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Home > Main Library > The UN System and Burma/Myanmar > Main UN human rights bodies working on Burma (Myanmar) > United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR) > Documents and statements submitted to the CHR by non-governmental organisations > Public briefings and oral statements to the CHR by non-governmental organisations

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Public briefings and oral statements to the CHR by non-governmental organisations
The formal statements to the Commission are referred to as "interventions" or "statements", while presentations to parallel NGO meetings are called "presentations" or "briefings".

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Description/subject: The APWLD site contains reports on activities at the Commission on Human Rights, including some related to Burma, notably on violence against women.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Women's League of Burma (WLB)
Description/subject: Well-designed site containing several substantial reports, links, profiles of member organisations, etc. Members: Kachin Women's Association - Thailand (KWAT); Karen Women's Organization (KWO); Kuki Women's Human Rights Organization (KWHRO); Lahu Women's Organization (LWO); Palaung Women's Organization (PWO); Pa-O Women's Union (PWU); Rakhaing Women's Union (RWU); Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN); Tavoy Women's Union (TWU); Women's Rights & Welfare Association of Burma (WRWAB)... "The Women's League of Burma (WLB) is an umbrella organization comprising 11 already-existing women's organizations of different ethnic backgrounds from Burma. WLB was founded on December 9,1999. Its mission is to work for women's empowerment and advancement of the status of women, and to work for the increased participation of women in all spheres of society in the democracy movement, and in peace and national reconciliation processes through capacity building, advocacy, research and documentation... Aims: * To work for the empowerment and development of women. * To encourage women's participation in decision-making in all spheres of life. * To enable women to participate effectively in the movement for peace, democracy and national reconciliation. By working together, and encouraging cooperation between the different groups, the Women's League of Burma hopes to build trust, solidarity and mutual understanding among women of all nationalities in Burma.".... The site also contains statements made by WLB representatives at various regional and international meetings including the Commission on Human Rights and the World Conference Against Racism.
Language: English, (links in Burmese, Thai)
Source/publisher: Women's League of Burma
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2003


Individual Documents

Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Rights of the Child - Oral intervention by Anti-Slavery International
Date of publication: 09 April 2004
Description/subject: "Anti-Slavery International would like to draw the attention of the Commission to the specific situation of the Muslim children of Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar. They belong to a group widely known as the Rohingya. They are born stateless, discriminated against from birth on the basis of their ethnicity. The 1982 Citizenship Law deprives them of citizenship rights and perpetuates statelessness. The SPDC has started issuing “white identity cards” to the Muslim population of Rakhine State, but this is no more than a temporary residence permit clearly stating that it cannot be used as a proof to claim citizenship..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Anti-Slavery International
Format/size: html (88K)
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Presentation of "Shattering Silences" to the Gender/Women's Caucus
Date of publication: 07 April 2004
Description/subject: "...Women are doubly at risk due to their gender and their ethnicity. Whenever the SPDC troops arrive in a village and demand laborers, they often suspect the men of collaboration with rebel groups and many men will flee their village before the soldiers arrive. So the women left in the village are then forced to work for their soldiers as porters and are often raped by those soldiers at night and sometimes killed..."Shattering Silences", a new report just released by the Karen Women's Organization (KWO). It documents 125 cases of sexual violence committed by the Burmese army in Karen State from 1988 to 2004. Half of the rape cases documented were committed by high-ranking officers, 40% were gang rape and in 28% of the cases, the women were killed after being rape. Many women and girls are raped in front of their families. In two of the 35 detailed cases in the report, one woman was raped in front of her children and the other in front of her father. This is a very shameful action committed by the SPDC troops and it is difficult for the women to speak out. Some have suffered severe depression and even committed suicide.
Author/creator: Naw Nyaw Nyaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: NGOCSW, Karen Women's Organization (WLB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Oral intervention by Anti-Slavery International (Violence Against Women)
Date of publication: 06 April 2004
Description/subject: "Anti-Slavery International would like to call the attention of the Commission to the situation of Rohingya women in Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar [Burma]. The root causes of the problems they faced lie with the policies of exclusion and discrimination carried out by the military regime against this Muslim population. The 1982 Citizenship Law renders them stateless and their freedom of movement is severely restricted, as they need a permit to travel even to a neighbouring village. In addition, conservative cultural and religious practices give Rohingya women a subordinate status within their own community and their level of economic and political participation is almost non-existent. The majority are illiterate and live in abject poverty..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Anti-Slavery International
Format/size: html (80K)
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session) : Burma’s Displaced People in India and Bangladesh (Briefing by Forum-Asia)
Date of publication: 05 April 2004
Description/subject: "Burma’s borders with India and Bangladesh have received much less international attention than the Thailand-Burma border. A major reason is the difficult access to refugees in these border areas due to policies of the host governments. Nevertheless, outflows from Burma to India and Bangladesh are no less significant. More than 50,000, mostly Chin, have fled to India while up to 200,000 Rohingya are found in Bangladesh in and outside refugee camps. An essential difference appears when comparing the overall situation along the eastern and western borders of Burma. In Chin and Arakan States, bordering India and Bangladesh respectively, there is little ethnic armed resistance and the military regime does not resort to ruthless counter-insurgency tactics to assert control, as is the case along the Thai-Burma border. Therefore, the worst forms of human rights violations such as massive forced relocation, torture, summary executions, are less frequent, but this does not mean that the situation is noticeably better. Over the last decade, the Burma Army’s presence has rapidly expanded along the western border. The establishment of new battalions has resulted in two significant consequences: - (1) exaction of forced labour and arbitrary taxation from the local population to build and maintain camps and grow foodstuff for the army, but also for road construction carried out in the name of development, but which mostly facilitates army penetration; and - (2) military control of the local economy for the Army’s profit, either directly through collection of taxes at checkpoints and from the border trade, or indirectly through the granting of business monopolies on local commodities in exchange for high bribes. These practices have severely affected the livelihood of already impoverished communities and compelled them to leave Burma..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forum Asia
Format/size: html (140K)
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Briefing on displaced persons in South-East Asia
Date of publication: 05 April 2004
Description/subject: "My name is Nyaw Nyaw and I’m representing the Women’s League of Burma (WLB). This afternoon I’m going to talk about three things. First, an overview of the situation of Burmese refugees in Thailand. Then, I’m going to describe the Thai government attitude's towards refugees and finally the concerns of the refugees at the moment. Overview of Burmese refugees in Thailand..."
Author/creator: Naw Nyaw Nyaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forum Asia, Women
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Human Rights Situation in Palaung Land
Date of publication: 05 April 2004
Description/subject: "... The most common forms of human rights violations that Palaung people are suffering include forced labor, land confiscation and sexual violence against Palaung women by the Burma Army. Forced labor still exists in our area. For example, in our village, villagers have to build roads for the army. We have to provide at least 10 people for the Army to build roads and other work. If we refuse to go we will have to pay the equivalent of 2-days' wages each. ... Since their life became unbearable, Palaung people started fleeing their home and becoming Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by moving from one place to another and continuing to survive in the Palaung area. Many of them crossed the border into Thailand and have become illegal migrant workers and refugees. Our Palaung people have survived and continue to survive despite harsh conditions they continue to encounter as IDPs, refugees or illegal migrant workers. However, we must be protected and provided with human security. Our peoples’ suffering must be alleviated..."
Author/creator: Ms. Lway Cherry
Language: English
Source/publisher: Palaung Women’s Organization (PWO) , Women’s League of Burma (WLB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: 29 March 2004
Description/subject: "Burma’s military junta (also known as the State Peace and Development Council – SPDC) claims that it is working to achieve "disciplined democracy" with a "seven-point roadmap" but continues to arrest and detain democracy activists. Leaders of the election-winning party, the National League for Democracy, remain under detention. High-ranking officials of the military junta try to paint a rosy picture but refuse to cooperate with the United Nations' call to improve the situation of the country. In the junta’s map, the ‘road’ to democracy has become a ‘roundabout’..."
Author/creator: Soe Aung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Worldview International Foundation via United Nations
Format/size: html (24K)
Date of entry/update: 30 March 2004


Title: CHR 2004 (60th Session): Briefing Paper on the Human Rights Situation in Burma, Year 2003-2004
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: For the 60th Session of the UN Commission Human Rights resolution on ‘The human rights situation in Myanmar’...- 1 - Contents: Recommendations; Summary; The Judicial System: Unjust Laws and Orders; The Depayin Massacre; Political Prisoners; MPs, NLD members arrested for organizing trip of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Extension of Prison Terms Under Section 10 (A); Hunger Strikes in Prison; The Aging Political Prisoners; Members of Parliament in Prison and in Exile; Women, Children, Racial, Ethnic & Religious Minorities in Burma:- Women: Rape as a Systematic Tool; The License to Rape Report; Military's Response to the Report; Responses to the Report; Recommendations to the United Nations; Other Tragedies Suffered by Women... Children: Burmese Children in Armed Conflict; Health and Education of Children... Racial, Ethnic and Religious Minorities: Restrictions on Religious Practices and Freedom... Forced Labor, Forced Displacement, Land Mines and Refugees and IDPs:- Forced Labor: The ILO and the Regime; Forced Displacement; Landmines; Refugees and IDPs: Bangladest Border; Indian Border; Thai Border... Land Confiscation and Forced Relocation... Economic Situation... Appendix I: Members of Parliament in Prison; Appendix II: Over 65 years Old Political Prisoners... Appendix III: Update Tables on Political Prisoners... Summary:- "The human rights situation in Burma has worsened again this year. While the military junta claims that it is working to bring "disciplined democracy" to the country through a "seven-point roadmap", political arrests continue unabated and leaders of the election-winning party, the National League for Democracy, remain under detention. High-ranking officials of the military junta try to paint a rosy picture of the political future of the country while they refuse to cooperate with the United Nations' call for an independent investigation into the use of rape as a weapon against Shan women by the military or to permit an inquiry into the massacre of National League for Democracy members who came under the "premeditated attack" of the military and its affiliated thugs near Tabayin [Depayin] during the tour of the region by Aung San Suu Kyi and her party members. The junta also continues to ignore the resolutions of the past years passed by the General Assembly and relevant bodies and blatantly ignores the efforts of the United Nations' Secretary General and his envoy to facilitate a national reconciliation process in Burma. Violations of human rights, including arbitrary killings, rape, looting, force relocation, and destruction of villages continue particularly in the border areas where large-scale military offensives are launched against ethnic nationalities. The Burmese people continue to be held hostage under the military's corrupt, brutal, inhumane, and undemocratic policies. This briefing paper, along with many other reports compiled by prominent human rights and intergovernmental organizations, should serve as a testimony to the fact that human rights violations in Burma are continuous, as they have tragically been for many years; that the regime has no regard for the protection and promotion of its people’s human rights and only cares about instilling fear in the minds of the people through the use of brute force so as to preserve military rule. * This paper has been prepared by the Burma UN Service Office of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma UN Service Office of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB)
Format/size: pdf (286K)
Date of entry/update: 30 March 2004


Title: CHR 2003 (59th Session) : Oral intervention by Anti-Slavery International
Date of publication: 11 April 2003
Description/subject: Item 13 – Rights of the Child... "Anti-Slavery International would like to call the attention of the Commission to the situation of children in Myanmar. In 1991, Myanmar acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but, today, children continue to be denied their most basic rights and freedoms, and to be subjected to the most serious human rights violations. Children are often requisitioned as forced labourers for road building, army camp maintenance, plantation work and as porters. Despite Order 1/99 prohibiting forced labour, this practice continues as reported by the ILO Liaison Office in its March 2003 report to the Governing Body [ref. GB-286/6]. Children, both girls and boys, have to performed compulsory labour to allow their parents to earn the daily income of the family. Children as young as 11 are forcibly recruited as soldiers in the Army. A Human Rights Watch report of October 2002 estimates that as many as 70,000 children are being conscripted into the armed forces. They are subject to beatings and humiliation during training and, once deployed, they must engage in combat, participate in human rights violations against civilians, and are frequently abused by their commanders..."
Author/creator: Anti-Slavery International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations, Anti-Slavery International)
Format/size: html (17K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003: Oral statement by APWLD
Date of publication: 11 April 2003
Description/subject: 59th Session of the UNCHR... Oral Intervention on Agenda Item 12... "On behalf of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, and over 100 member organizations, we would like to draw your attention to the on-going sexual violence against ethnic Shan women in Burma perpetrated by the State. In Burma, Shan women are being raped by the military junta's forces with impunity. Over the past decade, the regime has increased the size of its army. In Shan State alone, there are now at least 150 battalions, with well over 100, 000 troops. The army exercises absolute power and all abuses, including sexual violence, are licenced, in the interest of controlling local populations. There have been 173 documented incidents of rape and other forms of sexual violence involving 625 women and girls committed by Burmese troops in Shan State, mostly from 1996-2001. 83 % of the rapes were committed by officers, in most cases in front of their troops. The documentation gives clear evidence that: * Rape is officially condoned as a "weapon of war' against the women in Shan State. * The Burmese military regime has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the form of sexual violence against Shan women..."
Author/creator: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003: Oral statement by Worldview International
Date of publication: 11 April 2003
Description/subject: UN Commission on Human Rights... 59th Session... Agenda Item 13, Rights of the Child... "While the whole world is paying attention on War against Iraq, the plight of children from Burma caught in the crossfire of five decades long armed conflict resulted from the oppression and discriminatory practices of Burmese military, seems to be a forgotten issue. The civil war brought widespread poverty, poor health care, low educational standards and systematic human rights abuses and these are the children who suffer most. According to UNICEF, out of 1.3 million children born every year, more than 92,500 will die before they reach their first birthday and another 138,000 children will die before the age of five. The main causes of death are malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases. More than 1 in 3 children under 5 will be malnourished..."
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html (18K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003; Stop Licence to Rape in Burma
Date of publication: 09 April 2003
Description/subject: Position paper prepared by Shan Women�s Action Network (SWAN) for the 59th session of the UN Commission on aHuman Rights. 17 March -25 April, 2003. "Since 1992, the UNCHR has passed resolutions each year on the situation of human rights in Burma. The reports by the UN Special Rapporteurs on Burma submitted to the UN General Assembly since 1992 have contained an abundance of summaries of testimonies of extreme human rights violations committed by the Burmese military regime, including military rape.] In the 1994 report, one recommendation reads, "The Government of Myanmar should take the necessary steps to bring the acts of soldiers, including privates and officers, in line with accepted international human rights and humanitarian standards so that they will not commit arbitrary killings, rapes and confiscations of property, or force persons into acts of labour, portering, relocation or otherwise treat persons without respect for their dignity as human beings." The Special Rapporteur on Burma's 2003 report contains similar recommendations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Women�s Action Network (SWAN)
Format/size: html (58K), pdf (136K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003: Burma: The Way Forward
Date of publication: 08 April 2003
Description/subject: Briefing on Burma at the UN Commission on Human Rights...Continued violations of human rights and widespread discriminatory practices against ethnic and religious minorities: "The Burma army continues to commit a wide range of human rights violations in the context of its counter-insurgency activities. All the violations of human rights and widespread discriminatory practices against ethnic groups and religious minorities have continued in the past year, particularly in the Tenasserim Division and in the Shan, Mon, Karenni, and Karen States in the east of the country. In the border areas of these states and division, the situation remains bleak with land confiscation, forced relocation, and forced labor continuing unabated. Low-intensity fighting between the Burma army and ethnic insurgent forces continues with ongoing reports of extrajudicial killings, torture and looting and burning of villages in those areas. These violations trigger large-scale displacement of persons and flows of refugees to neighboring countries, as well as an increasing number of internally displaced persons..."
Author/creator: Khin Ohmar
Language: English
Format/size: html (61K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003: Myanmar: Thousands of people are displaced and starving
Date of publication: 07 April 2003
Description/subject: Commission on Human Rights 59th Session Item 10: Economic, social and cultural rights "... It is in the remote parts of Myanmar that the worst abuses of the right to food continue. Within recent weeks, the Asian Legal Resource Centre has spoken with persons travelling in some of these areas. They have told of thousands of people displaced from their lands, some for years, starving in the jungle. One who carried an emaciated child to a Thai town just across the border spoke of the utter shock and disbelief among medical staff at the childs condition..."
Author/creator: Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html (13K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2003: Policies of food deprivation in Myanmar
Date of publication: 07 April 2003
Description/subject: Item 10: Economic, social and cultural rights. "...Anti-Slavery International would like to inform the Commission that deprivation of civil and political rights in Myanmar also results in denial of economic, social and cultural rights. The Rohingya Muslims in Northern Arakan State are the worst affected. They are discriminated against on the basis of race and religion and are denied citizenship rights. A policy of severe restrictions of their movement aims at containing them, and food insecurity is deliberately created to induce flight to Bangladesh. Policies of exclusion become policies of expulsion through food deprivation..."
Author/creator: Anti-Slavery International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html (20K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Anti-Slavery International
Date of publication: 18 April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 13 Rights of the Child. "...Anti-Slavery International would like to remind the Commission that the current military regime of Burma, known as the State Peace and Development Council, acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in July 1991. However, in Burma today, many children are denied their fundamental human rights including their right to education, to health and to life. Particularly in ethnic areas where armed conflicts are taking place, childrens right to life is seriously undermined. And when life is constantly under threat, children cannot possibly enjoy other rights enshrined in the Convention..."
Author/creator: Anti-Slavery International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Anti-Slavery International
Date of publication: 16 April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 11 - Civil and political rights, including the questions of: (e) Religious intolerance. "...Anti-Slavery International would like to call the Commission's attention to the growing religious intolerance reported in Myanmar over the past year. In particular, we are concerned by a serious increase in anti-Muslim unrest before and especially after September 11. Events in Afghanistan sparked religious clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. Societal attitudes have shown strong prejudice against Muslims, but the government has tacitly condoned communal violence by responding less than adequately. The security forces usually intervene when Buddhist properties are being attacked, and only then is a curfew imposed..."
Author/creator: Anti-Slavery International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Briefing on "Burma - The Prison State"
Date of publication: 08 April 2002
Description/subject: Briefing to a fringe meeting. "...My name is Bo Kyi. I am the joint secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma). I spent 7 years and 3 months in jail for my political beliefs and activities. I am here today on behalf of all current and former political prisoners in Burma to inform the international community of how they are detained and tortured. I believe that public awareness can prevent future torture..."
Author/creator: Bo Kyi
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Briefing on judicial intervention in Burma
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Briefing prepared for a fringe meeting. "..The country is still under military rule, with their governing body called the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The current Chief Justice U Aung Toe was installed by the SPDCs previous incarnation the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September 1988 by decree called the Judiciary Law that inter alia that caused the summary dismissal of approximately 62 Judges, closed the courts until June 1989 and established military tribunals..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Lawyers' Council
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Joint Statement: Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) & Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14: Specific Groups and Individuals. "...On the question of elderly people, recognized to be a vulnerable group, Aliran wishes to condemn continued detention of prisoners who are aging, frail or ill. It is extremely distressing to note that in Burma, a significant number of people are doomed to spend their golden years in jail. Is this what the Burmese junta means by Myanmar culture?..." Is this the reason Dr. Salai Tun Than aged 74 was recently sentenced to 7 years jail? Why award-winning journalist U Win Tin aged 72 remains behind bars, as is Nai Ngwe Thein aged 76 and Member of Parliament Saw Oo Reh, aged 73? Why are there still so many senior citizens languishing in Burmese jails? Does the Burmese regime imagine that jails are suitable as retirement villas? While Aliran understands that the release of all political prisoners may cause severe culture shock to the Burmese authorities, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that those who are aged, ill or have completed their sentences should be released. Aliran hopes that those lucky to have exceeded the nations average life expectancy of 58.4 years should not be detained in the future..."
Author/creator: CIIR & Aliran
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 9: Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world. "...While every prisoner release in Burma is welcome, I am extremely concerned that at the current rate [of releases], Professor Pinheiro will have to travel to Burma for at least another 50 or 60 times before most of the political prisoners can be freed. I am sure budgetary constraints would make such frequency of travel practically impossible. [In addition, the Burmese military regime tends to "recycle" i.e. rearrest political prisoners for the sheer joy of releasing them in dribs and drabs.]..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR)
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 11(e): Religious Intolerance. "...in Burma, anyone can be arrested without a warrant for being involved in the promotion of human rights and democracy. Since 1988, hundreds of students, monks, members of ethnic nationality groups, political opposition groups and others, have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned for non-violent activities and beliefs. In Burma, all police stations are used as interrogation centers. Moreover there are over 30 military intelligence units which are used as interrogation centers. The military intelligence service (MIS) of the State Peace and Development Council, the current unelected government of Burma, uses interrogation centers to obtain information from persons whom they suspect as being involved in any political movement. The MIS uses methods like severe beatings, kicking with heavy boots, suffocation, threats with snakes, and interrogation without allowing any rest, proper food or drinking water to name but a few methods..."
Author/creator: Catholic Institute for International Relations (delivered by Bo Kyi)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Rights and Democracy
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 12(a): Violence Against Women.. "...I would like to bring to your attention violence against women in and from Burma...Many human rights organizations have documented incidences where military officers and soldiers rape ethnic women in conflict areas with impunity. Attempts to seek justice by survivors and their communities are either ignored, at best, or met with retaliation, at worst...Military sexual slavery is common. Women, even pregnant women, are used as forced labor at military camps and construction sites. Some are forced to porter military supplies and are used as minesweepers. While serving as forced laborers or porters, women are often sexually abused and raped. These practices constitute a violation of the Slavery Convention to which Burma became a party to on 18 June 1927. Pregnant women often lose their unborn child due to the poor conditions and lack of access to health care..."
Author/creator: Rights and Democracy
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14(c): Mass Exoduses and Displaced Persons. "...The massive forced relocation, displacement and other types of involuntary population movements carried out by the Burmese military regime in the rural areas of Karen State since 1997 is continuing to this day. It is estimated that there are about 100-200,000 displaced people from Karen State alone, up to a million in the whole of Burma. Most of the displaced are farmers and their families who have been dispossessed of their homes and land without compensation by the Burmese army; Thousands have been relocated to sites by the Burmese army to work at their army barracks, or on road or rail construction projects, and other projects without pay; Thousands more are internally displaced, hiding in the jungle trying to survive without seeking sanctuary across the border in Thailand; There are now over 110,000 official Karen refugees sheltered along the Thai-Burma border. In his report to the Commission, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, states, An average of 300-700 new asylums seekers may cross into Thailand every month. Most of these new arrivals lived for some time as IDPs..."
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 9: Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world. "...Even as talks are going on between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the State Peace and Development Council leaders, a situation that is totally incompatible with that atmosphere prevails in the country. We are seriously concerned about the ongoing military operations in the Shan, Karen and Karenni areas. In the course of the ongoing civil war, various forms of human rights violations are continuing unabated. People are being subjected to extortion, seizure of their property and livestock, forced labor, torture, rape, and extrajudicial killings. The systematic forced relocation of villages by the Burmese army in these states has led to a massive displacement of people who have lost the means of earning a living. Starvation, malnutrition, and death from contagious diseases are common among the estimated one million internally displaced persons in the non-Burman ethnic areas. The systematic violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights by the State Peace and Development Council have a significant adverse effect on the health and welfare of the people of Burma..."
Author/creator: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2002: Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: Agenda Item 9: Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world. "...Since the inception of the Burmese democracy movement, we have upheld dialogue as an integral part of the democratization process and in the protection and promotion of human rights - both as an objective and an instrument. We are therefore cautiously encouraged by the ongoing talks between the State Peace and Development Council, the current government of Burma, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, since October 2000. We fully appreciate the efforts of the UN Special Envoy, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur and the international community, especially our neighbors, in keeping that process alive. However, we are disappointed to see that measures conducive to normalizing the political atmosphere to progress the political dialogue have still been either ignored or taken on at a very slow pace..."
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation (delivered by Dr. Thaung Htun)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: 20 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 19: Advisory services and technical co-operation in the field of human rights. "Help Needed to Differentiate Fantasy from Reality" "... you can imagine my concern when I discovered another urgent need for technical assistance to help governments differentiate between reality and fantasy. I am not addressing the general tendency to diplomatic euphemism, or to embroider and/or stretch the truth. I am referring to situations where governments rip the truth to shreds, throw the pieces to the ground and then proceed to dance a jig upon the remains. A compelling example is document E/CN.4/2001/140 in which the Myanmar delegation claims the country is free of human rights abuses. It claims such concrete achievements as the significant economic progress, and the social and cultural uplift and the improvement of the living standards of the people..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: 19 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 18: Effective functioning of human rights mechanisms (b) National institutions and regional arrangements "Foxes and chickens in Burma and Malaysia". "... A human rights committee was established a year ago by the regime in preparation for the establishment of a national human rights institution. Amazingly, the membership of the Committee reads like a "Who's Who" of human rights violators in that country. For example, Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, [the regime's Secretary 1 and] the head of Military Intelligence is the chief patron of this Committee. [When he is not patronizing the Human Rights Committee], Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt spends most of his time directing the persecution of human rights and democracy activists utilizing arbitrary arrests, interrogation and torture. He also toys with the judicial system and officiates at religious structures that have been built with forced labour..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by War Resisters International
Date of publication: 19 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 17: Human Rights Defenders. "... to promote democracy and human rights in my country, Burma or Myanmar, is still the worst crime in the eyes of the military regime. An array of laws and the judicial system have been routinely abused in order to gag and detain human rights defenders. Therefore it is very surprising to hear the regimes claims in this very hall that they are promoting human rights..."
Author/creator: War Resisters International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: 17 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 17: Human Rights Defenders. (statement mainly on Malaysia). "...The military regime in Burma seems bent on reducing the number of human rights defenders and educators to the level of an endangered species. While time does not permit me to name all of them, I wish to draw your attention to the case of Mrs San San Nwe, sentenced to 10 years in 1994, partly for speaking with the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar. Mrs San San Nwe is being held under atrocious conditions, she cannot even stand up in her low-ceilinged cell, and is only allowed 15 minutes of speech per day!..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14: Migrant workers; Minorities; Mass exoduses and displaced persons; Other vulnerable groups and individuals. "... I wish to use this time to highlight two particular cases, that although quite different, stem from the same root causes the oppression of ethnic nationality and religious minorities in Burma, and the prevalent use of forced relocation. These causes have led to an increase in the number of internally displaced persons. Many of these internally displaced persons end up becoming refugees, trafficked persons and migrant workers seeking to escape the intense oppression perpetrated by the regime known as the State Peace an Development Council of Myanmar..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Catholic Institute for International Relations
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14 (a) Migrant Workers. "I am here to speak on behalf of the "undocumented" Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, with whom I have been working for several years. According to the Royal Thai Government figures, there are more than 1.2 million Burmese working in Thailand. Unlike the usual profile of migrant workers, these Burmese migrants have fled from half-a -century civil war and on-going gross human rights abuses committed by the Burmese junta. In particular, I am referring to systematic forced relocation campaigns and forced labor. Most migrants come from the areas where on-going gas pipeline projects, and areas along the Salween River where mega-dams will be built..."
Author/creator: Catholic Institute for International Relations
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14(b): Rights of Minorities. "... Successive Burmese regimes have refused to recognize the rights of minorities in Burma. Intolerance grew to a point where the country found itself in Civil War from which we have been suffering for more than fifty years. This same internal armed conflict between the Burmese government and the Karen people has created more than 120, 000 (a hundred and twenty thousand) Karen refugees along the Thai-Burma border. The estimate of internally displaced Karen people living in the Burmese jungle is now between 200, 000 and 300,000. At this point, we are unable to give an estimate of numbers of Karen (illegal) migrant workers in Thailand..."
Author/creator: International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: 12 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 14 (c) Mass exoduses and displaced persons. " ... the situation of human rights in the Shan State of Burma remains as bad as in previous years. The massive forced relocation, displacement and other types of involuntary population movements carried out by the Burmese military regime in the central Shan State since 1996 is still continuing up to this day and still badly affecting the lives of the people. Over 300,000 people from nearly 1,500 villages, mostly farmers, have been dispossessed of their lands and homes and forcibly displaced by the army. Thousands have been seized by the army to work for road construction and other projects without pay. The relocation areas are still being declared "free-fire" zones and people found in these areas are still being shot on sight. At least four massacres were documented in 2000 in Kun-Hing township alone. The worst was on 20 May 2000, when more than 60 internally displaced villagers, including elderly, women and children were killed. These villagers had been hiding in the jungle. When they heard that a patrol of soldiers was coming, they fled towards the Salween River. When they reached the bank of the river, the military troops caught up with them and opened fire killing most of them. Among the 300,000 displaced, over 120,000 fled across the border to Thailand, while the remaining are hiding in the jungle near their old villages. Trying to survive, they are facing tremendous hardship. They live without security, regular food, shelter, and access to medical care..."
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Date of publication: 11 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 13: Rights of the Child. "... Today, I would like to bring your attention to the situation of Burmese children in my country, particularly in armed conflicts. I spent most of my life in the refugee camp at Thai-Burma border. As a victim of the half-a-century long civil war, just like other children in the camps, I personally experienced the impact of the war on the lives of children. Violence and instability have had a considerable negative impact on the situation of children in Burma. Many of them have been subjected to various forms of violations of their rights and have been forced to flee areas affected by violence. Families have been forced to cross borders to seek for protection as refugees. To flee from one's home is to experience a deep sense of loss, and the decision to flee is not taken lightly..."
Author/creator: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aliran Kesedaran Negara
Date of publication: 05 April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 11: Civil and Political Rights... Oldest Political Prisoner. "... I come from Southeast Asia, where there is an apparent obsession for breaking records. For example, Malaysia delights in boasting of the highest tower, tallest flagpole, longest serving Prime Minister, most farcical trial, etc etc. Unfortunately in Burma, the military regime has so impoverished the country they cannot afford to build gigantic structures. Instead, they aspire to the record of having the oldest political prisoner. I am of course referring to Dr U Saw Mra Aung, elected Member of Parliament for Mrauk-U (1) constituency [in Arakan State]..."
Author/creator: Aliran Kesedaran Negara (delivered by Deborah Stothard)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 15: Indigenous issues. "... As many of my brothers and sisters from Burma have stated to this Commission, the Burmese Army has not stopped committing atrocities against the non-Burman peoples and the civilian population in general. There is no substantial progress in the respect of human rights and no solution to the deep-seated socio-economic and political conditions facing the indigenous peoples in Burma. Under the long years of suppression and increasing military rule, the Chin indigenous people are experiencing many of the same abuses as other ethnic indigenous groups living inside and along the border regions of Burma. However, a specific human rights abuse suffered by the Chin people is religious persecution, even though the first and second constitutions of Burma accorded freedom of religion..."
Author/creator: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (Delivered by Salai Cung Bik Ling of Chin Human Rights Organization)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Anti-Slavery International
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 11 - Civil and political rights, including the questions of (e) Religious intolerance. Paragraphs on Laos, Vietnam, Burma and Afghanistan. "... In Myanmar, the Government continues to monitor the activities of members of all religions, including Buddhism, in part because the clergy and congregation members have in the past become politically active. Moreover, government authorities coercively promote Buddhism over other religions, particularly among members of ethnic minorities. In Chin State, Christian Chins are facing harassment. Several hundred Chins fled to Guam in 2000 seeking refuge in the United States. Many of them complained of religious discrimination as a ground to their claims. Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State have particularly been discriminated against on the basis of their religion. They have been denied citizenship, and in many instances their land was confiscated to make it available to new Buddhist settlers, a programme engineered by the State authorities. Muslims have been compelled to provide forced labour to build new settlements as well as Buddhist pagodas. Societal attitudes have also shown widespread prejudice against Muslims in Myanmar and the government contributes to instigate anti-Muslim violence. Communal riots between Buddhists and Muslims took place in Sittwe during February 2001 that left at least ten people dead..."
Author/creator: Anti-Slavery International
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Catholic Institute for International Relations
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 10: Economic, scial and cultural rights. "... I would like to call upon the Commission to pay special attention, especially on the escalating use of forced labor... the practice of forced labor has been continued throughout Burma, particularly in the Karen, Karenni and Shan States where the Burmese army is deployed in strength ... We are gravely concerned about the ongoing military operations in the Shan, Karen and Karenni States. In these areas, the SPDC has continued the systematic campaign of forced relocation. Massive internal displacement and, destruction of crops and live stocks by the Burmese army has made the livelihood of villagers impossible. Starvation, malnutrition and deaths from contagious diseases continue in these non-Burman ethnic areas, where international relief organizations and media are not accessible..."
Author/creator: Catholic Institute for International Relations
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Catholic Institute for International Relations
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 11(a) Torture and Detention. "... Human rights violations in Burma have been well documented by international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the ILO and Burmese human rights organizations. Torture has become an institution in the country. The security forces continue to use torture to extract information, punish, humiliate and control the people... political prisoners are denied adequate food, medical care and sanitation and they get seriously ill because of the harsh prison condition. Although the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been conducting prison visits since May 1999, prison conditions are still extremely poor..."
Author/creator: Catholic Institute for International Relations
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 13: Rights of the Child. "... Many children are orphaned, abandoned, trafficked, exploited in the labor force, institutionalized or jailed. Some are used in drug running, while others are targets of ethnic discrimination. All these problems are linked to one common factor, chronic and malignant failure by the State to provide the survival, protection, and development needs of children. This failure is directly linked to the ongoing more than 50 years of civil war between the military regime and armed ethnic groups demanding greater autonomy. These problems also reflect the authorities' persistent refusal to allocate any part of foreign exchange earnings to the non-military social sector. The published budgetary figures show that military spending per capita exceeds that spent on health by nine times, and that on education by more than two times ... What all key players on the Burmese political stage have to keep in mind is that humanitarian consequences arising from the failure to address the emergency needs of children are grave and they threaten the nations future. The talks that are going on between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, and the ruling authorities are a hopeful sign for change to the Burmese society. In the context of this new development, the Commission should encourage all leaders of parties involved in conflict in Burma ... "
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation (delivered by Dr. Thaung Htun)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: CHR 2001: Oral statement by Worldview International Foundation
Date of publication: March 2001
Description/subject: Agenda Item 9: Question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any part of the world. "... I am Dr. Sein Win, an elected representative of the 1990 general elections from Paukkaung Constituency of Burma. I usually take this floor at each session of the UN Commission on Human Rights since 1991 to present the case of 1990 general elections in Burma with the hope that the commission could help accelerate the process of democratization which is vital for the improvement of overall human rights situation in my country. I fully agree with the concluding remark of former UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Judge Rajsoomer Lallah, who said, "The lack of respect to the rights pertaining to democratic governance is the root cause of various forms of human rights violations in Burma"..."
Author/creator: Worldview International Foundation (delivered by Dr. Sein Win)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003