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Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to population (commentary)

Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar: UN rights experts express alarm at adoption of first of four ‘protection of race and religion’ bills
Date of publication: 27 May 2015
Description/subject: GENEVA (27 May 2015) – "A group of United Nations human rights experts today expressed alarm at the enactment of the Population Control Healthcare Bill in Myanmar, the first of four in a package of bills that seek to ‘protect race and religion’. The bills are highly discriminatory against ethnic and religious minorities as well as against women. “These bills risk deepening discrimination against minorities and setting back women’s rights in Myanmar,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee. “At a time when thousands of Rohingya are already fleeing the country by boat, this sends precisely the wrong signal to these communities.” On Saturday, State media reported that the President of Myanmar had signed the Population Control Healthcare Bill. While the stated objectives of the Bill are to improve living standards, alleviate poverty, ensure quality healthcare and develop maternal and child health, its provisions are extremely vague and lack any protection against discrimination, the independent experts noted. Under the newly adopted law, certain areas can be designated for special health care measures, including birth spacing. “Any coercive requirement for birth spacing with the aim to ‘organise’ family planning would constitute a disproportionate interference in the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and could amount to a violation of women’s human rights,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, noting that the Bill allows township groups to ‘organise’ married couples to practice 36-month birth spacing between pregnancies. “Women should be able to choose freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2015


Title: New Religious Legislation in Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 February 2015
Description/subject: "Since Myanmar’s opening in 2011, the country has seen a rise in Burman-Buddhist nationalism. Monk-led groups such as ‘969’ and the Organization for Protection of Race and Religion (‘MaBaTha’) and their messages of religious chauvinism enjoy strong popular support. Islam and its followers are particular targets. In addition to sporadic outbreaks of mob violence, this nationalist sentiment has expressed itself in calls for laws to promote and protect Buddhism. This paper provides an overview of the current status of this draft legislation. It looks at origins of the bills currently before the legislature, a summary of their key provisions, the likely next steps and their political implications. It also discusses the recent moves to disenfranchise over a million Temporary Registration Card holders – most of whom are Muslim, and many of whom are in Rakhine State..."
Author/creator: Richard Horsey
Language: English
Source/publisher: Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum
Format/size: pdf (246K)
Date of entry/update: 21 February 2015