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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 Kachin

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Discrimination against the Kachin

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT)
Description/subject: "In Burma the military regime has been in power for several decades, resulting in armed conflict with the various minority ethnic people including the Kachin, who occupy the northernmost state on the China border. The Kachin Independence Army was the first to negotiate a ceasefire with the junta in 1994 but promises of investment in the infrastructure in Kachin State have not been realised. Instead, the military regime has authorised and benefitted from large-scale extraction of Kachin's natural resources – timber, gold, jade and HEP – and these benefits are not shared with the Kachin people. Mismanagement of the economy, the prioritising of military expenditure over public services, spiralling costs of basic commodities as well as schooling and medical care, are making it increasingly difficult for people to survive so many Kachin people, mainly young men and women, have left their homeland and scattered to foreign countries. Some of KWAT's founding members The number of Kachin people coming to Thailand is growing year on year and the social and economic problems in the Kachin community have also increased accordingly. Recognizing the urgent need for women to organize themselves to help solve these problems both in Kachin State and in Thailand, five far-sighted women formed the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT) in Chiang Mai on the 9th September 1999. Mission The empowerment and advancement of Kachin women in order to improve the lives of women and children in Kachin society. Vision As a non profit-making organisation working on behalf of Kachin women, we have a vision of a Kachin State where all forms of discrimination are eliminated; where all women are empowered to participate in decision making at a local, national and international level; and where all Kachin children have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Values We are committed to meeting the needs of the Kachin community by promoting equality, respect, human dignity and independence. To this purpose, we are committed to the development of KWAT as a strong organisation, based upon unity and trust through transparency and honesty. As individuals, we are committed to working together with love, patience, wisdom and sacrifice. Strategic aims • To promote women's rights, children's rights and gender equality • To promote women's participation in politics and in peace & reconciliation processes • To oppose all forms of violence against women including human trafficking • To provide health education & health services • To promote women's awareness of how to manage and protect the environment"... Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:00
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2011


Individual Documents

Title: “I Thought They Would Kill Me” - Ending Wartime Torture in Northern Myanmar
Date of publication: 09 June 2014
Description/subject: "...For the past three years, Myanmar authorities have systematically tortured Kachin civilians perceived to be aligned with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Fortify Rights said in a new report released today. Fortify Rights believes these abuses constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The government of Myanmar should intervene immediately to end the use of torture in the conduct of the ongoing war in Kachin State and northern Shan State, and it should credibly investigate and prosecute members of the Myanmar Army, Myanmar Police Force, and Military Intelligence who are responsible for the serious crimes described in this report. The 71-page report, “I Thought They Would Kill Me”: Ending Wartime Torture in Northern Myanmar, describes the systematic use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment (“ill treatment”) of more than 60 civilians by Myanmar authorities from June 2011 to April 2014. Members of the Myanmar Army, Myanmar Police Force, and Military Intelligence deliberately caused severe and lasting mental and physical pain to civilians in combat zones, villages, and places of detention in Kachin State. While some impacts of these crimes are irreparable, none of the survivors interviewed by Fortify Rights have received adequate medical care..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Fortify Rights
Format/size: pdf (5.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fortifyrights.org/downloads/Fortify%20Rights_Myanmar_9_June_2014.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2014


Title: State terror in the Kachin hills - Burma Army attacks against civilians in Northern Burma
Date of publication: 28 February 2013
Description/subject: Summary: "In late 2012, the Burma Army intensified military operations against strongholds of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). This culminated in a massive offensive on the KIA headquarters at Laiza on the China-Burma border starting in mid-December. This month-long assault involved repeated mortar shelling and aerial bombings in the Laiza area, populated by 20,000 civilians, over half of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were denied refuge in China. This report documents the killing or injury of 26 civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in Burmese artillery attacks in five areas during the recent military operations. The repeated authorization of artillery fire into areas populated by civilians, as well as deliberate torching of villages and IDP shelters, represent serious breaches of international humanitarian law, and are likely to amount to war crimes. The humanitarian situation in Kachin areas remains critical, with 364 villages wholly or partially abandoned, and over 100,000 people internally displaced. Hardly any international aid has been provided to the 66,000 IDPs in Kachin-controlled areas. There has been little international condemnation of the Burma Army aggression in Kachin State. Foreign governments appear more interested in pursuing diplomatic and economic engagement with Burma’s military-backed government. However, silence on the Burmese military’s crimes risks plunging Burma deeper into civil war, by emboldening Burma’s rulers to continue using force to crush the ethnic resistance movements. . The international community must strongly condemn the crimes committed by the Burma Army, and pressure the Burmese government to end all military aggression, begin troop withdrawal from Kachin areas of Burma, and enter into political dialogue with the Kachin Independence Army to address the demands for ethnic equality at the root of the conflict."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 April 2013


Title: Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
Date of publication: 19 March 2012
Description/subject: 'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians. “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


Title: Two women and one man killed, 70-year-old woman wounded, and four men tortured as Burma Army attacks villages in Kachin State
Date of publication: 17 January 2012
Description/subject: KEY DEVELOPMENTS: Burma Army Infantry Battalion (IB) 105, commanded by Major Moe Kyaw, stabbed and shot three villagers to death, shot a 70-year-old woman and tortured four villagers in Mun Si Township, Kachin State
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers (FBR)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2012/20120119.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2012


Title: THE NORTH WAR, PART II: KACHIN CONFLICT CONTINUES
Date of publication: 20 December 2011
Description/subject: "Project Maje's previous report, 'The North War: A Kachin Conflict Compilation Report' (August 15, 2011) contained background information on the Kachin conflict and a compilation of articles about it from June-July 2011. This new report includes first hand observations from a November 2011 visit to the conflict area, two interviews and a compilation of news articles from August through early December 2011. Both reports are intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the conflict situation in northern Burma. "Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future. For a detailed view of the human rights and IDP situations in the conflict area, Project Maje particularly recommends two recent NGO reports:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2011


Title: CRIMES IN NORTHERN BURMA: Results from a fact -finding mission to Kachin State
Date of publication: 27 November 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "On 9 June 2011, civil war broke out in northern Burma between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), ending a 17-year long ceasefire agreement. This report presents data collected from a Partners investigation in southern Kachin State, Burma in October 2011. The testimony of witnesses and on-site photographs reveal multiple acts perpetrated by Burma Army battalions 74 and 276 against ethnic Kachin civilians that potentially amount to war crimes and other extreme crimes. These acts include torture, extrajudicial killing, the specific targeting of civilians, human shielding, unlawful arrest, unlawful detention, forced labor, forced relocation, displacement, property theft and property destruction. Witnesses reported that Burma Army soldiers entered Nam Lim Pa village on 8 October 2011. Men were arrested and detained for forced labor. Women and children were detained in the Roman Catholic church compound against their will and without provocation or expressed reason. Violent injuries demonstrate signs of extreme physical abuse and strongly suggest the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering while in custody. Civilian casualties included torture and execution. Eyewitness reports indicate no Kachin Independence Army presence during the time of the attacks. Villagers were forcibly relocated and displaced by armed soldiers. Houses, offices and churches were robbed and vandalized, all without justification. At least one home was robbed and burned to the ground while its owner was arrested and detained. The results from this fact-finding mission to Kachin State reveal evidence of crimes that potentially amount to war crimes, perpetrated by the Burma Army against ethnic Kachin civilians and their properties in October 2011. Based on the incidents documented in this report, the Burma Army is in contravention of its legal obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Considering the nature and scale of these acts in combination with documented abuses in the broader civil war in Kachin State, the actions of the Burma government and the Burma Army may also amount to other serious violations, including crimes against humanity. Those responsible must be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions. Partners makes the following key recommendations:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Partners Relief & Development
Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 4.52MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://partnersworld.org/usa/images/stories/crimes_in_northern_burma/crimes_in_northern_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2011


Title: Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma
Date of publication: November 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In September 2011, as the international community discussed easing sanctions on Burma’s military-backed civilian government, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conducted an emergency investigation in Burma’s Kachin State in response to reports of grave human rights violations in the region. The aims of the study were 1. to independently investigate reported human rights abuses and war crimes; and 2. to assess the humanitarian situation and nutritional status of internally displaced persons (IDPs) displaced by conflict in 2011. This report provides the first humanitarian assessment of some of the IDPs living in areas of Kachin State that are not controlled by the Burmese government. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recently released a report on the health situation of 5900 IDPs in urban and peri-urban areas of Kachin state that are under Burmese government control. But no mention was made of the estimated 22,000 displaced people in other areas of the state. PHR conducted its investigation entirely in these areas; this report will help to build a more complete picture of the humanitarian situation among internally displaced persons in politically contested areas in Kachin State. The human rights investigation provides compelling evidence that the Burmese army (the Tatmadaw) has committed multiple human rights violations in Kachin State. Between June and September 2011, the Burmese army looted food from civilians, fired indiscriminately into villages, threatened villages with attacks, and used civilians as porters, human minesweepers, and impressed guides. Our findings are consistent with similar reports of human rights abuses in other ethnic states, and suggest that violations of rights of ethnic nationalities in the country by the central government are systematic and widespread. In addition to the human rights investigation, PHR visited six camps and four shelters for displaced Kachin civilians on the Sino-Burmese border and conducted health and nutrition assessments from 22-30 September, 2011. The camps fail to meet multiple minimum humanitarian standards outlined in the Sphere humanitarian guidelines. Camps are overcrowded and there are insufficient numbers of latrines and water supply points. Camp medical staff reported that upper respiratory infections and diarrhea were the most common reasons for clinic visits, and that they experienced shortages in medicine for infants. Key human rights findings of this report: • The Burmese army forced Kachin civilians to guide combat units and walk in front of army columns to trigger landmines. This practice puts civilians at extreme risk of injury and death and is a war crime. • The Burmese army regularly pillaged food and supplies from civilians. This practice is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law. • The Burmese army fired automatic weapons directly into a civilian village, striking nonmilitary targets. The intentional direction of attacks against civilians is also recognized as a war crime in the Rome Statute1, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court. 1. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, art. 8(2), 17 Jul. 1998, 2187 U.N.T.S. 90, entered into force 1 Jul, 2002. 4 Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma Key related humanitarian concerns: • IDP camps are overcrowded and the numbers of latrines and water supply points are insufficient to ensure that residents’ human rights to clean food and water are met. Camp medical staff reported insufficient supplies of medicine for infants. • Eleven percent of children under five years old in one camp in Laiza were found to be severely or moderately malnourished, a situation that the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies as “severe” and warrants targeted supplementary feeding programs. • Very little aid reaches IDP camps, and groups caring for them face challenges in providing food, medicine, and shelter. The most vulnerable populations—those in rural areas and near the border—have not received any official humanitarian aid; they are only receiving aid from community-based organizations, which have largely been ignored by the international donor community. This investigation suggests that the incremental political changes in central Burma have not translated into improved livelihoods or improved the human rights situation of ethnic populations living along Burma’s frontiers. The government of Burma has announced greater freedoms, including unblocking some internet websites and limiting censorship in the press, and releasing Aung San Suu Kyi and a fraction of the other political prisoners in the country. Some in the international community have asserted that political change has come to Burma; however, these changes largely are confined to the urban, primarily ethnic Burman, population. For many of the peoples of Burma facing conflict and abuse, including the Kachin peoples, the brutality of the old regime remains an omnipresent threat. PHR’s findings come at a crucial moment when the international community is considering easing sanctions on Burma in response to its positive steps towards what Senior General Than Shwe has called “disciplined democracy.” PHR welcomes the stated commitment of the government to greater openness and urges the international community to ensure that the rhetoric translates into positive action for all people in Burma. The Kachin and other groups continue to endure grave human rights violations at the hands of the Burmese army. True progress must be measured by thorough analysis of the extent of the government’s abuses and by establishing a system through which perpetrators are held accountable for their actions..."
Author/creator: Bill Davis, MA, MPH
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (554K - 0riginal; 458K - OBL version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Under_Seige_in_Kachin_State_Burma-2011-11-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2011


Title: Burma's Covered up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People
Date of publication: 07 October 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "At the same time as Thein Sein’s government is engaging in public relations maneuvers designed to make it appear that reform is taking place, its army is perpetrating atrocities against the Kachin people on a widespread and systematic basis. Seven months after the November 2010 elections and four months after the convening of parliament which, in the words of the ruling generals, “completed the country’s transition to a multiparty democracy,” the regime launched a new war in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. After a seventeen year ceasefire, the renewed conflict has brought rampant human rights abuses by the Burma Army including, rape, torture, the use of human minesweepers and the forced displacement of entire villages. Human rights abuses in Burma are prevalent because of the culture of impunity put in place at the highest levels of government. The Burmese regime continuously fails to investigate human rights abuses committed by its military and instead categorically denies the possibility that abuses are taking place. Attempts to seek justice for the crimes committed against the Kachin people have resulted in responses ranging from “we do not take responsibility for any landmine injuries” to “the higher authorities will not listen to your complaint”. These human rights violations have led villagers to flee approaching troops, creating tens of thousands of internally displaced persons. The Burmese regime has refused to allow aid groups working inside the country to provide relief to the majority of these displaced people and international groups have failed to provide sufficient cross-border aid, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. While the international community “waits and sees” whether the Burmese regime will implement genuine democratic reforms, the Kachin people are suffering. The time for waiting and seeing is over: now is the time for the world to act. We call on the international community to: Demand that the Burmese regime put an end to the atrocities against the Kachin people.• Provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing • the conflict to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Support the establishment by the United Nations of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes • against humanity and war crimes in Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (862K)
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2011


Title: THE NORTH WAR: A KACHIN CONFLICT COMPILATION REPORT
Date of publication: August 2011
Description/subject: "This is a resource compilation report which is intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the June/July 2011 conflict between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Burma's military regime in Kachin State, Burma. News stories and documents related to the conflict are categorized and reproduced or linked here, with a list of background information sources. They are in chronological order within each category. Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2011


Title: No Real Choice: An Assessment of Burma's 2008 Referendum
Date of publication: 08 May 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In May 2008, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) held a referendum in which citizens of Burma were asked to vote on a new national constitution for the country. This report provides an overview of that process and offers a detailed assessment of the conduct of the referendum within Kachin State, and northern Shan State. Based on that assessment, this report concludes that the referendum was a sham – the Kachin State Referendum Commission clearly intended to ensure the approval of the draft constitution regardless of public sentiment. Officials engineered victory through the pervasive abuse of voters’ basic rights and engaged in widespread fraud. In short, the May 2008 referendum is not a legitimate measure of citizens’ consent to be governed, but rather a reflection of the government’s determination to impose its rule regardless of public sentiment. As the fourth “step” in the “Road Map to Democracy”, the conduct of the referendum is illustrative of “Disciplined Democracy” and bodes poorly for the promised elections in 2010. The Institute for Political Analysis and Documentation (IPAD) has produced this report in order to raise the public’s awareness about the illegitimate character of the referendum. IPAD is an independent policy research and training center devoted to Burma. Founded in January 2008, IPAD promotes democracy, human rights and accountable governance through a range of initiatives including political analysis, human rights documentation, and grassroots roots training initiatives."...N.B. A Google search found no website or publications other than "No Real Choice" by IPAD, which in the press release states that: "IPAD promotes democracy, and accountable governance in Burma through a range of initiatives including political analysis, human rights assessments, and grassroots roots training initiatives."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Institute for Political Analysis and Documentation (IPAD)
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB - English; 804K - Burmese; 122K - press release)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/No_Real_Choice(bu).pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/No_Real_Choice(en)-press-release.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2009


Title: Ashes and Tears
Date of publication: March 2001
Description/subject: Interviews with Refugees from Burma on Guam, including recent interviews with Chin and Kachin refugees. "During the past year, nearly a thousand refugees from Burma have arrived on the island of Guam, a United States territory in the Pacific Ocean. They are seeking asylum in the US, having fled extraordinary levels of persecution in their homeland. Most are from northern Burma, especially the Chin State... This report consists of interviews with a small cross section of the Guam asylum seekers. It is to some extent representative of their demographics, in terms of ethnicity and gender. The interviewees have given us a great bounty of significant new information and details about recent conditions in Burma... Numerous topics are covered in these 17 interviews. There is front-line information about the AIDS epidemic which is making its grim progress into the remote mountains of Burma, and the efforts to evade the regime’s denial about it..."
Author/creator: Edith Mirante
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: pdf (329K), Text (184K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.projectmaje.org/txt/guam_rep.txt
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003