Human Rights


Burmese civil society groups on Thursday published a damning review of the performance of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC), saying that it had not successfully investigated “any case submitted to it” since it was formed by President Thein Sein in 2011. (more…)

Medics working with civilians displaced by fighting in Kachin State are struggling to cope because of a lack of resources – community based organizations warn of a potential health crisis. (more…)

Eighty per cent of human trafficking cases in Myanmar are linked to China, Union Home Affairs Minister Lt-Gen Ko Ko said on Saturday. (more…)

A lack of clarity in Burma’s recently amended Law on Peaceful Assembly is sowing confusion among activists and advocates, as the country’s courts continue to charge people for demonstrating without permission.
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Twenty-eight farmers near Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Division, are facing eviction after years of property battles, villagers say.
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More than 30 ethnic Karen community based organizations, including environmental watchdogs and civil society organizations, have criticized a blueprint for economic development in Southeast Burma published by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an aid agency that operates under the Japanese government.
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Karenni National Peace and Development Party (KNPDP), also known as Kayawni group, returned its grabbing-land to local inhabitants on12 August, 2014, Pado-Ngan village-head Par Tri-romin told Kantarawaddy Times.
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The head of the United Nations’ technical advisory board for Myanmar’s census has dismissed criticisms of the process and blamed civil society and human rights groups for having “inflamed” tensions surrounding the count.
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By marching through the traffic-choked streets of Myanmar’s busiest city, handing out leaflets that lambasted the new nominally civilian government, Htin Kyaw showed how much the country has changed since emerging from military rule. With charges filed in all townships he wound through as he made his way to city hall, he has become a symbol, too, of how has much stayed the same.
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Myanmar on Thursday lifted a curfew imposed in June 2012 when clashes between Buddhists and minority Muslims erupted throughout western Rakhine state, killing at least 192 people that year.
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Two senior United Nations officials have called for increased humanitarian assistance and development efforts to meet the needs of all communities in Myanmar’s Rakhine state following a visit there this week.
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Myanmar’s 88 Generation Students Group, which is pushing for political and social reforms, held talks with visiting officials of the Chinese Communist Party and called on them to be transparent over Beijing’s investments, which have come under criticism for environmental and other concerns.
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A survey revealing that the average daily income in Rakhine State is K2,200 (about US$2.25) was an indication that much remains to be done there to reduce poverty, state parliament was told on September 9.
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As the 27th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council convened this week, a legal advisory group has warned that Burma’s police force still uses torture during interrogations.
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This week Thein Sein, President of Burma, will be visiting The Hague, in the Netherlands. As a man with a lot of blood on his hands, you might be thinking this is long overdue. But instead of being indicted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, Thein Sein will be receiving red carpet treatment from the Dutch government.
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This has been a monumental year for the quotidian struggle for greater LGBT rights in Myanmar. International attention was drawn to Myanmar’s LGBT community when Myo Min Htet and Tin Ko Ko held an unofficial wedding ceremony in Yangon, celebrating their relationship in front of friends and family. As a result, conservatives throughout the country called for the strict enforcement of Section 377 of the penal code, a law punishing “carnal” same-sex relations with lengthy jail sentences, reinforcing the scathing divide over old and new Myanmar. Reform of the current, military inspired constitution could facilitate the end of such extreme responses by fostering greater inclusion in Myanmar’s fractured society, since LGBT issues cross all racial, religious, and ethnic lines. As discussion of constitutional reform continues, addressing how the LGBT community would benefit has become timely.
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The tragic story of Burma’s boatpeople is now known the world over; countless Rohingya Muslims pay brokers to transport them by boat to neighbouring countries, in a desperate attempt to escape poverty and violence. Many die on harsh seas, others fall into the hands of human traffickers. The United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of people in the region — many of them stateless Rohingya Muslims — risked their lives to flee by boat since just the start of this year.

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Nearly a dozen separate courts in Rangoon have cumulatively sentenced democracy activist Htin Kyaw to a decade in prison with hard labor under controversial laws on peaceful assemblies and incitement.
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An eight-member delegation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), led by Malaysian former Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, wrapped up a two-day trip to Arakan State capital Sittwe on Thursday after visiting camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and meeting with local Arakanese officials and civil society groups.
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A man charged with allegedly carrying out bombings in Yangon in October 2013 has told a court he was told he would be killed if he didn’t plant the devices.
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