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                            SECTION 3
                    V.  CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
                   A. Name and nationality (art. 7)
 57.     Legal context:
    (a)  According to section 9 of the Myanmar Citizenship
Law, a child born in the country must be registered with the
organization concerned within a year after he attains 10 years
of age by the parents or guardiana.  According to section 10
of the law, a child born abroad must be registered at the
respective embassy or consulate by the parents or guardians
within a year.  Section 11 states that the penalty of payment
of a fine of K50 annually for five years will be prescribed if
the above rules are not followed;
    (b)  According to the Myanmar Citizenship Law, there are
three types of citizens, namely a citizen, an associate
citizen and a naturalized citizen. Thus, there is hardly a
chance for a child to be stateless or to be deprived of his
    (c)  Myanmar culture allows the parents or the guardians
freedom to choose an individual name for each child.  There is
no law or custom which dictates that the father's name should
be adopted by the child;
    (d)  The Evidence Act (section 112) stipulates that any
child born during a valid marriage between a woman and her
spouse, or within 280 days after dissolution of the marriage
with the mother remaining unmarried, shall be conclusive
proof that the offspring is the legitimate son of that spouse.
 58.     Implementation:  In Yangon and Mandalay, birth
certificates are issued to children born at the hospitals
operated by the Government; the Township Health Centres issue
certificates to those born in the wards.  In other cities and
towns, health centres and, in some places, a health assistant
issues the certificates.  In other words, a birth certificate
is issued as soon as the child is born and it is classified as
a citizen, associate citizen, naturalized citizen or foreigner
according to the existing law.  The Department of Immigration
and Manpower issues the respective registration cards when the
child attains 10 years of age. 
 59.     Constraints:  Birth/death registration can be
implemented only in 153 townships up to 31 March 1994.  Thus,
affidavits are used as birth certificates for people in remote
areas.  Plans for registration of births and deaths are being
adopted, with the collaboration of UNICEF.
            B.  Preservation of national identity (art. 8)
 60.     Legal context:
    (a)  According to section 70 of the Myanmar Citizenship
Act, a child has the right to a name, identity and nationality
under the existing laws of Myanmar. An appeal can be submitted
to the Cabinet, the highest authoritative body, if there is a
hindrance in applying for citizenship; 
    (b)  Section 10 of the Child Law states that every child
shall have the right to citizenship in accordance with the
provisions of the existing law.
 61.     Freedom of expression:  Section 15 (a) of the Child
Law states that every child has the right to freedom of speech
and expression in accordance with the law.
           C.  Access to appropriate information (art. 17)
 62.     Legal context:
    (a) Section 22 (a) of the Child Law states that every
child shall have the right to access to literature
contributing to his or her all-round development and to
acquire knowledge;
    (b)  Section 22 (b) of the Child Law states that the
Ministry of Information shall:
                (i)      Produce and disseminate books for
                (ii)     Encourage the production and
                         dissemination of children's books by  
                     non-governmental organizations and        
                 private publishers;
                (iii)    Collect and maintain children's books
                         at the libraries established by the
                         Department of Information and Public
                         Relations by special arrangement;
                 (iv)    Educate and disseminate by mass media
                         to ensure that children and their
                         parents or guardians are made
                         familiar with the rights and morals
                         of the child and that children have
                         access to national and international
                         news and information concerning them.
 63.     Implementation:
    (a)  The Department of Information and Public Relations
has established free libraries for children in various
townships as well as libraries in schools.  Thus, children
have easy access to books that are helpful for their 
development. Television Myanmar and Radio Myanmar have special
programmes weekly for children.  Special quiz programmes for
children under 16 are also held.  The Ministry of Information
is mainly responsible for publishing children's literature.
Books published jointly by the Government and the  private
sector and by the private sector alone are also available.  To
promote their language ability and enhance the knowledge of
the children of Myanmar, the periodicals Shwe Thway and Aurora
are published in both English and Myanmar. Apart from Teza,
there are other publications from the private sector.  The
National Literature Award and the Sar-Pay-Beik-Man Literature
Awards, which are awarded annually, include awards for
children's literature;
    (b)  To promote the quality of teachers and students,
educational journals such as monthly issues of Pyinnya-tazaung
are distributed free to all  primary schools.  Quarterly
issues of Pyinnya-Lokka are distributed and sold to schools. 
Books to enhance nationalistic spirit and research are also
distributed.  Reference books for primary students are
imported from abroad by special arrangements and distributed
to schools. The Department of Basic Education, in
collaboration with UNICEF, has included some of the facts from
 "Facts of Life" in the curriculum for primary level and
developed a teacher's guide for primary level.  This teacher's
guide has been tested at some primary schools and also is
going to be expanded at the schools which are practising 
continuous assessment programmes.
 64.     Constraints:  Distribution of children's literature
is not sufficient as  the Government is the only publisher and
distributor. Publishing by the private sector remains weak as
there can be a loss in investment.  Children in remote areas
have difficulty in obtaining books as the number of books
reaching these areas is small.  The expense of publishing
books by the private sector is high as paper is expensive. 
Because of the high cost of books, children cannot afford to
buy them.  Although Television Myanmar relay stations have
been established in border areas, television sets are not
generally available in all houses.
        D.  Freedom of thought, belief and religion (art. 14)
 65.     Legal context:  Section 15 (b) of the Child Law
states that every child has the right to freedom of thought
and conscience and to freely profess any religion.
 66.     Implementation:  Different races residing in Myanmar
have the freedom to profess any religion of their choice. 
Among the population 89 per cent are Buddhists, 5.2 per cent
are Christians, 3.8 per cent are Muslims, 0.5 per cent are
Hindus and 1.5 per cent are believers of other faiths. The
State renders assistance to Muslims on their pilgrimages to
Mecca.  It also assists Christians who go abroad for religious
purposes.  The State has declared special days of religious
significance of denominations as official holidays.
      E.  Freedom of association and peaceful assembly (art.
 67.     Legal context: Section 15 (c) of the Child Law states
that every child has the right to participate in organizations
relating to the child, social organizations or religious
organizations permitted under the law.
 68.     Implementation:
    (a)  Registration of social organizations and religious
organizations are permitted in Myanmar subject existing laws. 
The child has the right to join these associations of his own
free will;
    (b)  Offices of the Union Solidarity and Development
Association are established all over the country with the aim
of all-round development and for the moral development of the
children.  The children can of their volition join the Red
Cross societies;
    (c)  Sporting activities are regarded as a national task
in Myanmar. Thus, students actively participate in the
National Sports Festivals, Students' Festivals, and sports
activities on a nation-wide scale.  Students can play
different roles entrusted to them in sports activities
promoted by the State.
                 F.  Protection of privacy (art. 16) 
 69.     Legal context:  Section 16 (a) of the Child Law
states that in order that every child shall not be subjected
to arbitrary infringement of his honour, personal freedom
and security, relevant government departments and
organizations shall provide protection and care in accordance
with law.
 70. Implementation:  The children of Myanmar grow up normally
devoid of mental disturbances within the family in accord with
Myanmar traditions and customs.
     G.  The right not to be subjected to torture or other
cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (art. 37
 71.     Legal context:
    (a)  Section 37 (a) and (c) of the Child Law Prohibit the
police officer or an authority from handcuffing, tying with a
rope, maltreating and making threats when arresting a child
accused of having committed an offence;
    (b)  Section 45 states that notwithstanding anything
contained in any existing law, a death sentence,
transportation for life or a sentence of whipping shall not be
passed on any child;
    (c)  Section 71 of the Child Law states that
notwithstanding anything contained in any existing law;
                  (i)    A sentence of death or transportation
                         for life shall not be passed on a
                 (ii)    If a sentence of imprisonment is
                         passed on a youth, the maximum term
                         of imprisonment shall not exceed 10
    (d)  Section 66 (d) of the Child Law prohibit the wilful
maltreating of a child, with the exception of the type of
admonitions [carried out] by a parent, teacher or guardian for
the benefit of the child.  Any person who commits the above
offence shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment
for a term which may extend to two years or with a fine
amounting to K10,000 or both.
 72.     Implementation:
    (a)  In accordance with the law, the police officer or an
authority is not permitted to handcuff the child or tie with a
rope when taking him to juvenile court. The child who is
accused of committing an offence is put in the custody of the
Department of Social Welfare protection centre while he is
on trial;
    (b)  Excessive punishment in the  form of brutal beating
is never allowed in the community, according to Myanmar
custom.  Only parental-like counselling and treatment is
tolerated.  A person who maltreats a child will be punished
according to section 66 (d) of the Child Law; 
    (c)  In taking care of convicted children and other
children who require protection for various reasons, the State
permits the social welfare methods of guidance and
counselling.  Torture is prohibited.  Vocational education,
formal education and a curriculum in social pursuits are
offered to these children to enhance their future lot.
               A.  Parental responsibilities (art. 18)
 73.     Legal context:
    (a)  Section 30 of the Child Law states that every child
shall abide by the following ethics and discipline:
                  (I)    Upholding and abiding by the law;
                 (ii)    Obeying the advice and instructions
                         of parents or guardian;
                (iii)    Pursuing education peacefully in
                         conformity with the guidance 
                         of teachers;
                 (iv)    Abiding by school discipline, work
                         discipline and community discipline;
                  (v)    Cherishing and preserving the race,
                         language, religion, culture, customs
                         and traditions;
                 (vi)    Abstaining from taking alcohol,
                         smoking, using narcotic drugs
                         or psychotropic substances, gambling
                         and other acts which tend to affect
                         the moral character of the child;
    (b)  Section 11 (a) states that the maintenance, custody
and care of children, and cultivating and promoting the
all-round physical intellectual and moral development of the
child, shall be the primary responsibility of the parents or
    (c)  Lord Buddha gave moral advice to the expectant
mothers on the survival and development of the child:  "The
mother must take great care of her sustenance, her mental
attitude, and her way of life. The foetus in the mother's womb
is intellectually developed within the first five months of
conception and begins receiving the sensations. The mothers 
must comprehend this fact and avoid eating hot food, consuming
food that is neither too hot nor too cold.  The mother must
try her best to be physically and mentally healthy and must
cultivate an affectionate behaviour and a good philosophy of
 74.     Implementation:
    (a)  A birth-spacing project is implemented by the
Government to promote the health of mothers and children. 
Township health centres and Township Myanmar Maternal and
Child Welfare Associations are carrying out the activities
under the guidance of State and division Departments of
Health. Training courses are held and teachers guides for
trainees are distributed. Training courses on birth-spacing
have been conducted in 12 States and divisions;
    (b)  Township Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare
Associations, with the cooperation of Township Health Centres,
provide medical treatment, educate mothers about nutrition and
supply nutritious food to malnourished children in their
townships. Measures are taken to encourage mothers to
cooperate in the immunization programme.  Information about
the advantages of breast-feeding is disseminated to mothers
and prizes are awarded to mothers for systematic
    (c)  Training courses are held by Myanmar Maternal and
Child Welfare Associations to promote income-generating
programmes for women such as livestock breeding and domestic
    (d)  Training for child-carers are held by the Department
of Social Welfare in States and divisions to promote the
All-round development of children. Plans have also been
adopted for the expansion of systematic study of traditional
child-rearing practices;
    (e)  Classes in supervision of children are held to
coordinate the activities of parents, guardians, community
elders and organizations in caring for children who need
protection due to various circumstances, for children who
commit offences, and for children in normal situations;
    (f)  Parent-teacher associations are formed annually in
all the basic  education schools with the aim of promoting the
development of students and the schools. To improve the
quality of teaching activities in the schools, the school
receives aid and support from the parents. Public involvement
is  quite high in educational developmental activities in
Myanmar.  Aid and support from the public for the needs of the
schools are given through parent-teacher associations;
    (g)  The Department of Health, with the collaboration of
UNICEF, has published a Myanmar translation of the book "Facts
of Life". The Young Men's Buddhist Association holds contests
about the book and awards prizes every year. Extracts from the
book have been compiled in a teachers guide for use at basic
primary schools.
                 B.  Separation from parents (art. 9)
 75.     Legal context:
    (a)  Section 12 of the Child Law states that every child
shall have:
                  (i)    The right to live with and be brought
                         up by both parents or any one parent  
                         if alive;
                 (ii)    The right not to be separated         
                         forcibly from his or her parents      
                         except in a case where under law      
                         separation is necessary in the best   
                         interests of the child;
                (iii)    The right to maintain contact on a
                         regular basis with parents lawfully   
                         separated, provided it is not         
                         prejudicial to the interests of the   
    (b)  The Guardians and Wards Act has been enacted with
regard to the guardianship of the child himself and his
property. Guardianship may be petitioned to the court for a
child who has not come of age and for a child of divorced
parents.  Guardianship is decided by the court taking into
account the best interests of the child.  The court also makes
the decision concerning regular meetings with the child by the
parent who has lost custody of the child;
    (c)  Section 53 (a) of the Child Law states that the child
of a female prisoner is allowed to stay together with its
mother in prison until the age of four years if there is no
one outside the prison to take custody and care of the child
or if the child's mother so desires. Additionally, section 53
(b) states that if the mother desires, the child will be given
permission to stay with its mother until he attains the age
of six years. 
 76.     Implementation:
    (a)  The Department of Social Welfare investigates cases
of children requiring protection by reviewing the situation
relating to the child, the parents, and the environment.  If
the child does not need protection, he is returned to the
custody of the parents, with or without a pledge or guarantee
for the child's welfare.  Protection and care are given by
the State to children without parental guidance, incorrigible
children and those needing medical care and moral reformation;
    (b)  The relationship of the child to the family and the
environment is taken into consideration in investigating
children who are liable to commit offences.  Of these
children, only those who need moral reformation are sent
to training schools, while others are admonished and returned
to the custody of their parents; 
    (c)  The Department of Social Welfare takes care of
orphans, incorrigible children, destitute children, disabled
children and children who have committed offences at the
training schools.  By promoting self-reliance, these children
are taught to live with dignity in society and to stand on
their own feet.  
                  C.  Family reunification (art. 10)
 77.     Myanmar has neither problems of war refugees nor
problems of separation of families caused by war. 
       D.  Children deprived of a family environment (art. 20)
 78.     Legal context:  Section 32 of the Child Law states
that a child is in need of protection and care who has no
parents or guardians, who earns his living by begging, who is
so depraved a character that he is uncontrollable by his
parents or guardian, who is in the custody of cruel or wicked
parents or guardians, who is of unsound mind, and who is
afflicted with a contagious disease and who uses a narcotic
drug or a psychotropic substance and one who is determined as
such by the Social Welfare Department.
 79.     Implementation:
    (a)  Investigations of children in need of protection and
care are carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and
those who do not need protection are returned to their
guardians.  Children who are in need of the protection are
sent to training schools for reform and some are sent to homes
 for protection.  Medical treatment is given to those who need
medical treatment;
    (b)  The Department of Social Welfare has established nine
youth training schools for both sexes, and supports the 120
volunteer youth welfare homes.  Voluntary night classes are
set up for those children to enable them to pursue their
education in the primary level.