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Home > Main Library > Internal armed conflict > Internal armed conflict in Burma > Conflict in particular States > Armed conflict in Karen State > Armed conflict in Karen State - the human rights situation

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Armed conflict in Karen State - the human rights situation

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Free Burma Rangers
Description/subject: "... The Free Burma Rangers is an organization dedicated to freedom for the people of Burma. "De Oppresso Liber" is the motto of the Free Burma Rangers and we are dedicated in faith to the establishment of liberty, justice, equal rights and peace for all the people of Burma. The Free Burma Rangers support the restoration of democracy, ethnic rights and the implementation of the International Declaration of Human Rights in Burma. We stand with those who desire a nation where God's gifts of life, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and peace are ensured for all... MISSION: The mission of the Free Burma Rangers is to bring help, hope and love to the oppressed people of Burma. Its mission is also to help strengthen civil society, inspire and develop leadership that serves the people and act as a voice for the oppressed... ACTIONS: The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), conduct relief, advocacy, leadership development and unity missions among the people of Burma... Relief: ..."...FBR has issued some of the best documented reports on internal displacement/forced migration
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2004


Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims - currently over 600 reports dating from 1992.
Language: English, Karen, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The human rights situation in Karen State
Description/subject: Link to the section on Discrimination Against the Karen in the OBL Human Rights section
Language: English
Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2012


Individual Documents

Title: We Have Always Been Running: Why a Young Karen Woman Chose to Become a Soldier
Date of publication: 05 October 2015
Description/subject: "Naw Mu Gay, 22, wanted to join the Karen army since a young age. Coming from a large family, Naw Mu Gay’s father found it hard to provide for everyone, having to work on a farm in order to exchange betel nut leaves for rice that was barely enough to feed his family. Attending a school far away from her village, Naw Mu Gay and her siblings had to live with their grandmother in Taungoo, seeing their parents only once a year during the school break. To help the family once her father fell ill, Naw Mu Gay had to drop out of school to work on a farm in the village. She and her family lived in constant fear of the Burma Army, often having to run to the jungle where the family would live in a broken tent, cooking only at night time when the smoke would not lead Burmese soldiers to their hideout. Naw Mu Gay grew up seeing her parents suffer amidst the conflict, and continuously having to run for their lives. This year, finally given the opportunity, Naw Mu Gay decided to join the KNDO (Karen National Defense Organisation), and says that she will rely on her fellow comrades to get through the difficult times that lay ahead."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 March 2016


Title: Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams: Human Rights Under Assault in Karen State, Burma
Date of publication: 27 August 2012
Description/subject: Findings: "Out of all 665 households surveyed, 30% reported a human rights violation. Forced labor was the most common human rights violation reported; 25% of households reported experiencing some form of forced labor in the past year, including being porters for the military, growing crops, and sweeping for landmines. Physical attacks were less common; about 1.3% of households reported kidnapping, torture, or sexual assault. Human rights violations were significantly worse in the area surveyed in Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, which is completely controlled by the Burmese government and is also the site of the Dawei port and economic development project. Our research shows that more people who lived in Tavoy experienced human rights violations than people who lived elsewhere in our sampling area. Specifically, the odds of having a family member forced to be a porter were 4.4 times higher than for families living elsewhere. The same odds for having to do other forms of forced labor, including building roads and bridges, were 7.9 times higher; for being blocked from accessing land, 6.2 times higher; and for restricted movement, 7.4 times higher for families in Tavoy than for families living elsewhere. The research indicates a correlation between development projects and human rights violations, especially those relating to land and displacement. PHR’s research indicated that 17.4% of households in Karen State reported moderate or severe household hunger, according to the FANTA-2 Household Hunger Scale, a measure of food insecurity. We found that 3.7% of children under 5 were moderately or severely malnourished, and 9.8% were mildly malnourished, as determined by measurements of middle-upper arm circumference. PHR conducted the survey immediately following the rice harvest in Karen State, and the results may therefore reflect the lowest malnutrition rates of the year.....Conclusion: PHR’s survey of human rights violations and humanitarian indicators in Karen State shows that human rights violations persist in Karen State, despite recent reforms on the part of President Thein Sein. Of particular concern is the prevalence of human rights violations even in areas where there is no active armed conflict, as well as the correlation between economic development projects and human rights violations. Our research found that human rights violations were up to 10 times higher around an economic development project than in other areas surveyed. Systemic reforms that establish accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations, full political participation by Karen people and other ethnic minorities, and access to essential services are necessary to support a successful transition to a fully functioning democracy..."
Author/creator: Bill Davis ,MA, MPH; Andrea Gittleman, JD, PHR; Richard Sollom, MA, MPH, PHR; Adam Richards, MD, MPH; Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH; Forword by Óscar Arias Sánchez
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
Format/size: pdf (749K)
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2012