising awareness and advocacy for these children, but we don't stop there. We can't stop there. And we hope that you won't either.