Human Rights Watch criticized the United Nations Thursday for increasing the possibility of Myanmar contributing U.N. peacekeepers, describing the nation's military as amid the most abusive in the world.
The New York-based group voiced its concerns in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It said that despite the democratic opening in the country also known as Burma, its military remains unreformed and continues to use child soldiers.
Vijay Nambiar, Ban's special adviser on Myanmar, raised the issue when he met Myanmar commander-in-chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing in late January in the nation's capital Naypyitaw.
"The Burmese military's poor record on rights and civilian protection is profoundly at odds with the standards that U.N. peacekeepers are expected to defend around the world," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "Any move by the U.N. to recruit Burmese forces risks grave damage to the UN's reputation."