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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Discrimination > Race or Ethnicity: Discrimination based on > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations against specific groups > Discrimination against the Mon > Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP) > Women and Child Rights Project, home page, articles and reports

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Women and Child Rights Project, home page, articles and reports

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Women and Child Rights Project
Description/subject: Assessment for Project Implementation: The military regime, SPDC, ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1997, and agreed to guarantee women’s rights in Burma. Similarly, the regime also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991 and agreed to guarantee child rights in Burma..... Objectives: * To monitor the woman and child rights situation in Mon areas and southern part of Burma, by collecting information about their real situation in the reference to the CEDAW and CRC. * To empower and educate women and children in the Mon community, by providing information on their rights accordingly to CEDAW and CRC and encourage them to participate in the struggle in protection of their own rights.
Language: English
Source/publisher: WCRP/HURFOM
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Women and Child Rights Project - blog
Language: English
Source/publisher: Women and Child Rights Project
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 October 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Gender Equality and Cultural Norms in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "Myanmar is giving increasing attention to gender inequality as an impediment to the development and attainment of human rights especially women’s rights. Realizing the close inter-­‐relationship between gender equality and cultural norms, a qualitative research study, “Raising the Curtain: Cultural Norms, Social Practices and Gender Equality in Myanmar" was undertaken with the objective of furthering the understanding of social and cultural norms in Myanmar and their impact for men and women in relation to family and community life, work, health and education. The study was implemented in May 2014 covering 543 women and men participants covering seven States and four Regions in Myanmar. This study illustrates that cultural norms and related social practices impact men and women throughout their lifespan, from the most deeply personal–the sense of self, body, confidence, love and marriage-­‐ to the practical organization and valuing of paid and unpaid work; education opportunities; health status and services; participation in community development and the affairs of the nation. Furthermore, it shows how social and cultural norms carry ideas of different functions and worth for men and women, impacting on their life opportunities. Women, regarded as ‘bearers and protectors of culture’, are often blamed for what are seen as disappearing cultural values and this can be a barrier to the realization of women’s rights and gender equality. Some salient recommendations from the study include i) using gendered lens on all developmental issues; ii) re-­‐framing gender equality from being seen as a ‘women’s issue’ to an issue of political advancement, human rights and democracy; iii) broaden the base in gender equality work from the circles of current activists, and engage people of different sexes, socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels, ethnicities, locations and abilities; iv) focus on gender inequality around concrete issues in peoples’ lives that have impact at both individual, collective levels.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Pansy Tun Thein
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (177K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2015


Title: Gender Gap and Women’s Political Participation in Burma/Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "Women's political participation and representation vary dramatically within and between countries. This paper selectively reviews the literature on gender gap and women's participation in politics, focusing on women's formal political participation particularly from 2010 general election in Burma/Myanmar. The paper discusses, however, various barriers and challenges including traditional, religion, lack of education, experience in public discussion, participation and more importantly the military drafted 2008 constitution for women's political participation and representation in Burma/Myanmar. It also explains significance of women's political participation as well as the role of international mechanisms and gender quotas particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Electoral Quotas System for empowering women’s participation in politics. Then, it explores the gap between the 2008 Constitution and the CEDAW standards. Throughout the review, the paper demonstrates a very low level of women's political participation from secondary data as well as in-­‐depth interviewed with women parliamentarians explained the challenges and difficulties for women participation in politics of decision-­‐making. It also reveals the most common mechanism for increasing women’s political participation-­‐quotas and in order to have an effective the gender electoral quotas system it is explicitly important both men and women attend training and skills development. Importantly, the paper also asks what degree and under what conditions elected women actually do represent women and contribute to gender equality, democracy and whether women are distinctive—does having more women in office make a difference to public policy?".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Sang Hnin Lian
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (181K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 08 August 2015


Title: Children for Hire - a portrait of child labor in Mon areas
Date of publication: November 2013
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The growing domestic and international attention being paid to child labor in Burma, also known as Myanmar, signals a vital step in the country’s reform and development process. The advent of new funding to research the scope of the problem, proposed amendments to labor laws, and popularized documentaries exposing the lives of working children have indicated fresh interest in revealing and reducing the incidence of child labor. However, the catalyst for this report was sparked by observations that these proliferating activities and discussions are often largely restricted to urban areas, particularly regarding the well-known prevalence of Burma’s “teashop boys.” While urban forms of child labor warrant immediate and effective interventions, the ambiguity that shrouds less visible forms of the practice, especially occurring in rural ethnic villages and communities tucked against the country’s vast borderline, necessitates targeted illumination. During several interviews conducted for this report, civil society members and child protection officers described child labor in Burma as vastly under-researched, and said that accurate data from the country’s peripheral areas is almost nonexistent. Almost half of the occurrences of child labor documented for this report were found in agricultural practices, primarily on rubber plantations and betel nut farms. An equivalent number of children interviewed were working in furniture factories, waiting tables or washing dishes in small restaurants, or searching garbage for recyclables to redeem. Others still were engaged as day laborers, piecing together daily wages by clearing weeds on plantations, gathering grasses to make brooms, or working as cowhands or woodcutters. Income scarcity and food insecurity were central themes collected in many family narratives, but were also often rooted in other fundamental social issues. Poverty was not necessarily the sole cause of child labor, but rather the two were jointly symptomatic of poor access to education and healthcare, landlessness, migration, and the effects of decades of armed conflict and human rights abuses. Children, and particularly young girls, were also subject to social and gender norms that contributed to their entry into the workforce. The reduced likelihood that working children will complete their education and the increased risks associated with labor performed during children’s early developmental stages were found to feed directly back into these same family burdens that led to child labor. In short, the many interconnecting social issues, economic and labor policies, and community histories surrounding child labor in rural areas are beyond the scope of this report to fully catalogue or evaluate. Instead, the research presented herein telescopes in on a very small but highly underreported area of child labor, and aims to amplify the voices and cast a light on the experiences of rural working children in Mon areas."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
Format/size: pdf (2.2MB-reduced version; 3MB-original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.rehmonnya.org/reports/childrenforhire.pdf'>http://www.rehmonnya.org/reports/childrenforhire.pdf
http://www.rehmonnya.org
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2013


Title: Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage: An assessment of grave violations of children’s rights in conflict zones of southern Burma
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: "Research by the Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP) has demonstrated that grave violations of children’s rights continue to occur in southern Burma despite the creation, by the United Nations, of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) pursuant to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict passed in 2005. The Burmese government has failed to meet the time-bound action plan under Resolution 1612, demonstrated by the fact that WCRP researchers found numerous accounts of ‘grave violations’ under United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1612 on children and armed conflict. These violations, committed by Burmese soldiers against children in southern Burma, include recruitment of child soldiers, killing and maiming, rape and sexual abuse, and forced labor. Though the Burmese government agreed to the implementation of a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM), pursuant to Resolution 1612, to report on instances of these grave violations, WCRP has found that abuses have continued unabated since 2005. The data detailed below provide evidence of widespread and systematic abuses, the vast majority of which were committed by soldiers from the Tatmadaw, the Burmese military. These confirmed cases of grave violations, taken from just 15 villages in two townships, committed over a period of 5 years, suggest that the Burmese government has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to protect children during situations of armed conflict. Limitations imposed by the Burmese government on the UN country team has made it difficult for them to receive, or verify, accounts of grave violations, in turn preventing the MRM from making a noticeable impact on the continued widespread abuse of children in southern Burma. WCRP’s data strongly suggests that the real numbers of abuses against children is vastly greater than officially recognized. Additionally, despite the fact that WCRP’s primary research covered only the period from 2005 through November 2010, recent updated reports suggest that all of the violations documented by WCRP have continued to occur over the course of the past year. Despite the political changes that may be underway in Naypyidaw, children in areas where armed conflict is ongoing continue to suffer grave violations. Thus, the international community must take further action to ensure that the MRM can effectively protect the rights of Burma’s children and realize the objective put forth in Resolution 1612, an end to the grave violations of children’s rights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB - OBL version; 2.1MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/archives/2182
Date of entry/update: 27 January 2012


Title: NOWHERE ELSE TO GO: An examination of sexual trafficking and related human rights abuses in Southern Burma
Date of publication: August 2009
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This report documents sexual trafficking and human rights abuses committed against Burmese women and children from 19 Townships in Mon State, Karen State, Tenasserim Division, Pegu Division, Rangoon Division and Mandalay Division. From 2004 to July 2009 the (Mon) Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)—Southern Burma documentation program compiled 40 separate incidents totaling 71 victims. This number represents only a small percentage of the instances of sexual trafficking from Burma to Thailand and other bordering nations, though the case studies of this report provide an important lens through which to view the present-day situation. Sexual trafficking and related human rights abuses are pervasive and arguably growing problems systematized by a harsh economic reality under the military rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Whereas the illegitimate junta has become a signatory of anti-trafficking protocols from the United Nations and founded internal regulatory committees to deal with such issues, the last decade has seen flagrant corruption along the border of Burma and Thailand. Government-organized NGOs dedicated to defending the ‘rights’ of its people serve more as roadblocks than as catalysts for social advancement and equitable access to state resources. Facing a broken educational system most likely to betray them, women and girls inside Burma are left with few employable skills and must seek money in any way they can. A reeling marketplace stunted by the government’s economic mismanagement, increased militarization in rural and especially border areas, and the ear-ringing echoes of Cyclone Nargis and price fluctuations from a global economic downturn leave the women of the mainly-agrarian regions of Southern Burma with a glaring ultimatum: migrate or starve. The draw of being able to send money back to their home country in the form of remittances often cannot be tempered even by stories of corrupt traffickers, arrests, or dangerous and abusive living conditions upon arrival. Most of the incidents detailed in this report point to violent sexual abuses that took place during the trafficking process or upon arrival in Thailand, Malaysia, and other destinations. The interview subjects often narrate the types of factory and domestic jobs they were promised to contrast the illegal sex work and other exploitive labor they were forced to perform."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP); Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB - reduced version; 3MB - original version)
Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/data/nowhereelsetogo.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 August 2009


Title: CATWALK TO THE BARRACKS: Conscription of women for sexual slavery and other practices of sexual violence by troops of the Burmese military regime in Mon areas
Date of publication: July 2005
Description/subject: by "This report exposes the ongoing and increasingly brazen use of sexual violence by Burmese Army troops in Mon areas of Burma. This is despite the ceasefire between the main Mon political party, the New Mon State Party, and the Burmese military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) since 1995, and despite the regime's repeated denials during the past few years that its troops are practicing systematic sexual violence. The report details 37 incidents of sexual violence against 50 women and girls, aged 14 to 50 years old, and reveals evidence of widespread conscription of women into sexual slavery by Burmese Army troops. Since many women are unwilling to reveal that they have been raped owing to fear of stigma and reprisals by the army, detailed information has only been collected about a small portion of the actual number of women who have been raped. The report corroborates the findings of earlier reports on sexual violence in Shan and Karen States, showing the use of rape as a strategy of control by the junta’s troops, and revealing a pattern of abuse that provides strong evidence that rape has become systemic under military rule in Burma. The lack of rule of law and climate of impunity for military rape have caused SPDC’s troops to become increasingly emboldened in their acts of sexual violence. Many rapes took place during military operations against armed groups still active in southern Burma, such as the Karen National Union and a Mon splinter group; SPDC troops gang-raped, beat, kicked, slashed and killed women as "punishment" for supporting rebel groups. However, sexual violence is not only occurring in areas of conflict, but in "peaceful" areas under full SPDC control. The SPDC has deployed 20 more battalions in the southern Mon area since 1998; these troops have seized land from local villagers and forced them to work on military plantations and guard infrastructure projects such as gas pipelines. The increased troop presence has caused increased incidents of rape of local women. During operations in 2003-2004 against rebels in southern Ye township, SPDC troops brazenly conscripted scores of "comfort women" from nearby villages, who were forced to work for the troops by day and were forced into sexual slavery at night. They also forced about 30 young women, including schoolgirls, to stay at their base and take part in a military "fashion and beauty show." Over half of the documented cases of rape were committed by military officers, often in front of, or together with their troops. Many of the rapes took place in the women's homes or in other villagers' houses, frequently in the presence of other family members. In contrast to the SPDC's claim that "effective action is taken against those who commit rape according to the existing laws of the Myanmar Armed Forces," in none of the cases in this report was legal action taken against the perpetrators of sexual violence. In most cases, the community leaders did not dare to report the incidents of sexual violence to the military battalion commanders for fear of reprisals. Those that did were scolded, beaten or threatened to be killed. In one case complainants were forced to sign a written statement pardoning the rapist. Significantly, half of the rape cases documented in this report took place after June 2002, when the Shan report "Licence to Rape" first drew international attention to the Burmese regime's use of sexual violence, and UNGA resolutions on Burma began highlighting the issue. Burmese Army troops have therefore continued to flagrantly commit sexual violations in Mon areas precisely while the regime has been denying to the world that this practice exists. It is evident that political reform is urgently needed to address the problem of military rape in Burma. Unless the system of impunity for military rape is ended, and the political problems relating to equal rights for ethnic peoples and the restoration of democracy in Burma are solved, the culture of violence will continue to escalate, and the suffering of all civilians - including women and children - will continue..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma), Human Rights Foundation of Monland (Burma)
Format/size: html (779K), Word (395K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Catwalk_to_the_Barracks.doc
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2005


Title: Brief Assessment of the Health Situation in Mon Areas
Date of publication: 31 October 2003
Description/subject: "Ministry of Health and National Health Committee of Union of Myanmar, has planned to promote public health in the country and it is now campaniging widely in the community for a better health in nation wide. Ministry of Health has also implemented to State and Local Health Department to foster the campaign and service of public health. The military government has drawn a health project from 2001-2006. According Health Report from Mon State, despite the military government has developed a health project since 2001, there is no sufficient improvement for the public health. The report said that health budget allocation is lacking from the government to the previous years. The Health Department could not employ sufficient health workers and medical doctors. Moreover, according to a doctor from one Township, the military government also could not pay regular salary to health empoyees. Despite the military government has received aid from overseas, the resources did not place to the public hospitals. Furthermore, the military government has built road construction and school buildings for the sole purpose of remaining in power with the community support but a health service is ignored by the Burmese military officials. The regime in Rangoon, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), allocates less than 10% of State Budget for the Ministries of Health and Education. In the recent years, WHO also found the health care situation in Burma is worth if compared with many other countries in the world..." Brief on the current public health situation in Mon State; Current services and condition of public hospitals; Who and how the private clinics work? Prescription under corruption; Women and the problems in child delivery; Phamacy stores and its prices; Symptoms of diseases:- Most serious diesaess that found in Mon State are: 1. Haemorrhage dengue fever 2. Malaria 3. tuberculosis 4. AIDS/HIV 5. Cholera 6. Diabettes 7. Hypertension 8. Skin Disease (leprosy) 9. Enteric fever (Typhoid)...
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Plight of Women and Children in Burma" (Issue No. 3/2003) - Women and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma)
Format/size: html (17K)
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2004


Title: Hardship of displaced families in the rural area
Date of publication: 31 October 2003
Description/subject: In Ye Township (in Mon State), Yebyu and Tavoy Townships (in Tenasserim Division), the battalions of local Burmese Army ordered the farmers to not take foods along with them when they traveled to their farms and are not allowed to stay at their farms at night time. Due to this movement restriction, the local farmers could not produce the sufficient foods for their families and communities. When the people fled from and displaced to escape from the above-mentioned human rights violation and racial persecution, they could not bring a lot of foods along with them. If they are arrested with over amount of foods, they could be killed or arrested. During their hiding situation, they also could not find food easily. During the displacement, if they try to contact their relatives in villages, they or their relatives could be arrested and tortured as the Burmese Army always suspected them that they are bringing foods for rebels. Foods are not available for almost displaced communities. Markets also are also far and dangerous when they try to get access to there. The relatives at villages or in the Burmese Army’s set relocations are not dared to support them, otherwise, they could be punished. Many restricted conditions created food-shortage problems to the displaced persons. They have to find the seasonal forest products to eat as foods. Banana, bamboo shoots, cassava, corns, papayas are available for foods during their displacement. However, as most ethnic people in Burma eat rice as their main foods, these fruits and forest products could not supplement them as main foods.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Plight of Women and Children in Burma" (Issue No. 3/2003) - Women and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma)
Format/size: html (11K)
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2004


Title: Women in suffering of poverty, sex industry and forced labour
Date of publication: 31 October 2003
Description/subject: " Burma (Myanmar) ratified the CEDAW to ensure the rights of women are fulfilled in tern of employment and available income. However the regime’s Women Affairs Committee is unable to improve the situation of women. Additionally, the armed faction of the regime, Burmese Army has also forced the women in the rural areas to contribute their unpaid labour for the army owned infrastructures. Poverty has forced many women including under aged girls to sell sex in cities for income. Some pieces of information that highlight the situation of rural women in southern part of Burma are as below:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Plight of women and children in Burma (Issue No.3/2003, - Women and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma)
Format/size: html (15K)
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2004


Title: A Review of Burma’s Obligations to CEDAW
Date of publication: 31 May 2003
Description/subject: "The plight of women and children in Mon State and Southern Burma is under serious concerns for their health, education, social welfare and family planning after the country has faced social, political and economy crisis for over fifth decades. Many of women and children in rural areas have lack of basic education and sometimes most of old women even could not sign their own names on official paper. After Burma has engaged into civil war and military rule for over four decades, many of women have faced a particular problem. It is not a family relationship but it is “Women Rights” issues to ensure for them to work, earn and save money for bearing children. Overall, women are denied to be ownership of their historic lands and farms. They are still denied to have a place in decision making in the community and national political environments..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Plight of Women and Children in Burma (Issue No.2/2003) - Women and Child Rights Project (Southern Burma)
Format/size: html (32K)
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2004


Title: Burma's Women and Children: The Suffering and Survival
Date of publication: March 2002
Description/subject: I. Plight of women and children in rural area; II. Human rights violations in general: violations against women and children; III. Conscription of forced labour; III. A. Unpaid labour contribution for security reason and development projects; III. B. Porter service and the plight of women and children ; IV. Suspicion of rebel-supporters and related violations; IV. A. Arbitrary execution: IV. A.1. Killing with accusation of rebel-supporters; IV A.2. Killing for closing rape cases; IV A.3. Rape and killing with accusation of rebel supporters ; IV B Arbitrary arrest and torture: IV B.1. Torture during interrogation; IV B.2. Rape and cruel torture; IV B.3. Non-physical torture, but mentally... IV C. Kidnapping and extortion... V. Rape and other sexual violations against women... VI. Violations of child rights: VI. A. The conscription of child labour; VLB. The use of child soldiers in the extension of the Burmese Army... VI.B.1. Recruitment: Recruitment base and recruitment of child soldiers; Recruitment via local military battalions; VI.C. The plight of child soldiers in the army; VI.D. The plight of young soldiers in the Burmese Army; VI.D.1. Background of defectors during October and November 2001; VI.D.2. Interview with a young soldier; VII. Population displacement and the suffering of women and children... VILA. Rebellion and forced displacement: VII.B. Forced relocation and dislocation in the Tenasserim Division; VII.C. Population displacement in Karen State... Appendix 1: Map of Burma; Appendix 2: Map of Mon State; Appendix 3: Map of Karen State; Appendix 4: Map of Tenasserim Division; Appendix 5: Photos: Forced Labours; Displaced Persons.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
Format/size: pdf (609K)
Date of entry/update: 19 May 2007