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TBC/TBBC documents on internal displacement

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Title: PROTECTION AND SECURITY CONCERNS IN SOUTH EAST BURMA / MYANMAR (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: 06 November 2014
Description/subject: နဳိ၀င္ဘာလ ၆ ရက္ေန႔၊ ၂၀၁၄ ဘန္ေကာက္ ဘန္ေကာက္ဘန္ေကာက္ ဘန္ေကာက္/ // /ရန္ကုန္ ရန္ကုန္ရန္ကုန္ ရန္ကုန္ - ျမန္မာအစုိးရအေနျဖင့္ အာဆီယံထိပ္သီး အစည္းအေ၀းပြဲအတြက္ ျပင္ဆင္ေနသည့္အခ်ိန္တြင္၊ စစ္ေဘးဒဏ္ခံစားခဲ့ရသည့္ ျပည္သူမ်ားအေနျဖင့္မူ ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးျဖစ္စဥ္ ျပန္လည္ေကာင္းမြန္လာနဳိင္ဦးမည္လား၊ မည္သုိ႔မည္ပုံေကာင္းမြန္လာနဳိင္မည္လဲဟု ေတြးေတာေနၾကပါ သည္။ တစ္နဳိင္ငံလုံး အပစ္အခတ္ရပ္စဲေရး သေဘာတူညီခ်က္အတြက္ ေဆြးေႏြးညွိႏႈိင္းမႈမ်ားမွာလည္း ရပ္ဆုိင္းလုနီးပါးရွိေနျပီး ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲမွာလည္း ၂၀၁၅ခုႏွစ္ ႏွစ္ကုန္ပုိင္းကာလတြင္ က်င္းပရေတာ့မည္ျဖစ္သည္။ သုိ႔ေသာ္ ကယ္ဆယ္ေရးႏွင့္ ဖြံ႔ျဖဳိးေရးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ား လုပ္ေဆာင္ေနသည့္ အဖြဲ႔အစည္းမ်ားညႊန္႔ေပါင္းအဖြဲ႔၏ အစီရင္ခံစာအရ အမ်ဳိးသားရင္ၾကားေစ့ေရးကုိ ျဖစ္ေစနဳိင္မည့္ တုိင္းရင္းသားမ်ားႏွင့္ပဋိပကၡကုိ ကုိင္တြယ္ေျဖရွင္း နဳိင္မည့္ ႏုိင္ငံေရးေဆြးေႏြးပြဲသည္ အလြန္အေရးၾကီးသည္ဟုဆုိပါသည္။ အရပ္ဘက္အဖြဲ႔အစည္း ၁၁ ဖြဲ႔သည္ ျမန္မာနဳိင္ငံအေရွ ႔ေတာင္ပုိင္းရွိ ရြာစု ေပါင္း ၂၂၂ စု မွ ရပ္ရြာအၾကီးအကဲ၊ ေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ား၏ လုံျခဳံ ေရးႏွင့္ ကာကြယ္ေစာင့္ေရွာက္မႈဆုိင္ရာ စုိးရိမ္ပူပန္ခ်က္မ်ားႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည့္ အျမင္မ်ားကုိ သုေတသနျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့ပါသည္။ နယ္စပ္ညြန္႔ေပါင္းအဖြဲ႔၏ ႏွစ္ပတ္လည္ အထြေထြ အစည္းအေ၀းႏွင့္ အလွဴရွင္မ်ားဖုိရမ္တုိ႔တြင္ ေတြ႔ရွိခ်က္မ်ားကုိလည္း ေ၀မ်ွခဲ့ပါသည္။ တီဘီစီသည္ စစ္မက္ပဋိပကၡေၾကာင့္ ထြက္ေျပးလာသည့္ ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားအတြက္ စားနပ္ရိကၡာ၊ခုိလႈံရာေနရာႏွင့္ စခန္းစီမံခန္႔ခြဲမႈတုိ႔အား ေထာက္ပ့ံကူညီခဲ့သည္မွာ ႏွစ္ေပါင္း ၃၀ခန္႔ ရွိခဲ့ျပီ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ယခုAစီရင္ခံစာသည္ ၂၀၁၁ခုႏွစ္ကုန္ပုိင္းမွစတင္ခဲ့သည့္ အပစ္အခတ္ရပ္စဲေရးညွိႏႈိင္းေဆြးေႏြးမႈ ေနာက္ဆုံးအၾကိမ္မွ စတင္ျပီး အနဳိင္ က်င့္ခံရမႈမ်ား ေျပာင္းလဲလာပုံမ်ားကုိ မွတ္တမ္းတင္ခဲ့ပါသည္။ တုိက္ပြဲမ်ားနည္းသြားေသာ္လည္း သဘာ၀သယံဇာတမ်ား ထုတ္ယူျခင္းႏွင့္ စီးပြားေရး လုပ္ငန္း လုပ္ကုိင္မႈမ်ား ပုိမုိမ်ားျပားလာျပီး စစ္တပ္အင္အားမွာလည္း ေလ်ာ့နည္းမသြားေပ။ “ထုိင္းနဳိင္ငံက ဒုကၡသည္အနည္းစုျပန္ၾကတာ၊ အေျခအနျပန္ၾကည့္္ၾကတာမ်ဳိးဘဲေတြ႔ရပါတယ္။ ဒီစစ္တမ္းအရေတာ့ ေနရပ္စြန္႔ခြာ ထြက္ေျပး ေနရတဲ့သူ(IDP)အေရအတြက္လည္း သိသိသာသာနည္းမသြားဖူးလုိ႔ဆုိရပါမယ္။ ေနရပ္စြန္႔ခြာထြက္ေျပးရသူေတြ ျပန္လာဖုိ႔၊ ေနရာခ်ထားဖုိ႔အတြက္ ျပင္ဆင္ၾကတဲ့လုပ္ငန္းေတြကုိ စစ္တပ္အင္အား ဆက္လက္တုိးခ်ဲ ႔ေနတာန႔ဲ မလုံျခဳံမႈေတြက အဟန္႔အတားျဖစ္ေစပါတယ္။” ဟု တီဘီစီ၏ အလုပ္ အမႈေဆာင္ ညႊန္ၾကားေရးမႈး ဆယ္လီသြန္(မ္)ဆင္မွ မွတ္ခ်က္ေပးခဲ့ပါသည္။ ရာဇ၀တ္မႈၾကီးမ်ားႏွင့္ အျပင္းအထန္ ခုိက္ရန္ျဖစ္ပြားျငင္းခုန္မႈမ်ားကုိ အဓိကေျဖရွင္းေပးသည့္သူမ်ားအျဖစ္ ေက်းရြာအၾကီးအကဲ၊ ေခါင္းေဆာင္ မ်ားကုိ သတ္မွတ္ထားၾကပါသည္။ ျမန္မာနဳိင္ငံ၏ တရားစီရင္ေရးစနစ္အေပၚ ယုံၾကည္မႈပ်က္ျပားေစသည့္ အေၾကာင္းမ်ားမွာ အက်င့္ပ်က္ျခစားမႈ၊တရား စီရင္မႈလုပ္ထုံးလုပ္နည္းမ်ားကုိ မသိရွိျခင္းႏွင့္ ဥပေဒကုိလုိသလုိ အသုံးခ်ျခင္းတို႔ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ အနဳိင္က်င့္ခံရမႈမ်ားႏွင့္ အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈမ်ား ရပ္တန္႔သြားေစရန္အတြက္ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္မ်ားဆုတ္ခြာရန္ ႏွင့္ အပစ္အခတ္ရပ္စဲျခင္း အေျခအေန ကုိ ေစာင့္ၾကည့္သည့္စနစ္မ်ားဖန္တီးေပးရန္တုိ႔သည္ အဓိကဦးစားေပးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ားအျဖစ္ ေဒသခံမ်ားမွထင္ျမင္ပါသည္။ ရပ္ရြာေခါင္းေဆာင္မ်ားက မိမိတုိ႔၏အခြင့္အေရးမ်ားကုိ ေတာင္းဆုိတတ္ေစရန္ႏွင့္ မ်ွတသည့္ တရားစီရင္မႈရရွိနဳိင္ေစရန္ ရြာသူရြာသားမ်ား၏ စြမ္းေဆာင္ရည္မ်ားကုိ ျမွင့္တင္ေပး ရာတြင္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးႏွင့္ ဥပေဒပုိင္းဆုိင္ရာ ပညာေပးမႈမ်ားသည္ အေရးၾကီးေၾကာင္း အလးအနက္ေျပာၾကားပါသည္။ “အားလုံးပါ၀င္တဲ့ အမ်ဳိးသားေတြ႔ဆုံေဆြးေႏြးမႈမ်ဳိးမွာ လုံျခဳံေရးက႑အေျပာင္းအလဲ၊ ေျမယာအခြင့္အရးမ်ားတုိ႔လုိ အေျခခံကိစၥရပ္ေတြကုိ ကုိင္တြယ္ ေျဖရွင္းဖုိ႔လုိအပ္ပါတယ္။ထုိ႔အျပင္ တုိင္းရင္းသားလုံျခဳံေရးနဲ႔ တရားစီရင္ေရးစြမ္းရည္ေတြကုိ ျမွင့္တင္ေပးျခင္းက ရပ္ရြာအဖြဲ႔အစည္းရဲ ႔ ကာကြယ္ေစာင့္ေရွာက္မႈ နည္းဗ်ဴဟာေတြကုိ အားျဖည့္ေပးျပီး ရာဇ၀တ္မႈမ်ားေတြ၊ အနဳိင္က်င့္မႈေတြ ျပန္မျဖစ္ဖုိ႔ကုိလည္းဟန္႔တားေပးနဳိင္ပါလိမ့္မယ္။” ဟု မစၥသြန္မ္ဆင္ က ေျပာၾကားခဲ့ပါသည္။ အဂၤလိပ္ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာဘာသာ ႏွစ္ဘာသာျဖင့္ “ျမန္မာနဳိင္ငံအေရွ ႔ေတာင္ပုိင္းရွိ ကာကြယ္မႈေပးေရးႏွင့္ လုံျခဳံေရးဆုိင္ရာ စုိးရိမ္ပူပန္မႈမ်ား” အစီရင္ခံစာႏွင့္ ရပ္ရြာအၾကီးအကဲမ်ားႏွင့္ ေတြ႔ဆုံေမးျမန္းခ်က္မ်ားကုိ မွတ္တမ္းတင္ထားသည့္ဗီဒီယုိဖုိင္ကုိ theborderconsortium.org တြင္ရရွိနဳိင္ပါသည္။
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium (TBC)
Format/size: pdf (3.9MB-reduced version; 5MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.theborderconsortium.org/media/54379/report-2014-idp-bu.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2014


Title: PROTECTION AND SECURITY CONCERNS IN SOUTH EAST BURMA / MYANMAR (English)
Date of publication: 06 November 2014
Description/subject: "...The peace process in Burma/Myanmar is at a critical juncture from which it could evolve into a transformative national dialogue or splinter into a divisive charade. While hopes for substantive and inclusive discussion about structural injustice remain, ongoing militarisation and attacks by the national armed forces are undermining the confidence of ethnic stakeholders. This report seeks to highlight the protection and security concerns of conflict-affected communities. This survey was designed, conducted and analysed by eleven civil society organisations in collaboration with The Border Consortium (TBC). A stratified sampling method was utilised to select 222 out of 665 village tracts spread across 23 townships in South East Myanmar. Community representatives were consulted about militarisation, displacement, security and justice concerns between May and July 2014. Over 2,600 villagers participated in focus group discussions structured around a multiple choice questionnaire and supplemented by personal interviews. There has been no respite from militarisation since negotiations for preliminary ceasefire agreements began in 2011. The respective troop strength of both the national armed forces and the ethnic armed groups was perceived by local communities as comparable, if not greater, in over 70% of village tracts surveyed. While there has been a reduction infighting, militarisation is increasingly related to resource extraction and commercial development..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium (TBC)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-reduced version; 2.83MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.theborderconsortium.org/media/54376/report-2014-idp-en.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/TBC_report-2014-11-idp-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2014


Title: PROTECTION AND SECURITY CONCERNS IN SOUTH EAST BURMA / MYANMAR - DISPLACED COMMUNITIES AWAIT POLITICAL DIALOGUE IN MYANMAR (PRESS RELEASE)
Date of publication: 06 November 2014
Description/subject: Protection and security concerns ... "As Myanmar’s government prepares to host the ASEAN Summit next week, conflict-affected communities are wondering if and how the peace process can get back on track. Negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire agreement are stumbling and national elections are due at the end of 2015. However, political dialogue to address ethnic conflict is essential to promote national reconciliation according to a new report from a consortium of relief and development agencies. Eleven civil society organisations surveyed the perceptions of community leaders in 222 village tracts across South East Myanmar about protection and security concerns. The findings were released this week as part of The Border Consortium’s (TBC’s) Annual General Meeting and Donors Forum. TBC has been providing food, shelter and camp management support for refugees who have fled from armed conflict into Thailand for the past 30 years. The report documents changes in the patterns of abuse since the latest round of ceasefire negotiations began in late 2011. While there has been a reduction in fighting, there has been no respite from militarisation which is increasingly related to resource extraction and commercial development..."
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium (TBC)
Format/size: html - English; pdf-207K-Burmese
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/TBC-2014-11-06-press-release-idp-report-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2014


Title: POVERTY, DISPLACEMENT AND LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN SOUTH EAST BURMA / MYANMAR
Date of publication: November 2013
Description/subject: With Field Assessments by: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP); Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM); Karen Environment and Social Action Network (KESAN); Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG); Karen Office of Relief and Development (KORD); Karen Women Organisation (KWO); Karenni Evergreen (KEG); Karenni Social Welfare and Development Centre (KSWDC); Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO); Mon Relief and Development Committee (MRDC) Shan State Development Foundation (SSDF).....CONTENTS:- Context... Methodology... POVERTY: Physical Access... Shelter... Water Supply and Sanitation... Livelihoods and Food Security... Education.. Health Care.... DISPLACEMENT: Displacement ... Return and Resettlement... Principles for Return and Reintegration..... LOCAL GOVERNANCE: Civilian Protection... Village Leadership... Natural Resource Management... Conflict Transformation …APPENDICES: Surveyed Village List... 2013 Survey Framework... Acronyms and Place Names.
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (2.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2013


Title: Changing Realities, Poverty and Displacement in South East Burma/Myanmar - 2012 Survey (TBC)
Date of publication: 31 October 2012
Description/subject: "A significant decrease in forced displacement has been documented by community‐based organisations in South East Myanmar after a series of ceasefire agreements were negotiated earlier this year. While armed conflict continues in Kachin State and communal violence rages in Rakhine State, field surveys indicate that that there has been a substantial decrease in hostilities affecting Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon communities. In its annual survey of displacement and poverty released today, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) estimates that 10,000 people were forced from their homes during the past year in comparison to an average of 75,000 people displaced every year during the previous decade. While there remain at least 400,000 internally displaced persons in rural areas of South East Myanmar, the tentative return of 37,000 civilians to their villages or surrounding areas reflects hope for an end to displacement. After supporting refugees and internally displaced persons for nearly three decades, TBBC’s Executive Director Jack Dunford is optimistic about the possibility of forging a sustainable solution but conscious that there are many obstacles still to come. “The challenge of transforming preliminary ceasefire agreements into a substantive peace process is immense, but this is the best chance we have ever had to create the conditions necessary to support voluntary and dignified return in safety”, said Mr Dunford. Poverty assessments conducted by TBBC’s community‐based partners with over 4,000 households across 21 townships provide a sobering reminder about the impact of protracted conflict on civilian livelihoods. The findings suggest that 59% of households in rural communities of South East Myanmar are impoverished, with the indicators particularly severe in northern Karen areas where there have been allegations of widespread and systematic human rights abuse. The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar reported to the United Nations General Assembly last month that truth, justice and accountability are integral to the process of securing peace and national reconciliation. Mr Dunford commented that “after all the violence and abuse, inclusive planning processes can help to rebuild trust by ensuring that the voices of those most affected are heard and that civil society representatives are involved at all stages”." (TBC Press Release, 31 October 2012)..... 9 documents: English full report (Zip-PDF: 22.5Mb); Burmese brochure (PDF: 8.25Mb); English brochure (PDF: 0.9Mb); English Exec Summ. (PDF: 270Kb); English-Chapter 1 (PDF: 800Kb); English-Chapter 2 (PDF: 7.9Mb); English-Chapter 3 (PDF: 9.7Mb); English-Chapter 4 (PDF: 5.6Mb); English-Appendices (PDF: 5.9Mb).....
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium - TBC (formerly Thailand Burma Border Consortium - TBBC )
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/report-2012-idp-full-en-op-red.pdf (slightly reduced version of the full report)
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


Title: DISPLACEMENT AND POVERTY IN SOUTH EAST BURMA / MYANMAR (English)
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: With Field Assessments and Situation Updates by: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People; Karen Office of Relief and Development; Karenni Social Welfare and Development Centre; Mon Relief and Development Committee; Shan Relief and Development Committee.....While offi cial fi gures estimate that a quarter of the nation live in poverty, this survey suggests that almost two thirds of households in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar are unable to meet their basic needs. Impoverishment is particularly severe in the confl ict-affected townships of Kyaukgyi and Shwegyin in Pegu/Bago Region and Thandaung in Karen/Kayin State. Comparative analysis with household surveys conducted by the World Food Program suggest that that standards of living in rural areas of the South East are similar to conditions in Northern Rakhine State and far worse than those those reported from the central Dry Zone. This report seeks to increase awareness about the scale of poverty and displacement in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar at a critical juncture in the nation’s history. During the past two years, apart from interviewing key informants in fi fty townships to assess the scale of forced displacement, poverty assessments have been conducted with over 2,600 households in fourteen townships. Estimates of displacement were guided by international standards and the poverty assessment was developed in consultation with humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon/Yangon to ensure that vulnerability indicators are standardised...This survey found that coercive military patrols, forced labour and forced displacement each disrupted the livelihoods of at least one in ten households during the previous six months. These and other shocks contributed to food shortages for three out of four households during the month prior to the survey. Rather than being temporary gaps, more than half the households will have bought, borrowed or bartered for rice to cover at least three months consumption in order to avoid food shortages leading up to the current harvest. Households primarily cope by buying cheaper and poorer quality food, buying food on credit, relying on family and friends and reducing consumption by eating rice soup. Villagers are incredibly resilient but their coping strategies need support so they can break free from the poverty trap..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (8.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2014


Title: DISPLACEMENT AND POVERTY in South East Burma/Myanmar ( Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: With Field Assessments and Situation Updates by: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People; Karen Office of Relief and Development; Karenni Social Welfare and Development Centre; Mon Relief and Development Committee; Shan Relief and Development Committee.....While official figures estimate that a quarter of the nation live in poverty, this survey suggests that almost two thirds of households in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar are unable to meet their basic needs. Impoverishment is particularly severe in the confl ict-affected townships of Kyaukgyi and Shwegyin in Pegu/Bago Region and Thandaung in Karen/Kayin State. Comparative analysis with household surveys conducted by the World Food Program suggest that that standards of living in rural areas of the South East are similar to conditions in Northern Rakhine State and far worse than those those reported from the central Dry Zone. This report seeks to increase awareness about the scale of poverty and displacement in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar at a critical juncture in the nation’s history. During the past two years, apart from interviewing key informants in fi fty townships to assess the scale of forced displacement, poverty assessments have been conducted with over 2,600 households in fourteen townships. Estimates of displacement were guided by international standards and the poverty assessment was developed in consultation with humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon/Yangon to ensure that vulnerability indicators are standardised...This survey found that coercive military patrols, forced labour and forced displacement each disrupted the livelihoods of at least one in ten households during the previous six months. These and other shocks contributed to food shortages for three out of four households during the month prior to the survey. Rather than being temporary gaps, more than half the households will have bought, borrowed or bartered for rice to cover at least three months consumption in order to avoid food shortages leading up to the current harvest. Households primarily cope by buying cheaper and poorer quality food, buying food on credit, relying on family and friends and reducing consumption by eating rice soup. Villagers are incredibly resilient but their coping strategies need support so they can break free from the poverty trap..."
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (7.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2014


Title: DISPLACEMENT AND POVERTY in South East Burma/Myanmar (Thai)
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: "...While official figures estimate that a quarter of the nation live in poverty, this survey suggests that almost two thirds of households in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar are unable to meet their basic needs. Impoverishment is particularly severe in the confl ict-affected townships of Kyaukgyi and Shwegyin in Pegu/Bago Region and Thandaung in Karen/Kayin State. Comparative analysis with household surveys conducted by the World Food Program suggest that that standards of living in rural areas of the South East are similar to conditions in Northern Rakhine State and far worse than those those reported from the central Dry Zone. This report seeks to increase awareness about the scale of poverty and displacement in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar at a critical juncture in the nation’s history. During the past two years, apart from interviewing key informants in fi fty townships to assess the scale of forced displacement, poverty assessments have been conducted with over 2,600 households in fourteen townships. Estimates of displacement were guided by international standards and the poverty assessment was developed in consultation with humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon/Yangon to ensure that vulnerability indicators are standardised...This survey found that coercive military patrols, forced labour and forced displacement each disrupted the livelihoods of at least one in ten households during the previous six months. These and other shocks contributed to food shortages for three out of four households during the month prior to the survey. Rather than being temporary gaps, more than half the households will have bought, borrowed or bartered for rice to cover at least three months consumption in order to avoid food shortages leading up to the current harvest. Households primarily cope by buying cheaper and poorer quality food, buying food on credit, relying on family and friends and reducing consumption by eating rice soup. Villagers are incredibly resilient but their coping strategies need support so they can break free from the poverty trap..."
Language: Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2014


Title: Protracted Displacement and Chronic Poverty in Eastern Burma/Myanmar - 2010 Survey -TBBC (English, Burmese, Thai)
Date of publication: October 2010
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY... 1. INTRODUCTION: 1.1 Humanitarian Flux in Burma / Myanmar*; 1.2 Methodology... 2. MILITARISATION AND DISPLACEMENT: 2.1 Militarisation and Vulnerability; 2.2 Scale and Distribution of Displacement... 3. CHRONIC POVERTY: 3.1 Demographic Pressures: 3.2 Housing, Water and Sanitation Conditions; 3.3 Education and Malnutrition Status of Children; 3.4 Agricultural Assets; 3.5 Household Income and Expenditures; 3.6 Food Security; 3.7 Livelihood Shocks, Debt and Coping Strategies... 4. EASTERN BURMA / MYANMAR SITUATION UPDATE: 4.1 Southern Shan State; 4.2 Karenni / Kayah State; 4.3 Northern Karen / Kayin Areas; 4.4 Central Karen / Kayin State; 4.5 Mon Areas; 4.6 Tenasserim / Tanintharyi Division... APPENDICES: 1. Internally Displaced Population Estimates (2010)... 2. Destroyed, Relocated or Abandoned Villages (2009-2010)... 3. Relocation Sites (2010)... 4. SPDC Military Command in Eastern Burma / Myanmar (2010)... 5. 2010 Survey Guidelines... 6. Acronyms and Place Names.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (8MB - English; 10MB - Burmese; 9MB - Thai)
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: Protracted Displacement and Militarization in Eastern Burma- 2009 Survey -TBBC (English, Burmese, Thai)
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: "The main threats to human security in eastern Burma are related to militarisation. Military patrols and landmines are the most significant and fastest growing threat to civilian safety and security, while forced labour and restrictions on movement are the most pervasive threats to livelihoods. Trend analysis suggests that the threats to both security and livelihoods have increased during the past five years. Over 3,500 villages and hiding sites in eastern Burma have been destroyed or forcibly relocated since 1996, including 120 communities between August 2008 and July 2009. The scale of displaced villages is comparable to the situation in Darfur and has been recognised as the strongest single indicator of crimes against humanity in eastern Burma. At least 75,000 people were forced to leave their homes during this past year, and more than half a million people remain internally displaced. The highest rates of recent displacement were reported in northern Karen areas and southern Shan State. Almost 60,000 Karen villagers are hiding in the mountains of Kyaukgyi, Thandaung and Papun Townships, and a third of these civilians fled from artillery attacks or the threat of Burmese Army patrols during the past year. Similarly, nearly 20,000 civilians from 30 Shan villages were forcibly relocated by the Burmese Army in retaliation for Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) operations in Laikha, Mong Kung and Keh Si Townships. Thailand’s National Security Council recently acknowledged it was preparing for another mass influx of refugees due to conflict in Burma’s border areas leading up to the proposed elections in 2010. Conflict has already intensified in Karen State with over 4,000 Karen refugees fleeing into Thailand during June. The increased instability is related to demands that ethnic ceasefire groups transform into Border Guard Forces under Burmese Army command. Such pressure has already resulted in the resumption of hostilities in the Kokang region which caused 37,000 civilians to flee into China..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (5.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2009


Title: Internal Displacement and International Law in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Twenty years after the Burmese junta gunned down pro-democracy protesters, violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma are more widespread and systematic than ever. Ten years after the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were submitted, the international response in eastern Burma remains largely ineffective in dealing with a predatory governing regime. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the characteristics of internal displacement in eastern Burma since 2002. During this period there has been increasing debate about whether violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma constitute an international crime. So aside from updating information about the scale and distribution of internal displacement, this year's survey compiles abuses reported during 2008 in relation to the legal framework for crimes against humanity.Conflict-induced displacement remains most concentrated in the northern Karen areas, where armed skirmishes between the Burmese Army and the Karen National Union continued in the first six months of 2008. While the wet season was previously a time of respite from Burmese Army patrols, intensified troop deployments during the past couple of years mean that the occupation is now sustained all year. This has led to the displacement of 27,000 villagers in the four affected townships during the past year. The prevalence of military attacks targeting civilians has slightly decreased since the junta's offensive in 2006. However, the harassment of villagers perceived as sympathetic to the armed opposition is unrelenting. The four townships surrounding Laikha in southern Shan State are also of particular concern. Armed skirmishes and Burmese Army deployments have escalated in this area since a former battalion commander with the Shan State Army - South surrendered in 2006. The Burmese Army is attempting to assert its supremacy in the area by breaking communication links between the armed opposition to the south and ceasefire groups to the north. Over 13,000 civilians are estimated to have been displaced from their homes in this area during the past twelve months. TBBC has previously reported that more than 3,200 settlements were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned in eastern Burma between 1996 and 2007. Such field reports have been corroborated by high resolution commercial satellite imagery of villages before and after the displacement occurred. During the past year, community organisations have documented the forced displacement of a further 142 villages and hiding sites. However, displacement is more commonly caused by coercive factors at the household level. The imposition of forced labour, extortion, land confiscation, agricultural production quotas, and restrictions on access to fields and markets has a devastating effect on household incomes and a destabilising impact on populations. During the past year, the prevalence of these factors has been exacerbated by hydro-electric projects in Shan and Karen States, mining projects in Shan and Karenni States and Pegu Division, the gas pipeline in Mon State as well as commercial agriculture and road construction in general.While the total number of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma is likely to be well over half a million people, at least 451,000 people have been estimated in the rural areas alone. The population includes approximately 224,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities. However, the most vulnerable group is an estimated 101,000 civilians who are hiding in areas most affected by military skirmishes, followed by approximately 126,000 villagers who have been forcibly evicted by the Burmese Army into designated relocation sites. An estimated 66,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses during the past year alone. Despite concessions made in the Irrawaddy Delta after Cyclone Nargis, the junta's restrictions on humanitarian access continue to obstruct aid workers elsewhere in Burma, particularly in conflict-affected areas. The large scale of displacement and the obstruction of relief efforts are indicative of ongoing violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma. International law recognises crimes against humanity as acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population. Attacks on civilians refer not only to military assaults but also to the multiple commission of acts such as murder, enslavement, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape when related to a State policy. This definition reflects customary international law binding on all states, including Burma. The evidence cited in this report appears to strengthen Amnesty International's recent assessment that the violations in eastern Burma meet the legal threshold to constitute crimes against humanity. Skeptics argue that raising allegations about crimes against humanity will merely frustrate the promotion of political dialogue. However, just as the provision of humanitarian assistance should not be dependent upon political reform, humanitarian protection and the administration of justice should not be sacrificed to expedite political dialogue. The reality is that the authorities have consistently refused to enter into a serious discussion of these abuses with a view to putting a stop to them. The threat of prosecution may actually increase the leverage of the diplomatic community and provide an incentive for the governing regime to end the climate of impunity. Given the impunity with which violations have been committed, and the Burmese junta's failure to implement recommendations formulated by relevant United Nations' bodies, the responsibility to protect shifts to the international community. The challenge remaining for the international community is to operationalise this responsibility in Burma and hold the junta to account."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ), Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (10.33MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2008


Title: Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma, 2007 Survey
Date of publication: 19 October 2007
Description/subject: The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the characteristics of internal displacement in eastern Burma since 2002. This year's research updates estimates of the scale and distribution of internal displacement, and documents the impacts of militarization and state-sponsored development, based on quantitative surveys with key informants in 38 townships. Trends relating to vulnerability, coping strategies and efforts at promoting protection were assessed by utilizing a multi-stage cluster sampling method to select and interview almost 1,000 households spread across six states and divisions. This year's survey has identified 273 infantry and light infantry battalions active in eastern Burma, representing more than 30% of the Burmese Army's battalions nationwide. These troops are generally controlled by the State Peace and Development Council's (SPDC's) Coastal Command based in Mergui, South Eastern Command in Moulmein, Southern Command in Taungoo, Eastern Command in Taunggyi and Triangle Area Command in Keng Tung. Documentation in this report reflects that human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army as part of their counter-insurgency strategy are tantamount to crimes against humanity and remain a key cause of displacement. However, even the SPDC's military hierarchy has admitted that poor troop management, inadequate rations and harsh conditions resulted in low morale and an 8% increase in desertion during the past year. Rather than alleviating poverty, state-sponsored development initiatives primarily facilitate the consolidation of military control over rural communities and induce displacement. Local livelihoods in areas surrounding proposed hydro-electric dams along the Salween River have been further undermined during the past year, with additional troop deployments to the Hutgyi dam site in Karen State during September particularly notable. Similarly, the livelihoods of Mon villagers continue to be undermined by the imposition of forced labour to secure the gas pipeline transporting electricity to Thailand. The government's promotion of castor oil plantations has become more systematic, with reports of land confiscation, extortion and forced cultivation especially significant in Southern Shan State. Palm oil and rubber plantations operated as joint ventures between local Burmese Army commanders and foreign investors have caused similar problems in Tenasserim Division, Meanwhile over 3,000 acres of farm land was confiscated in northern Karenni State to pave the way for an industrial estate. Approximately 76,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses during the past year. The number of people displaced was slightly lower than last year, which was primarily related to a relaxation of restrictions in Tenasserim Division. Forced migration was most concentrated in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division where counter-insurgency operations displaced approximately 43,000 civilians. While the total number of deaths in these four townships is unknown, at least 38 villagers have been killed by the Burmese Army during 2007 in Thandaung township alone. TBBC has previously reported that more than 3,000 villages were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned in eastern Burma between 1996 and 2006. These field reports have recently been corroborated by high resolution commercial satellite imagery taken before and after the villages were displaced. Visual evidence includes the removal of structures from villages that were forcibly relocated, and burn scars where destroyed villages used to be. During the past year, at least 167 more entire villages have been displaced. Internal displacement in eastern Burma, however, is more commonly associated with the coerced movements of smaller groups rather than entire villages. This relates to impoverishment and forced migration caused by the confiscation of land, asset stripping, forced procurement policies, agricultural production quotas, forced labour, arbitrary taxation, extortion and restrictions on access to fields and markets. The compulsory and unavoidable nature of these factors is distinct from the voluntary profit-oriented, "pull-factors" more commonly associated with economic migration. The total number of internally displaced persons who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society is estimated to be at least half a million people. This displaced population includes 295,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities. A further 99,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the SPDC in areas most affected by military skirmishes, while approximately 109,000 villagers have followed SPDC eviction orders and moved into designated relocation sites. While the overall figures are comparable to last year, lower estimates for relocation sites primarily reflect villagers' attempts at returning to former villages or resettling nearby in Tenasserim Division and Shan State. However, it is not known how sustainable these movements will be, while SPDC campaigns to forcibly relocate and consolidate villages have intensified in northern Karen State, eastern Pegu Division and northern Mon state. Higher estimates for the internally displaced in ethnic ceasefire areas are largely attributed to the expansion of authority exercised by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the newly formed KNU/KNLA Peace Council and subsequent instability in central Karen State. A slight population increase reported from hiding sites reflects the protracted emergency for the most vulnerable communities in eastern Burma A feature of this report is the inclusion of trend assessments which have been derived from comparisons to findings from previous household surveys conducted by TBBC and partner agencies over the past few years. In terms of vulnerability, the prevalence of threats to personal safety and security has increased, and in particular the incidence of arbitrary arrest or detention and forced conscription to porter military supplies. Indicators suggest that restrictions on movement to fields and markets have almost doubled to become the most pervasive threat to livelihoods, ahead of forced labour and arbitrary taxation. Violence against women, and in particular the threat of domestic violence and physical assault, was perceived as most prevalent in relocation sites and mixed administration areas where Burmese Army troops are in close proximity..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (8.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2007-idp-burmese.pdf
http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2007-idp-thai.pdf
http://www.tbbc.org/resources/resources.htm
http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2007-idp-english.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma, 2006 Survey
Date of publication: November 2006
Description/subject: “Both tragedy and hope are reflected in this fifth annual survey of internal displacement in eastern Burma. The tragedy is that such systematic and widespread violations of human rights and humanitarian law continue to occur with national impunity and a largely ineffective international response. Yet it is the ongoing commitment and courage of ethnic community-based organisations to support grassroots coping strategies and document the impacts of conflict, violence and abuse which inspires hope for the future of Burma. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the scale, distribution and characteristics of internal displacement since 2002. Collectively, these surveys have aimed to raise awareness about vulnerability in eastern Burma and inform the development of humanitarian protection strategies. Recognising that conditions for the internally displaced are always changing, this year's survey attempted to update population estimates and assess trends across different areas in more detail with higher resolution maps. TBBC and the participating community-based organisations designed the surveys collaboratively by drawing from the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Although there were some changes for the sake of clarity, the questionnaire was similar to those used in previous years to facilitate trend analysis. Quantitative field surveys of the scale and distribution of internal displacement and the impacts of militarization and development have been based on interviews with key informants in 38 townships between June and August 2006. This has been complemented with qualitative field assessments about the causes and impacts of displacement which have been documented by community based organisations on an ongoing basis throughout the year. TBBC has previously reported that the Burmese Army has approximately doubled the deployment of battalions across eastern Burma since 1995. This survey has identified 204 infantry and light infantry battalions currently in eastern Burma, which represents approximately 40% of the government's frontline troops nation-wide. Such militarisation has facilitated the State Peace and Development Council's (SPDC's) counter-insurgency strategy which targets civilians in contravention of international humanitarian law. Accounts of such crimes against humanity have been documented by community based organisations in this report as contributing to conflict-induced displacement. State-sponsored development projects have done little to alleviate poverty in Burma, but have been significant causes of human rights abuses and displacement during the past year. The energy sector is Burma's largest recipient of foreign direct investment, but this report associates the gas pipeline in Mon State with forced labour, travel restrictions, and harassment. Similarly, proposed hydro-electric dams along the Salween River are linked with incidents of forced relocations, forced labour and the logging of community forests. Meanwhile commercial agriculture, and in particular the national development initiative to cultivate castor oil plants to produce bio-diesel, is reported to have induced widespread land confiscation, the imposition of procurement quotas and forced labour for the cultivation of seedlings. During the past year alone, this survey estimates that 82,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses. These estimates are consistent with the annual average rate of displacement in eastern Burma since 2002, and reflect the SPDC's disregard for their responsibility to protect Burmese citizens from harm. While the distribution of forced migration during the past year was widespread, the most significant concentration was in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division. Counter-insurgency operations are reported to have killed at least 39 civilians and displaced over 27,000 others in this area during the past year. While the majority of people displaced during the past year fled in small groups, 232 entire villages were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned. When combined with the findings of previous field surveys, 3,077 separate incidents of village destruction, relocation or abandonment have been documented in eastern Burma since 1996. Over a million people are understood to have been displaced from their homes in eastern Burma during this time. This reflects the cumulative impact of the Burmese Army's expanded presence and forced relocation campaign targeting civilians in contested areas. Some of these villages may have since been re-established, and indeed this survey has identified 155 villages that were at least partly repopulated during the past year. However, the sustainability of return and resettlement is restricted not only by livelihood constraints but also by the lack of official authorisation. Indeed, attempts to re-establish over 100 villages in previous years have already been thwarted by harassment leading to further rounds of displacement. The total number of internally displaced persons who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society as of November 2006 is estimated to be at least 500,000 people. This population is comprised of approximately 287,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 95,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the SPDC in areas most affected by military skirmishes and approximately 118,000 villagers have followed SPDC eviction orders and moved into designated relocation sites. These are conservative estimates for eastern Burma as it has not been possible to survey urban areas nor mixed administration areas. Overall this represents a decrease of approximately 40,000 internally displaced persons since October 2005. This is due to a decrease of 53,000 people in the estimates for ceasefire areas. Population movements have been recorded out of areas administered by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) due to lack of livelihood opportunities. Estimates in other ceasefire areas of Shan and Karenni states have also decreased, reflecting how the areas administered by non state actors have effectively been reduced by the expansion of SPDC control. While many of these villagers may remain internally displaced, it has not been possible to track their current status. Conversely, the number of people in relocation sites has increased by approximately 10,000 people. This is partly a result of broader survey reach in Tenasserim Division and partly due to new incidents of forced relocation in Shan State. However, a significant decrease has been recorded in Mon state, where restrictions on resettlement away from relocation sites have eased. Rather than reflecting increased freedom, this illustrates that as villagers in surrounding areas become resigned to complying with Burmese Army orders, the government's perceived need for relocation sites becomes redundant. While the overall estimates for people in hiding sites increased only slightly, there has been a significant increase in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division where approximately 55,000 villagers are currently hiding from government forces. This represents an increase of approximately 14,000 people since last year, and suggests that half of those displaced in the past year were previously living with the tacit approval of local SPDC authorities in mixed administration areas. These local arrangements offered little protection when the Southern and South Eastern Military Commands coordinated patrols by over 40 battalions to search for civilian settlements and destroy their means of survival..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB- ocr version; 2.864MB -- original and authoritative) 6.8, (Burmese) 7.9MB (Thai)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: Internal Displacement and Protection in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) first collaborated with communitybased organizations to document the scale and distribution of internal displacement in Eastern Burma during 2002. Two years later, another survey was coordinated to enhance understanding about the vulnerability of internally displaced persons. These assessments sought to increase awareness about the situation in conflict-affected areas which remain largely inaccessible to the international community. More communities have been displaced during the past year while others have attempted to return to former villages, resettle elsewhere in Burma or continue their journey of forced migration into Thailand. As the environment is constantly evolving, situation assessments also need to be regularly revised. Part of the purpose of this report is thus to update estimates of the scale and distribution of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma. Threats against conflict-affected populations in eastern Burma have been well documented by a range of independent institutions. However, there is little information on humanitarian efforts to stop existing patterns of abuse, mitigate the worst consequences, prevent emerging threats and promote judicial redress. A second key objective is therefore to inform the development of humanitarian protection strategies for internally displaced persons and other civilians whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by war, abuse and violence. This year's surveys were designed in partnership with ethnic community based organizations with reference to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and conducted between April and June 2005. Estimates for the scale and distribution of internal displacement have been compiled from interviews with key informants in 37 townships across the six states and divisions of eastern Burma. Analysis of issues relevant to humanitarian protection has been based around responses to 1,044 questionnaires with conflict-affected households spread evenly between hiding sites, government controlled relocation sites, ethnic administered ceasefire areas and mixed administration areas. These responses have been complemented by semistructured interviews with internally displaced persons, the four main non state actors in eastern Burma and ten humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon. During the past year it is estimated that a further 87,000 people were forced or obliged to leave their homes by the effects of war or human rights abuses. Border-wide, a further 68 villages were destroyed, relocated or otherwise abandoned during this period, including a number which had only recently been established by displaced persons. In the majority of cases, forced displacement was found to be caused by violence or abuse perpetrated by the armed forces of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). This survey has also identified 88 previously abandoned villages which have been partially re-established during the past year. In this time, it is estimated that 40,000 people who had previously been displaced have returned to their homes or resettled elsewhere in eastern Burma. The total number of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes over the past decade and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society is estimated to be at least 540,000 people. The population is comprised of 340,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 92,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the Burma Army in areas most affected by armed conflict and approximately 108,000 villagers have followed eviction orders from the SPDC and moved into designated relocation sites. Overall this represents a slight increase of approximately 14,000 internally displaced persons since late 2004. This is attributed primarily to flight in Shan State away from SPDC patrols and into hiding, a significant inflow into Mon ceasefire areas, and methodological differences estimating populations in Tenasserim Division's relocation sites. These combined increases have outweighed reductions in the estimates for internally displaced populations hiding in Karen State as well as for ceasefire areas in Shan and Karen State. However, these population estimates are considered conservative as it has not been possible to include displaced persons in urban areas and rural mixed administration areas who may not have reintegrated into society but rather remain in a state of internal displacement. Patterns of insecurity, the coping strategies of survivors of abuse and violence, and attempts at engaging the humanitarian responsibility of relevant authorities were assessed to inform the development of protection strategies. The survey conclusively found that not only are soldiers from the Burma Army the primary perpetrators of abuse, but also that the Government of Burma is generally unable or unwilling to strengthen local coping strategies and protect civilians from harm. Legal insecurity is highlighted by findings that less than a quarter of the conflictaffected population own legal title deeds for land tenure while just 12% of civilians hiding from Burma Army patrols possess an identity card. The former reflects the threat of land confiscation while the latter increases vulnerability to extortion at checkpoints, harassment in contested areas, restricted access to markets and fields as well as another obstacle for the internally displaced against returning to former homes or resettlement elsewhere in Burma. Despite the range and severity of deliberate physical violence in conflict-affected areas, the prevalence of threats to civilian livelihoods is on a much greater scale. A third of households surveyed have been directly affected by arbitrary taxes and forced labour in the past year. During this period, the deliberate impoverishment and deprivation of civilians as a counter-insurgency strategy is reflected in 17% of households having had food supplies destroyed or confiscated. Similarly, a quarter of households in hiding and relocation sites reported having had housing destroyed or having been forcibly evicted during the past year. Although unable to stop or prevent violence and abuse, internally displaced and conflict-affected villagers have developed a range of coping strategies to resist threats and mitigate the worst consequences. Other civilians are the main source of early warning signals about approaching troops, which stresses the importance of building social capital, or networks of trust, within and between local communities for the development of a more protective environment. Hiding food supplies and preparing alternative hiding sites in case counterinsurgency patrols induce an emergency evacuation were the main approaches to coping with threats amongst households in hiding sites. Conversely, the main method of minimizing risks in relocation sites and mixed administration areas is reportedly to pay fines and follow orders. These findings suggest that abuses against civilians by government forces are motivated not only by retaliation against armed opposition patrols, but also by economic imperatives or greed. Six percent of households reported that they had at some point resorted to procuring a hand gun to minimize threats to safety and livelihoods. Given the threat of being suspected as either a rebel sympathizer by the SPDC or a government collaborator by the armed opposition, this gauge of the prevalence of assault weapons is considered high. Due to the breakdown in law and order and the ease of procurement, transport, concealment and use, the prevalence of small arms is in itself a significant threat of violent insecurity. Humanitarian responsibilities relate to ensuring that parties to a conflict respect human dignity and prevent harm from being inflicted on civilians. While it was beyond the possibility of this survey to engage Burmese national authorities, the views of non state actors were solicited. Humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon were also consulted about their experiences in dealing with the government. Non state actors acknowledged that the use of landmines was their main transgression in terms of threatening the safety and livelihoods of civilians. 86% of villagers surveyed were not aware of any signs on location warning about minefields, indicating that there is no systematic demarcation of minefields in eastern Burma. However the armed opposition authorities, and indeed a quarter of civilian households hiding in the most conflict-affected areas, perceived landmines as a necessary means of self-defense against the military might of the Burma Army. It was also admitted by non state actors that their protective capacities are limited. Authorities from ceasefire parties negotiated a cessation of hostilities ten years ago to reduce the deprivations suffered by the civilian population, but have still not been able to address ongoing human rights abuses. In areas of ongoing armed conflict, the non state actors responded that short term protection objectives are limited to deterring and delaying SPDC patrols, using radio communication to provide warnings to villagers of approaching troop movements, and securing access for local humanitarian agencies to provide relief aid. Humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon have managed to expand not only their access into eastern Burma but also the engagement of government authorities in policy-level dialogue during the past decade. However, United Nations (UN) agencies reported that since the purge of the former Prime Minister and his allies in October 2004, humanitarian agencies in Burma have either been disregarded or viewed with suspicion by the government. Unless the government is willing to engage in policy-level dialogue about protection concerns, it is recognised that the humanitarian space will contract further. At the same time humanitarian agencies increasingly feel squeezed by restrictions from donors who are worried that foreign aid may be prolonging the rule of an illegitimate government. A perceived concern is that humanitarian sanctions will further restrict contact with policy makers, and exacerbate the reluctance of the Burmese government to negotiate about protection concerns. The challenge for humanitarian responses is to promote protection oriented programming which includes assessment of the programme's impact on the conflict. These surveys sought to update estimates of internal displacement and inform the development of protection strategies for conflict-affected areas in eastern Burma. Recommendations are not presented, but it is hoped that this report will enlighten collaborative strategies to stop existing patterns of abuse and prevent emerging threats from harming internally displaced and other conflict-affected communities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (3.9MB, 4.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/TBBC-Internal_Displacement_and_Protection_in_Eastern_Burma-2005.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: Internal Displacement and Vulnerability in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "In September 2002 the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), formerly the Burmese Border Consortium, compiled a report “Internally Displaced People and Relocation Sites in Eastern Burma”. The report was written because although the Royal Thai Government was reluctant to accept more refugees and believed repatriation should occur as soon as conditions were judged suitable, new refugees were still arriving in Thailand. Since most of the new arrivals reported that they had formerly been living as internally displaced persons, TBBC considered that it was important to understand what was happening in the border areas before any planning for repatriation could begin. Since that time, the nature and scale of internal displacement in eastern Burma has been generally acknowledged, and humanitarian agencies based in Burma have been increasingly requesting and gaining access to some border areas. In particular, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Myanmar has negotiated roving access to a number of townships of ‘potential refugee return’. UNHCR Thailand has also been engaging the Royal Thai Government, donors and non governmental organisations (NGOs) in a conceptual planning exercise for the eventual repatriation of the refugees. Much of Eastern Burma is, however, still inaccessible to international observers from inside the country and the initial steps being taken towards planning for repatriation make it even more important to understand what is happening in these areas. This report draws together the results of new surveys carried out by local community organisations who collectively have broad access to the border areas. Community organizations conducted field surveys across eastern Burma between April and July 2004.1 Population estimates have been gathered from key informants in 36 significant townships and cross-checked with estimates from other local humanitarian and human rights agencies wherever possible. Vulnerability indicators were also developed from a multi-stage cluster survey of 6,070 people and 1,071 households in 60 areas spread over six states and divisions. The sample population for this quantitative survey was distributed between internally displaced persons in free-fire areas, government relocation sites, ethnic ceasefire areas and mixed administration areas. Estimates recorded during this survey in 2004 indicate at least another 157,000 civilians have been displaced by war or human rights abuses since the end of 2002. This includes people from at least 240 villages which have been documented as completely destroyed, relocated or abandoned during the past two years. The current status of villages forcibly relocated prior to 2002 has not been comprehensively assessed, but attempts to return and re-establish more than 100 such villages in Tenasserim Division have been documented as thwarted by further displacement. Civilian displacement has continued at a high rate even though there has been a significant decrease in the number of villages forcibly relocated since the mid-late 1990s. This trend is indicative of the extent to which government troops had been deployed and villages forcibly evicted prior to 2002. Since then, the military government has been consolidating, rather than expanding, areas of control. High rates of civilian displacement in areas where forced village relocations have decreased are attributed to the harassment of people who had already deserted SPDC relocation sites to attempt returning to their village or resettlement nearby. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society as of late 2004 is estimated to be at least 526,000 people. The population consists of 365,000 people in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 84,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the military-government in free-fire areas and approximately 77,000 villagers still remain in designated relocation sites after having been forcibly evicted from their homes. This represents a decrease since 2002 when 633,000 people were estimated to be internally displaced in hiding sites, temporary shelters and relocation sites. This decrease can be attributed to a mix of sustainable return or resettlement, forced migration into the fringes of urban and rural communities, flight into refugee and migrant populations in Thailand and methodological differences in data collection. Speculation remains as to how many people on the fringes of rural and urban communities have been obliged to leave their homes and are unable to resettle and reintegrate, but whose status as internally displaced persons can not be verified. Indicators of vulnerability for the internally displaced population reflect a critical situation. The survey found that more than half of internally displaced households have been forced to work without compensation and have been extorted of cash or property during the past year. While these and other human rights abuses were widespread and a lack of protection was common in all areas, people in relocation sites have reportedly been affected the most. Livelihoods in free-fire areas are demonstrated as largely dependent on subsistenceoriented slash and burn agriculture, yet still they are undermined by government patrols searching for and destroying crops. Conversely, less households were documented in relocation sites than elsewhere as being involved in any type of rice farming, indicating a lack of access to land and greater restrictions on movement. Yet the survey also found the highest rates of hunting and gathering were in densely populated ceasefire areas, which is indicative of the livelihood constraints of resettlement into these areas. This report presents indicators which suggest there is a public health emergency amongst internally displaced persons in eastern Burma. A third of households surveyed had not been able to access any health services during the past year, contributing to high mortality rates from infectious diseases which can be prevented and treated, such as malaria. Child mortality and malnutrition rates are double Burma’s national baseline rate and comparable to those recorded amongst internally displaced populations in the Horn of Africa. The population structure shows significantly more children dependent on a smaller proportion of working age adults compared to official data sources for Burma. This working age adult population consists of a high proportion of women representing greater rates of mortality, economic migration, flight from abuse and military conscription amongst young adult men. Low levels of access to durable shelter are recorded and associated not only with limited protection from the climate but also adverse impacts on health and human dignity. Similarly, low levels of educational attainment are likely to restrict the capacity of internally displaced persons to cope and recover from all of these aspects of vulnerability. The surveys demonstrate that the problem of forced migration in Eastern Burma remains large and complex and that internally displaced populations are extremely vulnerable. As in 2002, TBBC presents this compilation of data without making any recommendations. The intention is that policy makers and humanitarian organisations might be better informed in terms of preparing for refugee repatriation and addressing the situation of internal displacement itself."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (3.87MB, 4MB - Full, 1.7MB-Chs 1-3; 2.1MB - Chs 4-5)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/TBBC-IDPs2004-1-3 (Chapters 1-3)
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/TBBC-IDPs2004-4-5 (Chapters 4-5)
http://www.tbbc.org/resources/resources.htm
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO RICE: FOOD SECURITY AND INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN EASTERN BURMA
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: TABLE OF CONTENTS:- 1. Food Security from a Rights-based Perspective; 2. Local Observations from the States and Divisions of Eastern Burma:- 2.1 Tenasserim Division (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 2.2 Mon State (Mon Relief and Development Committee); 2.3 Karen State (Karen Human Rights Group) 2.4 Eastern Pegu Division (Karen Office of Relief and Development); 2.5 Karenni State (Karenni Social Welfare Committee); 2.6 Shan State (Shan Human Rights Foundation)... 3. Local Observations of Issues Related to Food Security:- 3.1 Crop Destruction as a Weapon of War (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 3.2 Border Areas Development (Karen Environmental & Social Action Network); 3.3 Agricultural Management(Burma Issues); 3.4 Land Management (Independent Mon News Agency) 3.5 Nutritional Impact of Internal Displacement (Backpack Health Workers Team); 3.6 Gender-based Perspectives (Karen Women’s Organisation)... 4. Field Surveys on Internal Displacement and Food Security... Appendix 1 : Burma’s International Obligations and Commitments... Appendix 2 : Burma’s National Legal Framework... Appendix 3 : Acronyms, Measurements and Currencies.... "...Linkages between militarisation and food scarcity in Burma were established by civilian testimonies from ten out of the fourteen states and divisions to a People’s Tribunal in the late 1990s. Since then the scale of internal displacement has dramatically increased, with the population in eastern Burma during 2002 having been estimated at 633,000 people, of whom approximately 268,000 were in hiding and the rest were interned in relocation sites. This report attempts to complement these earlier assessments by appraising the current relationship between food security and internal displacement in eastern Burma. It is hoped that these contributions will, amongst other impacts, assist the Asian Human Rights Commission’s Permanent People’s Tribunal to promote the right to food and rule of law in Burma... Personal observations and field surveys by community-based organisations in eastern Burma suggest that a vicious cycle linking the deprivation of food security with internal displacement has intensified. Compulsory paddy procurement, land confiscation, the Border Areas Development program and spiraling inflation have induced displacement of the rural poor away from state-controlled areas. In war zones, however, the state continues to destroy and confiscate food supplies in order to force displaced villagers back into state-controlled areas. An image emerges of a highly vulnerable and frequently displaced rural population, who remain extremely resilient in order to survive based on their local knowledge and social networks. Findings from the observations and field surveys include the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (804K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC-Reclaiming_the_Right_to_Rice.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003


Title: Internally Displaced People and Relocation Sites in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Perhaps one million people living in the States and Divisions of Burma adjacent to the Thailand border have been displaced since 1996. At least 150,000 have fled as refugees or joined the huge “illegal” migrant population in Thailand.[2] Countless others have moved away to other villages and towns in Burma. This report estimates that at least 632,978 displaced people are still currently either living in hiding (approximately 268,000 people), or in more than 176 forced relocation sites (approximately 365,000 people), in these border areas. It also identifies 2,536 ‘affected villages’, which are known to have been destroyed (usually burnt) and/ or relocated en masse, or otherwise abandoned due to Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) activity...The actual number of relocation sites and residents, and of IDPs in hiding, is probably significantly higher than that estimated here..." IDPs in Hiding or Temporary Settlements; Number of Relocation Sites; IDPs in Relocation Sites; Affected Villages (destroyed, abandoned, or relocated); Total IDP Population. Tenasserim; Mon State; Karen State; Karenni State; Shan State.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Compiled by Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: html (main text 217K) 15 pages incl. maps; pdf (6.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC_Relocation_Site%20Report_(11-9-02).doc (Original Word version -- no links to maps or photos)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003