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Education rights: reports of violations in Burma
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Individual Documents

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: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw Ka---, May 2011
Date of publication: 03 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw Ka---, a 50-year-old villager who described the situation prior to and after her community was forcibly relocated by the Tatmadaw in 2007. Naw Ka--- cited the following human rights abuses in her testimony: forced labour, including sentry duty and portering; arrest and detention, including physical violence against detained villagers; forced relocation; and movement restrictions. The interviewee also described the humanitarian challenges people in her community have faced, including serious constraints on access to adequate education for children, healthcare, and food. In order improve their humanitarian situation, Naw Ka--- explained how residents of her village decided to return to their homes in 2010 without formal permission from the Tatmadaw, despite villagers' fears that this action entailed serious risks to their physical security."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (706K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b21.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b21.html
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw S---, May 2011
Date of publication: 30 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Saw S---, a 17 year-old student who compared his experiences living in a Tatmadaw-controlled relocation site, and in his own village in a mixed-administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Saw S--- described the following abuses: killing of villagers; forced relocation; movement restrictions; taxation and demands; theft and looting; and forced labour including portering, sentry duty, camp maintenance and road construction. Saw S--- also discussed the impact of forced labour and movement restrictions on livelihoods; access to, and cost of, health care; and constraints on children's access to education, including the prohibition on Karen-language education. In order to address these issues, Saw S--- explained that villagers attempt to bribe military officers with money to avoid relocation, and with food and alcohol to lessen forced labour demands; conceal from Tatmadaw commanders that villagers sometimes leave the village to work without valid permission documents; and go into hiding to protect their physical security when conflict occurs near the village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (744K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b19.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-07-30-Nyaunglebin_Interview_Saw%20S_May_2011-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, May 2011
Date of publication: 26 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw P---, a 40-year-old farmer who described her experiences living in a Tatmadaw-controlled relocation site, and in her original village in a mixed-administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Naw P--- described the following human rights abuses: rape and sexual violence; indiscriminate firing on villagers by Tatmadaw soldiers; forced relocation; arrest and detention; movement restrictions; theft and looting; and forced labour, including use of villagers as military sentries and porters. Naw P--- also raised concerns regarding the cost of health care and about children's education, specifically Tatmadaw restrictions on children's movement during perceived military instability and the prohibition of Karen-language education. In order to address these concerns, Naw P--- told KHRG that some villagers pay bribes to avoid forced labour and to secure the release of detained family members; lie to Tatmadaw commanders about the whereabouts of villagers working on farms in violation of movement restrictions; and organise covert Karen-language education for their children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (158K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b18.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-07-26-Nyaunglebin_Interview_Naw_P_May_2011-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Human rights abuses and obstacles to protection: Conditions for civilians amidst ongoing conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts
Date of publication: 21 January 2011
Description/subject: "Amidst ongoing conflict between the Tatmadaw and armed groups in eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts, civilians, aid workers and soldiers from state and non-state armies continue to report a variety of human rights abuses and security concerns for civilians in areas adjacent to Thailand's Tak Province, including: functionally indiscriminate mortar and small arms fire; landmines; arbitrary arrest and detention; sexual violence; and forced portering. Conflict and these conflict-related abuses have displaced thousands of civilians, more than 8,000 of whom are currently taking refuge in discreet hiding places in Thailand. This has interrupted education for thousands of children across eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts. The agricultural cycle for farmers has also been severely disrupted; many villagers have been prevented from completing their harvests of beans, corn and paddy crops, portending long-term threats to food security. Due to concerns about food security and disruption to children's education, as well as villagers' continuing need to protect themselves and their families from conflict and conflict-related abuse, temporary but consistent access to refuge in Thailand remains vital until villagers feel safe to return home. Even after return, food support will likely be necessary until disrupted agricultural activities can be resumed and civilians can again support themselves."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (Main text, 688K; Appendix 188K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2_appendixes.pdf (Appendix)
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2.html
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2012


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 15: Right to Education
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "A strong education system has long been seen as the standard pre-requisite of overall national progress for both developed and developing nations. A country populated with educated citizens generally results in economic growth, innovation, public health and often a political system that voices the concerns and needs of its people. To all outward appearances, the SPDC has made legitimate attempts to position itself as a patron of education for all. In reality, this position amounts to little more than an elaborate show performed for an international audience. The disparity between government propaganda and the actual goals of the Burmese education system is striking. The vision of the Ministry of Education is stated to be, “To create an education system that can generate a learning society capable of facing the challenges of the Knowledge Age.” 1 In October 2008, the state-run New Light of Myanmar ran an editorial emphasizing the importance of teachers providing an all-around developmental experience, stating that teachers should “train and inculcate the students with knowledge, education and skill as well as with the habit of helping and understanding others and observing ethics and morality.” 2 Despite these lofty pronouncements, the SPDC treats the education system as something to be feared, watching closely as primary school students—when given an opportunity—grow into university students, who have proven to be some of the government’s most vocal protesters and opponents. In light of this culture of paranoia and suspicion, the SPDC has erected multiple barriers to accessing education. In addition to these obstacles, and despite legislation ensuring free and compulsory primary education, attending school is often an extravagance families struggle to afford. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, while enrolment is high at 80%, less than 55% of enrolled students complete the primary cycle.3 With this high drop-out rate, the number of children left without significant skills increases, leaving them highly vulnerable to various exploitive trades, such as forced labour, forced conscription into the army or the sex trade. An almost complete lack of free speech and expression results in an environment in which rote learning is standard, and critical thinking is highly discouraged. If a student manages to successfully reach the university level, he or she incurs a new level of restrictions from the junta. University students and their teachers are feared most of all; as a group, they represent the future of democracy and freedom to their families and the world. Despite these significant hurdles, the Burmese culture highly values education and parents place great importance on sending their children to school. The struggle for these families is in overcoming the junta’s roadblocks in order to achieve their educational goals..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (547K)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2009


Title: Mortar attacks, landmines and the destruction of schools in Papun District
Date of publication: 22 August 2008
Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in Lu Thaw township of Papun District. Because these villagers live within non-SPDC-controlled "black areas", the SPDC believes it has justification to attack IDP hiding sites and destroy civilian crops, cattle and property. These attacks, combined with the SPDC and KNLA's continued use of landmines, have caused dozens of injuries and deaths in Papun District alone. Such attacks target the fabric of Karen society, breaking up communities and compromising the educations of Karen youth. In spite of these hardships, the local villagers continue to be resourceful in providing security for their families and education for their children. This report covers events in Papun District from May to July 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F12)
Format/size: html, pdf (687 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f12.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Road construction, attacks on displaced communities and the impact on education in northern Papun District
Date of publication: 26 March 2007
Description/subject: "In the ongoing offensive against villagers in northern Karen State, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has been working to develop infrastructure supportive of increased military control. The construction of new bases and vehicle roads serve this objective as they obstruct the efforts of local communities to evade army patrols and sustain their livelihoods in areas beyond the reach of SPDC forces. Increased control, in turn, allows the SPDC to more easily exploit rural communities for labour, food and other supplies in support of military structures. This report examines how military deployment and the construction of new roads and bases further into Papun District have led local villagers to respond by evading encroaching army units despite the increasing difficulty of this tactic, and how the subsequent displacement has affected children's access to education..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F3)
Format/size: html, pdf (806 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f3_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Toungoo District: The civilian response to human rights violations
Date of publication: 15 August 2006
Description/subject: "Attacks on villages in Toungoo and other northern Karen districts by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) since late 2005 have led to extensive displacement and some international attention, but little of this has focused on the continuing lives of the villagers involved. In this report KHRG's Karen researchers in the field describe how these attacks have been affecting local people, and how these people have responded. The SPDC's forced relocation, village destruction, shoot-on-sight orders and blockades on the movement of food and medicines have killed many and created pervasive suffering, but the villagers' continued refusal to submit to SPDC authority has caused the military to fail in its objective of bringing the entire civilian population under direct control. This is a struggle which SPDC forces cannot win, but they may never stop trying..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F8)
Format/size: pdf (588 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f8.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f8.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: Pa’an District: Land confiscation, forced labour and extortion undermining villagers’ livelihoods
Date of publication: 11 February 2006
Description/subject: "Villagers in northern Pa'an District of central Karen State say their livelihoods are under serious threat due to exploitation by SPDC military authorities and by their Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allies who rule as an SPDC proxy army in much of the region. Villages in the vicinity of the DKBA headquarters are forced to give much of their time and resources to support the headquarters complex, while villages directly under SPDC control face rape, arbitrary detention and threats to keep them compliant with SPDC demands. The SPDC plans to expand Dta Greh (a.k.a. Pain Kyone) village into a town in order to strengthen its administrative control over the area, and is confiscating about half of the village's productive land without compensation to build infrastructure which includes offices, army camps and a hydroelectric power dam - destroying the livelihoods of close to 100 farming families. Local villagers, who are already struggling to survive under the weight of existing demands, fear further forced labour and extortion as the project continues."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 February 2006


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-03: Rights to Education and Health
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: "Burma has one of the poorest health records and lowest standards of living in the developing world. Health and education are given incredibly low priorities in the national budget, and lip-service to these issues often takes the place of substantial reforms or programs. The root causes of problems in these arenas, such as the affects of landmines and forced labor on health and the effect of school closings and censorship on education, are not dealt with in meaningful ways because of political considerations. Low salaries and lack of transparent and effective supervision has made it easy for corruption to flourish among medical personnel and educators. Patients more often than not have to pay a bribe to be seen by a doctor, get a bed in a hospital or receive essential medicine. Primary school students can pay to receive better grades or get private tutoring from their teachers. Higher education in Burma is particularly substandard with students, during those times that the universities are actually open, being given rush degrees in order to prevent any political opposition to the military regime from springing up on college campuses. The political situation in Burma has a direct impact on the poor quality of education and healthcare available to the general public. The level of access a person has to health and education infrastructure depends on economic level, geographical location and individual, family or ethnic group relations with the military regime. For example, a Burmese military officer and his family living in Rangoon have access to education and medical treatment that are unavailable to a family that is part of an ethnic and religious minority group living in a conflict area on the border. As yet, the military regime has been unwilling to address these inequalities to ensure that all people living in Burma, regardless of their ethnic group, religion, political affiliation, economic status or geographical location have access to adequate health care and education. (For more information about the health and education situations of specific populations such as refugees, women, children, political prisoners and IDPs, please see appropriate chapters)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 November 2003


Title: Hard Lessons
Date of publication: July 2003
Description/subject: "Falling standards and the culture of fear have crippled Burma’s education system and the country’s future...Schools and universities in Burma require sweeping reform to promote a more equitable, multi-ethnic and multicultural society... Clearly, the regime ... can continue to promote a culture of fear and watch the complete disintegration of the country’s education system, or it can recognize that future national development will stand a better chance with genuine investments in the education of Burma’s youth today."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 11, No 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Rights to Education and Health
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "...Burma has one of the poorest health records and lowest standards of living in the developing world. Health and education are given incredibly low priorities in the national budget, and lip-service to these issues often take the place of substantial reforms or programs. Because of political considerations the root causes of problems in these arenas, such as the affects of landmines and forced labor on health and the effect of school closings and censorship on education, are not dealt with in meaningful ways. Low salaries and lack of transparent and effective supervision has made it easy for corruption to flourish among medical personnel and educators. Patients more often than not have to pay a bribe to be seen by a doctor, get a bed in a hospital, or receive essential medicine. Primary school students can pay to receive better grades or get private tutoring from their teachers. Higher education in Burma is particularly substandard with students, during those times that the universities are actually open, being given rush degrees in order to prevent any political opposition to the military regime to spring up on college campuses..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Rights of Education and Health
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "...Burma has one of the poorest health records and lowest standards of living in the developing world. The desire of the military government to hold on to power at any cost has meant that human rights, including the rights to health and education, are given scant attention in comparison to political and security issues. Health and education are given incredibly low priorities in the national budget, and lip-service to these issues often take the place of substantial reforms or programs. Because of political considerations the root causes of problems in these arenas, such as the affects of landmines and forced labor on health and the effect of school closings and censorship on education, are not dealt with in meaningful ways..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: Main page of the Yearbook: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/yearbooks/Main.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Learning Behind Bars
Date of publication: June 2001
Description/subject: While most young people in Burma have been deprived of their right to a decent education over the past decade, none have suffered more in this respect than the country's political prisoners. Kyaw Zwa Moe, a former inmate of Rangoon's notorious Insein Prison, recalls the resourcefulness of prisoners determined to keep their minds free.
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Counter Measures
Date of publication: August 2000
Description/subject: Bowing to international pressure, the Burmese junta has opened institutions of higher learning across the country, returning students to their campuses. It appears the junta is calculating that their increased security will prevent a repeat of 1988.
Author/creator: Moe Gyo/Chiang Mai
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 8
Format/size: html (6,3k)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Learning in Limbo
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Win Htein writes on efforts by Burmese in exile to find ways to educate a neglected generation.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Money for Grades
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Burma's traditional respect for education has been eroded by years of neglect, government apathy and corruption. This presents a problem for the future of Burma, writes Moe Gyo.
Author/creator: Moe Gyo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7. No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Thein Lwin, Papers on Education
Date of publication: 20 1998
Description/subject: 1.(a) Education in Burma (1945-2000), 2000 1.(b) Education in Burma (1945-2000), 2000 (Burmese) 2. Educational Cost of Army Rule, 2000 3. Children Opportunity to Learn in the Ethnic Minority Areas of Burma, 2001 4. Issues Surrounding Curriculum Development in the Ethnic Minority Areas of Burma, 2002 5. Learning in Democracy, 2003 6. Critical Thinking (What, Why, How), 2004 (Burmese) 7. Education in Burma: Hope for the Future, 2006 8.(a) Education and Democracy in Burma, 2007 8. (b) Education and Democracy in Burma, 2007 (Burmese) 9. Teacher Role in Education Transition, 2009 (Burmese) 10. Critical Thinking and Autonomy, 2010 (Burmese) 11. Critical Thinking: The Burmese Traditional Culture of Education, 2010
Author/creator: Thein Lwin
Language: English and Burmese
Source/publisher: Thinking Classroom Foundation
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.thinkingclassroom.org/Education%20Papers/Educational%20Papers%20Written%20by%20Dr%20Thei...
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010


Title: Cultural Revolution?
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: Recently, Burma's Education Ministry has postponed the opening of schools and universities indefinitely. The reason, analysts believe, is that military officials hope to avoid any incidents that could complicate the country's July induction into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In December, colleges and universities were immediately shut down during student unrest. Since the 1988 democracy uprising, schools in Burma have been shut down frequently.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003