US officials said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to delete Myanmar and Iraq from the US list of the world's worst offenders, who use child soldiers in war. The move, if implemented, will be a total disregard of the recommendations of experts and the Department Of State.

Consequences of the decision

The plan, confirmed by three administration officials, would disrupt the longstanding convention at the State Department over how to determine defaulting countries and could lead to allegations the Trump administration is strategizing diplomatic and security interest in lieu of human rights.

The Secretary of State overrides his official’s evaluation on the use of child soldiers in the two countries and jilted the recommendations put forward by US diplomats in the Middle East and Asia, who believes Myanmar and Iran should be on the list, officials with knowledge of the internal discussions said. Tillerson also declined consideration of a proposal to include Afghanistan to the list by the State Department’s internal unit.

Reason for the measures

Reuters reported that an official at the State Department hinted that the decision was made amid pressure from the Pentagon to prevent bottlenecks to the US military aid to Iraq and Afghanistan, who maintains strong ties with the US in the fight against ISIS militants.

The list prescribes sanctions on foreign militaries, who engage children as soldiers. Countries that are on the list are prohibited from receiving US military assistance, US-made weapons and military weapons unless the White House decides to issue a waiver.

The deletion is expected to be officially announced on Tuesday, the official hinted.

However, Human rights groups have expressed dismay at the decision, describing it as worrisome.

Child's protection

The 2008 Child Soldiers Prevention Act stipulates that the White House must be satisfied that children are not recruited or forced to work as soldiers in order for a listed country to be removed the list and be eligible for US military aid.

Human Rights groups said erasing Myanmar, formerly Burma, would be a total disaster and immature move that will definitely subject many children to rights abuses and enslavements. The Trump administration could be at odds with the United Nations should the decision be implemented. The UN still lists Myanmar’s military and seven armed groups as organizations exploiting and recruiting child soldiers.