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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Discrimination > Women: discrimination/violence against > Discrimination/violence against women: reports of violations in Kachin State

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Discrimination/violence against women: reports of violations in Kachin State

Individual Documents

Title: Pushed to the Brink - Conflict and human trafficking on the Kachin-China border
Date of publication: 05 June 2013
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Burmese government’s renewed war against the Kachin has exponentially increased the risk of human trafficking along the China-Burma border. New documentation by KWAT indicates that large-scale displacement, lack of refugee protection and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new push factors fuelling the trafficking problem. Burma Army offensives against the Kachin Independence Army since June 2011 and widespread human rights abuses have driven over 100,000 villagers from their homes, mainly in eastern Kachin State. The majority of these refugees have fled to crowded IDP camps along the China border, which receive virtually no international aid. Desperate to earn an income, but with little or no legal option to pursue migrant work in China, many cross the border illegally. Their lack of legal status renders them extremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers, who use well-trodden routes to transport and sell people into bonded labor or forced marriage as far as eastern provinces of China. Although ongoing attacks and massive social upheaval since the start of the conflict have hampered systematic data collection, KWAT has documented 24 trafficking cases from Kachin border areas since June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers. The sale of women and children is a lucrative source of income for traffickers, who can make as much as 40,000 Yuan (approximately $6,500 USD) per person. While some manage to escape, and may be assisted by Chinese authorities in returning home, others disappear without a trace. Kachin authorities and community-based groups have played a key role in providing help with trafficking cases, and assisting women to be reunited with their families. No trafficked women or their families sought help from Burmese authorities. The Burmese government lists an anti-trafficking border liaison office at Loije on the Kachin-China border, but it is unknown to the community and thought to be non-functional. Far from seeking to provide protection to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and mitigate trafficking risks, the Burmese government has continued to fuel the war, block humanitarian aid to IDPs in Kachin controlled areas, and even attack and destroy IDP camps, driving refugees into China. It has also closed some of the immigration offices on the Kachin-China border which could provide border passes for refugees to legally seek work in China. It is thus ironic that in 2012, Burma was recognized in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report as increasing its efforts in combating human trafficking, resulting in a rise from its bottomlevel ranking for the first time in the history of the report, and a corresponding increase in financial support to Burma’s quasi-civilian government. It is urgently needed to address the structural problems that have led to mass migration and trafficking in the past and also spurred the recent conflict. The Burmese military’s gross mismanagement of resource revenues from Kachin State over the past few decades, and ongoing land confiscation, forced relocation, and human rights abuses, have pushed countless Kachin civilians across the Chinese border in search of peace and the fulfillment of basic needs. These problems led to the breakdown of the 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military-dominated government in 2011. Refusing to engage in dialogue to address Kachin demands for equality and equitable development, the government launched attacks to seize total control over the wealth of resources in Kachin State. Resolving the current conflict via genuine political dialogue would not only be a step towards peace, but also a concrete move towards curbing human trafficking from Kachin areas. Launching a range of reforms dealing with the political and economic factors driving people beyond Burma’s borders is critical to addressing trafficking. Therefore, KWAT recommends the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-OBL version; 1.37MB-original...Press release: Chinese, 90K; Burmese, 40K; English, html)
Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinwomen.com
http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/pressrelease/pushed_chinese.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/KWAT-pushed_to_the_brink-PR-bu-ocr.pdf
http://www.kachinwomen.com/advocacy/press-release.html
http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/publication/pushed_to_the_brink.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


Title: Eastward Bound
Date of publication: 05 August 2008
Description/subject: Summary of key findings: The report documents 133 verified and suspected trafficking cases, involving 163 women and girls, which occurred between 2004 and mid-2007 . As political and economic conditions inside Burma continue to deteriorate, more and more Kachin women are migrating to China in search of work, and are ending up as forced brides of Chinese men. . Most of the forced brides were transported across China to marry men in the eastern provinces, particularly Shandong Province. Women described being shown to many men, sometimes in marketplaces, before being chosen. The husbands, predominantly farmers, paid an average of US$1,900 for their brides. . About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18, with girls as young as 14 forced to be brides. Several cases involved traffickers attempting to buy babies. . The continuing high incidence of trafficking indicates that the regime's new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing to have any impact in curbing the problem. Provisions in the regime's new law to protect the rights of trafficking victims are not being adhered to. Women are also being falsely accused of trafficking under the new law. . Women report that Chinese police have been helpful in assisting them to return to Burma, but have sometimes demanded compensation from Burma border officials for repatriating trafficking victims...... Growing numbers of Kachin women trafficked as brides across China Forced by deteriorating political and economic conditions in Burma to migrate to China, ethnic Kachin women are increasingly ending up as forced brides, according to a new report by an indigenous women¹s group. ³Eastward Bound² by the Kachin Women¹s Association Thailand (KWAT), documents the trafficking of 163 women and girls between 2004 and mid-2007, almost all to China. While 40% of the women have simply disappeared, most of the rest were forced to marry men in provinces across eastern China. About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18. Most of these girls, as young as 14, were sold as brides for an average of about USD 2,000, usually to farmers. The report highlights how the Burmese regime¹s new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing not only to curb trafficking, but also to protect the rights of trafficked women. Victims have been refused assistance by the Burmese Embassy in Beijing, denied entry back to Burma, and falsely accused of trafficking themselves. One woman accused of trafficking was raped in detention by a local official. ³Anti-trafficking laws are meaningless under a regime that systematically violates people¹s rights, and whose policies are driving citizens to migrate,² said Gum Khong, a researcher for the report. While international agencies have raised the alert about increased trafficking in Burma following Cyclone Nargis, KWAT cautions against indirectly endorsing the regime¹s heavy-handed attempts to control migration. ³International agencies must look holistically at the trafficking problem, and not be complicit in any efforts by the regime to further abuse people¹s rights under the guise of preventing trafficking² said KWAT spokesperson Shirley Seng. KWAT first exposed the trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border in their 2005 report ³Driven Away.² The new report can be viewed at http://www.womenofburma.org For hard copies of the report, please contact: kwat@loxinfo.co.th For further information contact: Gum Khong +66 84 616 5245 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +66 84 616 5245      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Shirley Seng +66 84 485 7252
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB, 2MB - Alt. URL))
Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/EastwardBound.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 August 2008


Title: Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border
Date of publication: 15 May 2005
Description/subject: "An alarming trend is developing in ethnic Kachin communities of Burma. Growing poverty, caused by failed state policies, is driving increasing numbers of young people to migrate in search of work. As a result, young women and girls are disappearing without trace, being sold as wives in China, and tricked into the Chinese and Burmese sex industries. Local Kachin researchers conducted interviews in Burma from May-August 2004 in order to document this trend. "Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border", produced by the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT), is based on 63 verified and suspected trafficking cases that occurred primarily during 2000-2004. The cases involve 85 women and girls, mostly between the ages of 14 and 20. Testimony comes primarily from women and girls who escaped after being trafficked, as well as relatives, persons who helped escapees, and others. About two-thirds of the women trafficked were from the townships of Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin State. About one third were from villages in northern Shan State. In 36 of the cases, women were specifically offered safe work opportunities and followed recruiters to border towns. Many were seeking part-time work to make enough money for school fees during the annual three-month school holiday. Others simply needed to support their families. Those not offered work were taken while looking for work, tricked, or outright abducted. Women taken to China were most often passed on to traffickers at the border to be transported farther by car, bus and/or train for journeys of up to one week in length. Traffickers used deceit, threats, and drugs to confuse and control women en route..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (3.3MB), 2.2MB
Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/Driven_Away.pdf (original, authoritative)
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2005