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Right to Health: reports of violations in Burma
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Individual Documents

Title: Diagnosis: Critical – Health And Human Rights in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: 19 October 2010
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians..."Diagnosis: Critical" demonstrates that a vast area of eastern Burma remains in a chronic health emergency, a continuing legacy of longstanding official disinvestment in health, coupled with protracted civil war and the abuse of civilians. This has left ethnic rural populations in the east with 41.2% of children under five acutely malnourished. 60.0% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are from preventable and treatable diseases, including acute respiratory infection, malaria, and diarrhea. These losses of life would be even greater if it were not for local community-based health organizations, which provide the only available preventive and curative care in these conflict-affected areas. The report summarizes the results of a large scale population-based health and human rights survey which covered 21 townships and 5,754 households in conflict-affected zones of eastern Burma. The survey was jointly conducted by the Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team and ethnic health organizations serving the Karen, Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Palaung communities. These areas have been burdened by decades of civil conflict and attendant human rights abuses against the indigenous populations. Eastern Burma demographics are characterized by high birth rates, high death rates and the significant absence of men under the age of 45, patterns more comparable to recent war zones such as Sierra Leone than to Burma’s national demographics. Health indicators for these communities, particularly for women and children, are worse than Burma’s official national figures, which are already amongst the worst in the world. Child mortality rates are nearly twice as high in eastern Burma and the maternal mortality ratio is triple the official national figure. While violence is endemic in these conflict zones, direct losses of life from violence account for only 2.3% of deaths. The indirect health impacts of the conflict are much graver, with preventable losses of life accounting for 59.1% of all deaths and malaria alone accounting for 24.7%. At the time of the survey, one in 14 women was infected with Pf malaria, amongst the highest rates of infection in the world. This reality casts serious doubts over official claims of progress towards reaching the country’s Millennium Development Goals related to the health of women, children, and infectious diseases, particularly malaria. The survey findings also reveal widespread human rights abuses against ethnic civilians. Among surveyed households, 30.6% had experienced human rights violations in the prior year, including forced labor, forced displacement, and the destruction and seizure of food. The frequency and pattern with which these abuses occur against indigenous peoples provide further evidence of the need for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes against Humanity. The upcoming election will do little to alleviate the situation, as the military forces responsible for these abuses will continue to operate outside civilian control according to the new constitution. The findings also indicate that these abuses are linked to adverse population-level health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the community—mothers and children. Survey results reveal that members of households who suffer from human rights violations have worse health outcomes, as summarized in the table above. Children in households that were internally displaced in the prior year were 3.3 times more likely to suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition. The odds of dying before age one was increased 2.5 times among infants from households in which at least one person was forced to provide labor. The ongoing widespread human rights abuses committed against ethnic civilians and the blockade of international humanitarian access to rural conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mean that premature death and disability, particularly as a result of treatable and preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, will continue. This will not only further devastate the health of communities of eastern Burma but also poses a direct health security threat to Burma’s neighbors, especially Thailand, where the highest rates of malaria occur on the Burma border. Multi-drug resistant malaria, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are growing concerns. The spread of malaria resistant to artemisinin, the most important anti-malarial drug, would be a regional and global disaster. In the absence of state-supported health infrastructure, local community-based organizations are working to improve access to health services in their own communities. These programs currently have a target population of over 376,000 people in eastern Burma and in 2009 treated nearly 40,000 cases of malaria and have vastly increased access to key maternal and child health interventions. However, they continue to be constrained by a lack of resources and ongoing human rights abuses by the Burmese military regime against civilians. In order to fully address the urgent health needs of eastern Burma, the underlying abuses fueling the health crisis need to end."
Language: Burmese, English, Thai
Source/publisher: The Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team
Format/size: pdf (OBL versions: 5.3MB - English; 4.4MB Thai; 3.5MB-Burmese) . Larger, original versions on BPHWT site
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(th)-red.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(bu)-red.pdf
http://www.backpackteam.org/?page_id=208
Date of entry/update: 05 September 2011


Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 11: Right to Health
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "For the people of Burma, 2008 has been another difficult year. The difficulties related to lack of healthcare facilities continued, while other factors relating to poverty remained key influences on the health of the nation. The enduring story from Burma from 2008 was the humanitarian consequences of Tropical Cyclone Nargis, which hit the country on 2-3 May 2008. However, even at the beginning of the year, there were worrying reports and statistics emerging from Burma regarding the health status of the population. In January 2008, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released figures which showed Burma had the second highest child mortality rate in the world, with between 270 and 400 children dying on a daily basis, many from preventable causes. By year end, the combination of the estimated 130,000 deaths due to Cyclone Nargis and the increasing HIV/AIDS crisis lead Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to describe the current situation in Burma as “critical”, and also contributed to Burma being included in MSF’s list of the ten worse humanitarian situations in the world. While it has been estimated that approximately half of Burma's annual budgetary allocation goes towards military expenditure, less than half a percent of Burma’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is allocated to healthcare. Burma’s per capita spending on healthcare has been reported to be "the lowest in the world". As a direct result, deaths arising from easily preventable and readily treatable diseases are common. Burma also has the second highest child mortality rate in all of Asia, with ten percent of children dying before their fifth birthday; only Afghanistan’s child mortality rate is higher. While the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military regime makes little to no effort to actively promote good health or to provide adequate healthcare, in some areas it actively prevents the population’s access to healthcare through restrictions on movement and other human rights abuses. For example, in August 2008, it was reported that medical students were to be forced to take an exam on the current political situation in the country before being allowed to take up medical placements in hospitals. Presumably, those students who failed to toe the SPDC line would not have been permitted to commence their placements. Although this was denied by the SPDC, it was confirmed by lecturers at Rangoon’s Medical Institute..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (217K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


Title: Forced Labour, Extortion, and Festivities: The SPDC and DKBA burden on villagers in Pa
Date of publication: 22 December 2006
Description/subject: "In Pa'an District of central Karen State, Burmese authorities impose strict controls on the movements and activities of all villagers while also taking their land, money and livestock, using them as forced labour, and forcing them to join state paramilitary organisations. Muslims are being forcibly evicted from their villages into relocation camps to make way for new SPDC army camps. Simultaneously the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) acts on behalf of the SPDC in many areas, extending the regime's control in return for impunity to exploit and extort from the civilian population. The double burden of forced labour, extortion, restrictions and forced conscription imposed by two sets of authorities takes a heavy toll on the villagers, yet in a cruel irony they are also being forced to give money and unpaid child labour to prepare New Year festivities where the DKBA plays host to foreigners and Rangoon movie stars..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F12)
Format/size: pdf (972 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f12.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f12.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Chronic Emergency - Health and Human Rights in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: 07 September 2006
Description/subject: This link leads to a document containing the Table of Contents of the report, with links to the English, Burmese and Thai versions... Executive Summary: "Disinvestment in health, coupled with widespread poverty, corruption, and the dearth of skilled personnel have resulted in the collapse of Burma’s health system. Today, Burma’s health indicators by official figures are among the worst in the region. However, information collected by the Back Pack Health Workers Team (BPHWT) on the eastern frontiers of the country, facing decades of civil war and widespread human rights abuses, indicate a far greater public health catastrophe in areas where official figures are not collected. In these eastern areas of Burma, standard public health indicators such as population pyramids, infant mortality rates, child mortality rates, and maternal mortality ratios more closely resemble other countries facing widespread humanitarian disasters, such as Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Angola, and Cambodia shortly after the ouster of the Khmer Rouge. The most common cause of death continues to be malaria, with over 12% of the population at any given time infected with Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous form of malaria. One out of every twelve women in this area may lose her life around the time of childbirth, deaths that are largely preventable. Malnutrition is unacceptably common, with over 15% of children at any time with evidence of at least mild malnutrition, rates far higher than their counterparts who have fled to refugee camps in Thailand. Knowledge of sanitation and safe drinking water use remains low. Human rights violations are very common in this population. Within the year prior, almost a third of households had suffered from forced labor, almost 10% forced displacement, and a quarter had had their food confiscated or destroyed. Approximately one out of every fifty households had suffered violence at the hands of soldiers, and one out of 140 households had a member injured by a landmine within the prior year alone. There also appear to be some regional variations in the patterns of human rights abuses. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in areas most solidly controlled by the SPDC and its allies, such as Karenni State and Pa’an District, faced more forced labor while those living in more contested areas, such as Nyaunglebin and Toungoo Districts, faced more forced relocation. Most other areas fall in between these two extremes. However, such patterns should be interpreted with caution, given that the BPHW survey was not designed to or powered to reliably detect these differences. Using epidemiologic tools, several human rights abuses were found to be closely tied to adverse health outcomes. Families forced to flee within the preceding twelve months were 2.4 times more likely to have a child (under age 5) die than those who had not been forcibly displaced. Households forced to flee also were 3.1 times as likely to have malnourished children compared to those in more stable situations. Food destruction and theft were also very closely tied to several adverse health consequences. Families which had suffered this abuse in the preceding twelve months were almost 50% more likely to suffer a death in the household. These households also were 4.6 times as likely to have a member suffer from a landmine injury, and 1.7 times as likely to have an adult member suffer from malaria, both likely tied to the need to forage in the jungle. Children of these households were 4.4 times as likely to suffer from malnutrition compared to households whose food supply had not been compromised. For the most common abuse, forced labor, families that had suffered from this within the past year were 60% more likely to have a member suffer from diarrhea (within the two weeks prior to the survey), and more than twice as likely to have a member suffer from night blindness (a measure of vitamin A deficiency and thus malnutrition) compared to families free from this abuse. Not only are many abuses linked statistically from field observations to adverse health consequences, they are yet another obstacle to accessing health care services already out of reach for the majority of IDP populations in the eastern conflict zones of Burma. This is especially clear with women’s reproductive health: forced displacement within the past year was associated with a 6.1 fold lower use of contraception. Given the high fertility rate of this population and the high prevalence of conditions such as malaria and malnutrition, the lack of access often is fatal, as reflected by the high maternal mortality ratio—as many as one in 12 women will die from pregnancy-related complications. This report is the first to measure basic public health indicators and quantify the extent of human rights abuses at the population level amongst IDP communities living in the eastern conflict zones of Burma. These results indicate that the poor health status of these IDP communities is intricately and inexorably linked to the human rights context in which health outcomes are observed. Without addressing factors which drive ill health and excess morbidity and mortality in these populations, such as widespread human rights abuses and inability to access healthcare services, a long-term, sustainable improvement in the public health of these areas cannot occur..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Back Pack Health Worker Team
Format/size: pdf (1.8MB, 2.2MB - English; 1,2MB - Burmese; 1.6MB - Thai)
Alternate URLs: http://burmalibrary.org/docs3/ChronicEmergencyE-ocr.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/ChronicEmergency(English%20ver).pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/ChronicEmergency(Burmese%20ver).pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/ChronicEmergency(Thai%20ver).pdf
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Chronic_Emergency-links.html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


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: NO STATUS: MIGRATION, TRAFFICKING & EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN IN THAILAND
Date of publication: 14 July 2004
Description/subject: I. Executive Summary; II. Introduction; III. Thailand: Background. IV. Burma: Background. V. Project Methodology; VI. Findings: Hill Tribe Women and Girls in Thailand; Burmese Migrant Women and Girls in Thailand; VII. Law and Policy – Thailand; VIII. Applicable International Human Rights Law; IX. Law and Policy – United States X. Conclusion and Expanded Recommendations..."This study was designed to provide critical insight and remedial recommendations on the manner in which human rights violations committed against Burmese migrant and hill tribe women and girls in Thailand render them vulnerable to trafficking,2 unsafe migration, exploitative labor, and sexual exploitation and, consequently, through these additional violations, to HIV/AIDS. This report describes the policy failures of the government of Thailand, despite a program widely hailed as a model of HIV prevention for the region. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) findings show that the Thai government's abdication of responsibility for uncorrupted and nondiscriminatory law enforcement and human rights protection has permitted ongoing violations of human rights, including those by authorities themselves, which have caused great harm to Burmese and hill tribe women and girls..."
Author/creator: Karen Leiter, Ingrid Tamm, Chris Beyrer, Moh Wit, Vincent Iacopino,. Holly Burkhalter, Chen Reis.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (853K)
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2004


Title: Fertility and abortion: Burmese women's health on the Thai-Burma border
Date of publication: January 2004
Description/subject: "In Thailand's Tak province there are 60,520 registered migrant workers and an estimated 150,000 unregistered migrant workers from Burma. Fleeing the social and political problems engulfing Burma, they are mostly employed in farming, garment making, domestic service, sex and construction industries. There is also a significant number of Burmese living in camps. Despite Thailand�s developed public health system and infrastructure, Burmese women face language and cultural barriers and marginal legal status as refugees in Thailand, as well as a lack of access to culturally appropriate and qualified reproductive health information and services..."
Author/creator: Suzanne Belton and Cynthia Maung
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forced Migration Review No. 19
Format/size: pdf (110K)
Date of entry/update: 08 June 2004


Title: REPORTS ON RIGHT TO HEALTH, HUMAN RIGHTS IN MYANMAR, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, BURUNDI, IRAQ DISCUSSED IN SOCIAL COMMITTEE
Date of publication: 13 November 2003
Description/subject: Draft Resolutions Introduced on Refugee Issues, Torture, Migrants, Human Rights Conventions, Israeli Children NEW YORK, 12 November (UN Headquarters) -- The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) focused on the human rights situations in Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Iraq and in the Palestinian territories. It also considered the right to health, as Special Rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights presented their reports today. Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said his November visit to Myanmar had revealed significant setbacks in the human rights situation there. Interviews with victims and eyewitnesses showed that the incident in Depayin, in May 2003, could not have happened without the connivance of State agents. Calling for the immediate release of all those detained or in house arrest, he said discussion with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had made clear that she would not accept freedom for herself until all those arrested had been released.
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Information Service
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 November 2010


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: 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: GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH: AN ANALYSIS OF MALARIA AND PUBLIC HEALTH LAW IN BURMA
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: With a Pilot Study on the Right to Health in Constitution. A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Master's in Law (LL.M) Table of Contents: Chapter I: Introduction... Chapter II: Malaria As Public Health Problem Globally and in Burma: 2.2 Malaria as a Global Public Health Problem; 2.2.1Basic Description of Malaria as a Disease; 2.3 The Global Disease Burden of Malaria; 2.3.1 Epidemiological Data; 2.3.2 Economic Cost of Malaria; 2.3.3 The Causal Factors Behind Malaria's Global Disease Burden; 2.3.3.1Health System Failure; 2.3.3.2 Drug Resistance; 2.3.3.3 Population Movement; 2.3.3.4 Deteriorating; 2.3.3.5 Poverty; 2.3.3.6 Environmental Degradation 2.4 Malaria as a Public Health Problem in Burma 2.4.1 The Burden of Malaria in Burma; 2.4.2 Causal Factors Behind Burma's Growing Malaria Problem; 2.4.2.1 Political Instability and Oppression; 2.4.2.2 Failure of the Burmese Public Health and Healthcare System; 2.4.2.3 Environmental Degradation Along Burma Frontier... Chapter III: Law, Public Health and Malaria in Burma: 3.2 Law and Public Health; 3.2.1 Public Health as a Government Responsibility; 3.2.2 Law as Critical to the Public Health Endeavor; 3.3 Gostin's Definition and Theory of Public Health; 3.3.1 Gostin's Definition of Public Health Law 3.3.2 Gostin's Theory of Public Health Law; 3.3.2.1 The Government; 3.2.2 Populations; 3.3.2.3 Relationships; 3.3.2.4 Services; 3.3.2.5 Coercion; 3.4 Law, Public Health, and Malaria Control in Burma; 3.4.1Burma and the Rule of Law; 3.4.2 Burmese Definition of Public Health Law; 3.4.2.1 Government; 3.4.2.2 Populations; 3.4.2.3 Relationships; 3.4.2.4 Services; 3.4.2.5 Coercion; 3.5 Lessons Learned from Applying Gostin's Theory of Public Health Law to Malaria Control in Burma... Chapter IV: Current Malaria Governance Initiatives: From the Global to the Local: 4.1 Introduction; 4.2 Initiatives on Global Health Governance for Malaria; 4.2.1 What is �Global Health Governance'? 4.2.2 Global Malaria Initiatives; 4.2.2.1 WHO's Roll Back Malaria; 4.2.2.2 Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) on Malaria Drug and Vaccine Developmen;t 4.2.2.3 The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; 4.3 Global Malaria Initiatives and National Malaria Governance in Burma; 4.3.1 Burma and the Roll Back Malaria Campaign; 4.3.2 Burma and the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) on Malaria Drug and Vaccine Development; 4.3.3 Burma and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; 4.4 Conclusion... Chapter V: The Need for The Right to Health: Burma New Constitution: 5.1 Introduction; 5.2 The Right to Health in International Law; 5.3 The Right to Health in Constitutional Law; 5.3.1 Why the Right to Health in Constitutional Law? 5.3.2 The Right to Health in the South African Constitution; 5.3.2.1 Soobramoney v. Minister of Health, KwaZulu-Natal; 5.3.2.2 Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), et al (Applicants) v. Minister of Health, et al (Respondents); 5.4 Building the Right to Health into the New Burmese Constitution; 5.4.1 Why Analyze the Draft Constitution?; 5.4.2 Analysis of the Lack of Specific Public Health Provisions in the Draft Constitution; 5.4.3 A Potential Right to Health Provision for the New Burmese Constitution; 5.5 Conclusion; Chapter VI: Conclusion...BIBLIOGRAPHY... APPENDICIES: A. Soobramoney v Minister of Health (Kwazulu-Natal) in Constitutional Court of South Africa, CCT32/97 (27 November 1997) http://www.concourt.gov.za/date1997.html; B. Minister of Health v Treatment Action Campaign in Constitutional Court of South Africa, CCT8/02 (5 July 2002) http://www.concourt.gov.za/date2002.html; C. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa: Chapter II, Bill of Rights; D. The Draft Constitution of the (Future) Federal Union of Burma Drafted by National Council of the Union of Burma: Chapter II, Basis Rights; E. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)... CV.
Author/creator: Amaya
Language: English
Source/publisher: Indiana University School of Law Graduate Legal Studies Department
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 February 2004


Title: Post Abortion Care: Who Cares?
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "This article is intended to give health workers an introduction into the individual implications of pregnancy loss as well as local issues on the Thai-Burma border and broader South-east Asian regional issues. I want to focus on the gender and social features rather than pure biomedical information, although this is of course highly important but is covered in other parts of this magazine. I will talk about some women�s stories that were collected in 2002 to outline typical cases, the reasons why the woman chose to end the pregnancy and impact on women�s lives. I will also present some findings from a medical records review conducted with the Mae Tao Clinic and discuss some findings from research in the international arena. So should we care about post abortion care? I hope to show that we should, as not only can it be a life threatening event for the woman but it reflects certain aspects about the communities we live in, social conditions, legal and religious norms, how we value human rights and the status of women..."
Author/creator: Suzanne Belton
Language: English
Source/publisher: Health Messenger
Format/size: html (60K)
Date of entry/update: 15 June 2004


Title: Lady’s Love Powder
Date of publication: June 2002
Description/subject: This article appeared in Burma - Women's Voices for Change, Thanakha Team, Bangkok, published by ALTSEAN in 2002... "...Unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are problems that many Burmese women face with little support and a poverty of health resources. Of course it is difficult to quantify such statements in light of the limited sharing of information that occurs between the Burman military government and the rest of the world. One informed source, Dr Ba Thike (1997), a doctor working in Burma, reported that in the 1980s abortion complications accounted for twenty percent of total hospital admissions and that for every three women admitted to give birth, one was admitted for abortion complications...The records at the Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand, a health service that offers reproductive health services to women coming from Burma as day visitors or as longer-term migrant workers, reflects a crisis in women�s health. In 2001, the Mae Tao Clinic documented 185 abortion complication cases (Out Patients Department) and 231 cases that needed to be admitted into the In-patients Department with complications such as sepsis, dehydration, haemorrhage and shock from abortions and miscarriage..."
Author/creator: Suzanne Belton (Ma Suu San)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma - Women
Format/size: html (24K)
Date of entry/update: 15 June 2004


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: Burma and AIDS: the Silent Crisis
Date of publication: 25 June 2001
Description/subject: HIV/AIDS infection has reached epidemic proportions in Burma today and reports by UN agencies as well as independent health professionals unanimously confirm this fact. Estimates suggest at least five percent of the population is infected. The alarming situation has become a national emergency that affects all groups, including non-Burman ethnic nationalities and the military. . . .
Author/creator: Dr. Thaung Htun, Director, Burma UN Service Office, New York
Language: English, Japanese
Source/publisher: NCGUB
Format/size: pdf, html
Alternate URLs: http://www.google.co.th/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=12&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.burmainfo.org%2FNCGUB...
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Amnesty International Medical Letter Writing Action
Date of publication: 05 May 2000
Description/subject: Lack of medical care in Myanmar prisons. Amnesty International is concerned about the poor health of many prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, resulting from torture and conditions amounting to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. These include lack of proper medical care and sanitation, extremely poor diet, and prolonged solitary confinement or overcrowding. In the last ten years dozens of political prisoners have died in custody as a consequence. Amnesty International is in particular concerned for the health of political prisoners U Tin Htun, U Ohn Kyaw, U Tun Aung Kyaw alias Thakhin Mipwar, Zaw Maung Maung Win and Nay Tinn Myint who all require urgent medical attention. Keywords: lack of medical care / prisoners of conscience
Language: English, Spanish
Source/publisher: Amnesty Internattional
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/003/2000/en/ff6b50b2-df30-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/003/2000/en/0b46be78-df31-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (Spanish)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/003/2000/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary # 94-April 16
Date of publication: 16 April 1994
Description/subject: "...On January 28, 1994 SLORC planes passed over the headquarters area of the New Mon State Party and sprayed a yellow powder which covered everything. The New Mon State Party says this has happened before, but the effects are not clear, no proper analysis has ever been done, and no one is quite sure what the SLORC is spraying. Now in the past 8 months in Karen areas hundreds of people have died of a disease like cholera or shigella, which has broken out in two different areas - only days after SLORC planes flew over the areas and dropped mysterious "radiosonde" electronic weather devices. [For details, see "Is the SLORC Using Bacteriological Warfare?", KHRG 15/3/94]. Nothing is certain, but more evidence is forthcoming. What is the SLORC doing? At least one of the Karen disease areas, in Thaton District, is the same area where SLORC's notorious 99 Division has been unsuccessfully using terror for the past 2 years to drive the entire civilian population either into camps or out of the area. The disease is now helping that to happen. For the moment, the situation still presents more questions than answers, such as if there is no connection between the air drops and the disease, then why is the SLORC dropping strange devices in an area which they do not even control? If no one else can answer these questions, then the SLORC should - and it may be up to foreign governments to make them do so..." "...The UNHCR has always refused to acknowledge the existence of ethnic refugees from Burma in Thailand for its own political reasons. In the crisis the refugees are now facing, as one diplomat in Bangkok put it, "The UNHCR is going to need a lot of pushing to do anything. They've got a sweet deal with SLORC on the Bangladesh border, and they don't want to mess that up by doing anything for refugees on this side." Who is the UNHCR supposed to be working for, refugees or SLORC? Their absolute refusal to do anything at all to prevent a possible mass forced repatriation and the resulting human disaster is nothing short of criminal. If Commissioner Sadako Ogata, once a UN Special Rapporteur on Burma herself, doesn't care about the lives of 100,000 refugees from Burma in Thailand, then she should be sacked and replaced with someone who does. Unfortunately, she would have to be sacked by the UN Secretary-General, the very same Boutros Boutros-Ghali who was told to intervene in Burma by the General Assembly almost 5 months ago and hasn't even uttered a word about Burma since. If the UN High Commissioner for Refugees isn't answerable to refugees and the UN Secretary-General isn't answerable to the United Nations, then their job descriptions are sorely in need of an overhaul..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG )
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009