There have been 16 reports of the rape of minors in Kalay Township, Sagaing Region so far this year, according to a local rights group.
Women for Justice reported that 12 cases involved children under 14 years old. Four cases concerned the alleged rape of girls 16 or older. Around half of the cases involved ethnic Chin children, who are believed to make up the majority of the residents of Kalay.
“We feel that children are not safe,” Thanda Aye, who works with Women for Justice, told Khonumthung News.
She added that even school was not necessarily a safe place, as some of the alleged perpetrators were teachers.
“Some people who were close to the victim’s family committed child rape,” Thanda Aye said.
GS Mang, who is working with the organization Area Peace and Development Forward (APDF), said he is worried about rising numbers of child rape cases in Kalay District every year.
“Most Chin people visit Church every Sunday. If our pastors talk to the audience about education related to child rape cases during the services, I think that the number of child rape cases will be reduced,” GS Mang told Khonumthung News.
Thanda Aye also described the local environment for women as “threatening,” and said that sexual harassment, abuse, and domestic violence was part of many women’s daily lives.
She said that these issues need to be addressed through public talks, workshops, and awareness campaigns, and that the government also needed to take an active stance in campaigning against the sexual abuse of women.