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Home > Main Library > Internal Displacement/Forced Migration > Burma: Internal displacement/forced migration of individual ethnic groups > Internal displacement/forced migration of Karen villagers

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Internal displacement/forced migration of Karen villagers

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Inside News"
Description/subject: 4 issues a year on landmines, forced relocation, Burma army attacks, IDP health, education and many other issues affecting Internally Displaced Karen People.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP)
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.newsinside.wordpress.com/ ("Inside News" blog)
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2009


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


Individual Documents

Title: Hpapun Interview: Saw B---, October 2016
Date of publication: 02 March 2017
Description/subject: "The following Interview was conducted by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It was conducted in Hpapun District on October 12th 2016 and is presented below translated exactly as it was received, save for minor edits for clarity and security.This interview was received along with other information from Hpapun District, including six other interviews and 62 photographs."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (239K)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/sites/default/files/16-84-a2-_i1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2017


Title: Hpa-an Interview: Saw A--- and Saw B---, October 2016
Date of publication: 20 February 2017
Description/subject: "This Interview with Saw A--- and Saw B--- describes events occurring in Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District before September 2016, including forced labour, forced porters, arbitrary demands and fighting between armed groups. Between 2014 and 2016, the villagers who live in E--- and F--- villages, Meh Proo village tract, were forced to do forced labour for the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) led by Commander-in-Chief, Kyaw Thet, and Second Commander-in-Chief, Bo Bee. Before fighting broke out in September 2016 between the Border Guard Force, assisted by the Tatmadaw, and the DKBA, villagers from E--- and F--- villages were forced to porter rations and woven baskets containing landmines by the DKBA. The DKBA arbitrarily demanded 100 baskets of husked rice from E--- and G--- villages to store and use during the fighting. Between 400 and 500 villagers in Meh Proo village tract fled to D--- village because of the fighting between the BGF, aided by the Tatmadaw, and the DKBA, in September 2016."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.12MB)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/sites/default/files/16-86-a3-i1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2017


Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw A---, January 2016
Date of publication: 02 February 2017
Description/subject: "This Interview with Saw A--- describes an arbitrary arrest that occurred in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District, in January 2016. Saw A--- describes how he was arrested and sued because of a demonstration, which he and other people held against Kaung Myanmar Aung Company on January 12th 2016 after the company confiscated villagers’ lands. Saw A--- faces criminal charges for using a loudspeaker, as it broke the law against the disturbance of public peace. Chief of Police, Aye Zaw from No. 2 Police Station, Toungoo District, submitted the charge against him as a complainant."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (579K)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/sites/default/files/16-10-a8-i1_pdf.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2017


Title: Myanmar: Asia World and Shwe Padonmar Companies sue returning internally displaced persons for trespass
Date of publication: 08 November 2016
Description/subject: "Internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their former villages are being sued for trespass by the Asia World and Shwe Padonmar companies who claim the land was given to them for palm oil plantations…"
Author/creator: Saw Tun Linn
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma News International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2016


Title: Legal Memorandum: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Eastern Myanmar
Date of publication: 05 November 2014
Description/subject: Conclusion: "...This memorandum describes a Myanmar military counterinsurgency offensive that involved the widespread targeting of civilians in northern Kayin State and eastern Bago Division. Myanmar Army soldiers fired mortars at villages, opened fire on fleeing villagers, destroyed homes, laid landmines in civilian locations, forced villagers to work and porter, and captured and executed civilians. The impact on the population was massive. Tens of thousands of individuals were displaced during the campaign and many were killed. In Thandaung Township—the area which was the focus of the Clinic’s investigation—nearly every village was affected by the Offensive and almost all of the villagers residing in black areas were forced to flee. Evidence collected by the Clinic during the investigation demonstrates that the actions of Myanmar Army personnel during the Offensive constitute crimes under international criminal law. These crimes include the war crimes of attacking civilians, displacing civilians, destroying or seizing the enemy’s property, pillage, murder, execution without due process, torture, and outrages upon personal dignity, and the crimes against humanity of forcible transfer of a population, murder, enslavement, torture, and other inhumane acts. The Clinic has also collected evidence relevant to the war crime of rape, as well as the crimes against humanity of rape and persecution. More research and analysis is necessary to determine whether these crimes could be included in a criminal case associated with the Offensive..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School
Format/size: pdf (850-reduced version; 4.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014.11.05-IHRC-Legal-Memorandum.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2014


Title: Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh Dam construction site in Toungoo
Date of publication: 23 August 2012
Description/subject: "This Photo Set presents 17 still photographs taken by a local community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The photos were all taken in March 2012 at the Toh Boh Dam construction site in Tantabin Township within locally-defined Toungoo District. According to the community member who took these photos, more than 100 households have been relocated from the area now occupied by the dam construction site, where construction is ongoing."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (240K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg12b71_0.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/KHRG/KHRG%202012/KHRG-2012-08-23-Photo_Set_More_than_100_households_dis...
Date of entry/update: 24 August 2012


Title: Papun Situation Update: Lu Thaw Township, November 2011
Date of publication: 17 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager living in a hiding site in northern Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. The villager described an incident that occurred in October 2011 in which Tatmadaw soldiers fired six mortar shells into an area in which civilians are actively seeking to avoid attacks by Tatmadaw troops; no one was killed or injured during the attack. This situation update places the occurrence of such incidents in the context of the repeated and prolonged displacement of villagers in northern Luthaw who continue to actively seek to avoid contact with government troops due to ongoing attacks against civilian objects. The villager who wrote this report raised concerns about food shortages in hiding site areas where the presence of Tatmadaw soldiers proximate to previously cultivated land has resulted in overcrowding on available farmland and the subsequent degradation of soil quality, severely limiting villagers' abilities to support themselves using traditional rotational cropping methods. For detailed analysis of the humanitarian situation in this area of Luthaw Township, see the previous KHRG report Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District, published in April 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (274K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg12b3.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2012-01-17-Papun_Situation_Update_Lu_Thaw_Township_November...
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August 2011
Date of publication: 06 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Papun District in January 2011 and human rights consequences for local communities. It contains updated information concerning Tatmadaw military activities and details the following human rights abuses: coordinated attacks on villages by Tatmadaw and Border Guard troops and the firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas, resulting in displacement of the civilian population and the closure of two schools; the use of landmines by the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups; and forced portering for the Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guards. The report also mentions government plans for a logging venture and the construction of a dam. Moreover, it documents villagers’ responses to human rights concerns, including strategic displacement to avoid attacks and forced labour entailing physical security risks to civilians; advance preparation for strategic displacement in the event of Tatmadaw attacks; and seeking the protection of non-state armed groups against Tatmadaw attacks and other human rights threats."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (254K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b35.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-10-06-Papun_Situation_Update_Bu_Tho_Township_August_20...
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw T---, December 2010
Date of publication: 05 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in December 2010 in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 59-year-old village head who, at the time of interview, was in hiding from Tatmadaw troops in an area of Tenasserim Division beyond government control. Excerpts from Saw T---’s interview with KHRG have been published in the previous KHRG field report “Militarization, Development and Displacement: Conditions for villagers in southern Tenasserim Division” however, the full transcript of his testimony is now available below. Saw T--- described witnessing attacks on villagers by Tatmadaw soldiers and cited regular demands for villagers to serve as forced porters for the Tatmadaw and other forms of forced labour as one of the main factors which originally motivated him to go into hiding. Saw T--- explained that villagers in hiding employ a range of strategies to avoid Tatmadaw forces, including coordinating security strategies and sharing information with villagers at other hiding sites, maintaining contact with and seeking protection from non-state armed groups, cultivating crops that are easy to harvest quickly, travelling covertly to villages in mixed-administration areas in order to engage in trade and other livelihoods activities, and crossing vehicle roads during the night."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b34.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b34.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw K---, August 2011
Date of publication: 15 September 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in August 2011. The KHRG researcher interviewed Saw K---, a 30-year-old medic with the Backpack Health Worker Team (BPHWT), an organisation that provides health care and medical assistance to displaced civilians inside Burma. Saw K--- described witnessing a joint attack by Tatmadaw soldiers from three different battalions on a civilian settlement in Ma No Roh village tract, Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division in January 2011. Saw K--- reported that mortars were fired into P--- village, causing residents and Saw K---, who was providing healthcare support in P--- village at that time, to flee. Saw K--- reported that Tatmadaw soldiers subsequently entered P--- village and burned down 17 houses, as well as rice barns and food stores belonging to villagers, before planting landmines in the village. According to Saw K---, the residents of P--- have not returned to their homes, and have been unable to coordinate to restart the school that was abandoned in P--- because most households now live at dispersed sites in the area."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (149K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b30.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-09-15-Tenasserim_Interview_Saw_K_August_2011-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


Title: Papun Incident Reports: November 2010 to January 2011
Date of publication: 24 August 2011
Description/subject: This report contains 12 incident reports written by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions, based on information provided by 12 different villagers living in hiding sites in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District between November 2010 and January 2011.[1] The twelve villagers described human rights concerns for civilians prior to and during displacement to their current hiding sites, including: deliberate firing of mortars and small arms into civilian areas; burning and destruction of houses, food and food preparation equipment; theft and looting of villagers' animals and possessions; and use of landmines by the Tatmadaw, non-state armed groups, and local gher der 'home guard' groups in civilian areas, resulting in at least one civilian death and two civilian injuries. The reports register villagers' serious concerns about food security in hiding areas beyond Tatmadaw control, caused by effective limits on access to arable land due to the risk of attack when villagers cultivating land proximate to Tatmadaw camps, depletion of soil fertility in cultivable areas, and a drought during the 2010 rainy season which triggered widespread paddy crop failure.[2] To address the threat of Tatmadaw attacks targeting villagers, their food stores and livelihoods activities, villagers reported that they form gher der groups to monitor and communicate Tatmadaw activity; utilise early-warning systems; and communicate amongst themselves and with non-state armed groups to share information about Tatmadaw troop movements. Two villagers stated that the deployment of landmines by gher der groups and KNLA soldiers prevents access to civilian areas by Tatmadaw troops and facilitates security for villagers to pursue their agricultural activities. Another villager described how his community maintained communal agricultural projects to support families at risk from food shortages. These reports were received by KHRG in May 2011, along with other information concerning the situation in Papun District, including 11 other incident reports, 25 interviews, 137 photographs and a general update on the situation in Lu Thaw Township.[3]
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (840K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b25.pdf

http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-08-24-Papun_Incident_Reports_November_2010_to_January_...
Date of entry/update: 12 February 2012


Title: The world's longest ongoing war (video)
Date of publication: 11 August 2011
Description/subject: "For more than 60 years, Karen rebels have been fighting a civil war against the government of Myanmar...In February 1949, members of the Karen ethnic minority launched an armed insurrection against Myanmar's central government. In pictures: Sixty years of war. Over 60 years later, the conflict continues, with more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups waging war against the army in their fight for self-rule. Now, the war is entering a new and bloody stage. Myanmar is the only regime still regularly planting anti-personnel mines. But it is not only the army that uses them. Rebel groups also regularly use homemade landmines or mines seized from the military. As the conflict escalates, civilians are trapped in the middle of some of the worst fighting in decades. 101 East travels to Myanmar, home to the world's longest running civil war."
Language: English, Karen (English sub-titles)
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


Title: Dooplaya Interview: U Sa---, July 2011
Date of publication: 22 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in July 2011 with a villager from Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District. The researcher interviewed U Sa---, who described how his family and other residents of Pa--- village faced threats and abuses from Tatmadaw soldiers after local DKBA forces captured a Tatmadaw soldier at his home on June 15th 2011. U Sa--- described the following abuses: threats to burn or shell civilian areas; shelling of civilian areas; indiscriminate use of small arms in civilian areas; the taking of civilians as hostages; threats to kill civilians; and the imposition of movement restrictions, including threats to shoot villagers violating restrictions on sight. U Sa--- explained that he and his family fled Pa--- on June 16th to avoid these threats; as of July 3rd, they did not yet feel safe to return to their home. This interview was conducted by a KHRG researcher in July 2011; other details on the situation in Pa--- village after June 15th, including a general situation update, one incident report, and three photographs were submitted by a different KHRG researcher in June and July 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (464K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b17_0.pdf

http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-07-22-Dooplaya_Interview_U_Sa_July_2011-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
Date of publication: 20 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcripts of three interviews conducted during March and April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The three female interviewees described the following abuses: attacks on villages, villagers and livelihoods; killing of villagers; theft and looting; taxation and demands; forced displacement; and forced labour, including the production and supply of building materials and forced portering. They also raised concerns regarding food shortage, the provision of education for children during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attacks, and access to healthcare. One of the women explained that villagers communicate with non-state armed groups and other villagers to share information about Tatmadaw movements, prepare secret caches of food in the forest outside their village in case of a Tatmadaw attack, and hold school classes outside of their village in agricultural areas during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attack. These interviews were received along with other information from Toungoo District, including a general update on the situation in Toungoo District, ten incident reports, seven other interviews and 350 photographs.Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (139K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/2011/07/11-63-t6-i1/toungoo-interviews-march-and-april-2011
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b16.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Three villagers killed, eight injured during fighting in Kyaikdon area
Date of publication: 17 May 2011
Description/subject: "Research submitted by a KHRG field researcher indicates that fighting between DKBA and Tatmadaw troops between April 22nd and April 30th 2011 in Kya In Township has left at least three civilians dead and eight injured. The indiscriminate firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas by armed groups involved in the conflict, and conflict related abuse including an explicit threat by Tatmadaw forces to burn civilians' homes, caused at least 143 villagers from Gkyaw Hta, Khoh Htoh, T'Aye Shay and Mae Naw Ah villages to seek refuge in the Ra--- area of Thailand between April 22nd and 30th 2011. As of May 13th 2011, KHRG confirmed that the firing of mortars and small arms was ongoing in the areas of K'Lay Kee and Noh Taw Plah, and that some villagers continued to seek refuge at discreet locations in Thailand."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (503K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b6.pdf

http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-05-17-Three_villagers_killed_eight_injured_during_figh...
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District
Date of publication: 11 May 2011
Description/subject: "At least 8,885 villagers in 118 villages in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District have either exhausted their current food supplies or are expecting to do so prior to the October 2011 harvest. The 118 villages are located in nine village tracts, where attacks on civilians by Burma's state army, the Tatmadaw, have triggered wide scale and repeated displacement since 1997. As tens of thousands of civilians in northern Karen State have been displaced, over-population in hiding areas where civilians can more effectively avoid attacks has created shortages of arable land, depleted soil fertility and reduced potential crop yields. Civilians forced to cultivate land or live near Tatmadaw camps, meanwhile, have faced recent attacks, including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on food supplies, buildings and livelihoods. These existing obstacles to food security were compounded by an unusually dry rainy season in 2010, coupled with other environmental factors, causing the 2010 harvest to fail. The impact of acute food shortages on the civilian population is magnified by budgetary constraints of local relief organisations, which can access the affected area but are currently unable to provide emergency assistance to many of those facing food shortages. This regional report is based on research conducted by KHRG researchers in Lu Thaw Township in February and March 2011, including 41 interviews with villagers and village and village tract leaders in the affected areas. This research was augmented by interviews with members of local relief organisations in February, March and April 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.31MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg1101.pdf

http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-05-11-Acute_food_shortages_threatening_8885_villagers_...
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Pa'an interviews: Conditions for villagers returned from temporary refuge sites in Tha Song Yang
Date of publication: 06 May 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcripts of seven interviews conducted between June 1st and June 18th 2010 in Dta Greh Township, Pa'an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed seven villagers from two villages in Wah Mee Gklah village tract, after they had returned to Burma following initial displacement into Thailand during May and June 2009. The interviewees report that they did not wish to return to Burma, but felt they had to do so as the result of pressure and harassment by Thai authorities. The interviewees described the following abuses since their return, including: the firing of mortars and small arms at villagers; demands for villagers to porter military supplies, and for the payment of money in lieu of the provision of porters; theft and looting of villagers' houses and possessions; and threats from unexploded ordnance and the use of landmines, including consequences for livelihoods and injuries to civilians. All seven interviewees also raised specific concerns regarding the food security of villagers returned to Burma following their displacement into Thailand."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (836K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b5.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b5.html
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Tatmadaw attacks destroy civilian property and displace villages in northern Papun District
Date of publication: 08 April 2011
Description/subject: "Tatmadaw forces continue to deliberately target civilians, civilian settlements and food supplies in northern Papun District. On February 25th 2011 shelling directed at communities in Saw Muh Bplaw, Ler Muh Bplaw and Plah Koh village tracts in Lu Thaw Township displaced residents of 14 villages as they sought temporary refuge at hiding sites in the forest. After villagers fled, Tatmadaw troops looted civilians' possessions, burned parts of settlement areas and destroyed buildings and food stores in Dteh Neh village. No civilian deaths or injuries were reported to result from this shelling; local village heads confirmed that all villagers affected managed to flee to safe locations during the shelling, many because of warnings received through a locally-developed system to alert community members of attacks. This report is informed by KHRG photo documentation, as well as interviews with and written testimony from a total of nine village heads, village tract leaders and village officials from communities located or hiding in the affected area. An additional 41 interviews conducted during February and March 2011 in Lu Thaw Township were also drawn upon."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg11b4.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2011-04-08-Tatmadaw_attacks_destroy_civilian_property_and_d...
Date of entry/update: 27 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: Villagers flee to avoid fighting and portering: Conflict continues to impact civilians in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 04 December 2010
Description/subject: "Civilians in Dooplaya District continue to be impacted by conflict between the Tatmadaw and armed Karen groups, who have increased fighting in the area since November 7th 2010. The situation around Palu village remains highly unstable; in order to avoid conflict and conflict-related abuse, civilians are moving frequently between their homes and fields, more secure locations outside the village and along the Moei River, and both official and unofficial locations in Thailand's Phop Phra District. Residents of the community have told KHRG that they believe male villagers face a serious threat of being forcibly recruited as porters to support re-supply operations of Tatmadaw units deployed in the area, and that men in Palu are actively avoiding encountering Tatmadaw troops."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (301K)
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


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: DKBA burns village and forces residents to relocate in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 04 June 2010
Description/subject: DKBA soldiers in Dta Greh Township, Pa'an District, have burnt the small village of Gk'Law Lu and forced its residents to relocate. This incident is the second time Gk'Law Lu has been burnt and relocated by DKBA soldiers: the village was first burnt and residents forcibly relocated in October 2008. Relocated families, meanwhile, may face serious threats to their livelihoods if potential DKBA travel restrictions and risks from landmines limit access to farm fields in their home village.
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B9)
Format/size: pdf (428K)
Alternate URLs: https://web.archive.org/web/20100730232942/http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: Attacks and displacement in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 09 April 2010
Description/subject: "At least 2,000 villagers have been displaced by SPDC Army attacks on villages in northern and central Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District. At least four villagers have been killed, while abandoned villages have been burned, including one clinic. More than ten schools have also been abandoned, disrupting students during their exam period. SPDC Army battalions conducted resupply operations at the end of February and KHRG field researchers predict attacks will soon resume."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B6)
Format/size: html, pdf (306K and 520K English; 56K and 117K - Appendix)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/KHRG-2010-04-09-Attacks_and_displacement_in_Nyaunglebin_District...

https://web.archive.org/web/20100429223005/http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b6.pdf
https://web.archive.org/web/20100429223013/http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b6_Appendix.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Attacks on displaced villagers in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 22 January 2010
Description/subject: "On January 17th 2010 the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Army set up a camp at Kheh Der village tract, Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District. At least 1,000 residents of the ten villages that made up Khe Der tract have fled to avoid attack.[1] KHRG has also confirmed that these SPDC troops have killed two villagers, including a village head, from Kheh Der..." "At least 1,000 villagers have fled from ten villages during the last five days following the establishment of a new SPDC Army camp in central Nyaunglebin District. Two villagers in the area of the camp are confirmed to have been killed by soldiers from this camp. Three other villagers are missing after another SPDC battalion attacked a party of villagers that had escaped from an SPDC relocation site to tend to their farms..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010 B-1)
Format/size: pdf (492 KB)
Alternate URLs: https://web.archive.org/web/20100129181233/http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 March 2010


Title: Life in Burma’s Relocation Sites
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: :Widespread human rights violations have been occurring in ethnic areas of Burma since the late nineteen sixties. This report, based on a 2008/9 field survey, focuses on the government’s use of mass displacement and relocation designed to destabilize the ethnic populations of Karen State. The government first initiated a policy of ethnic relocation in Karen State in 1975 as part of what became known as the four cuts campaign, a policy intended to deprive the ethnic resistance movement of food, money, intelligence and recruits. While noting the existence of such earlier camps, this report specifically examines the lives of people living in sites after a further concerted effort to control the civilian population was initiated in 2006. This report identifies three types of site created by the military regime. The first, roughly translated from Burmese as ‘model’ villages, are some of the most recent examples and have been created under the guise of development; the second type, initiated in 1979, are primarily security driven and have resulted in highland villages being relocated to the plains; the third, which are also security initiated and mainly located in Taungoo, consists of villages cleared from areas of military infrastructure. Villagers in this latter type, unlike the previous two, have been given no provision for relocation; rather, the population was told to vacate the area with little regard as to where they would go. Relocated villagers, despite the fact that purported contact with resistance forces has all but been eradicated, continue to face severe abuses by Burmese authorities. Forced labour on infrastructure projects and military controlled business is widespread. Villagers are ordered to act as sentries, messengers, porters and minesweepers by the Burma Army. Corruption and illegal taxation is prevalent in all the sites assessed. In addition, the opportunity for making a living has been drastically reduced. Malnutrition, especially in infants, has increased and is exacerbated by army restrictions that prevent villagers from access to food, medicine and education. This report identifies serious issues of concern that continue to affect the ethnic populations of Burma. It highlights the government’s disregard for the rights of its people and its blatant use of the local population as little more than a captive workforce to be used as the military dictates."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ethnic Nationalities Council
Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 August 2010


Title: Finding Food in Fear/Living in Fear (video)
Date of publication: 2010
Description/subject: Finding Food in Fear/Living in Fear Introduction for ‘one family’.... In February 2010, Burma Issues conducted a field trip inside Karen State to raise internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) awareness of the upcoming elections. While they were watching a video, the township where the IDPs were staying was attacked by the Burmese army. They had to flee into the jungle and our cameraman decided to follow. He became particularly interested in one family – a grandmother, 2 parents and 4 young children – who have endured permanent displacement for 3 generations. For 4 months he became deeply involved with them and managed to film an intimate portrait of their daily struggles. He then returned after a period of time to assess if their lives had improved. They hadn’t. As the family had to leave all of their possessions behind their life is now a cyclical nightmare. Every time they manage to build a hut for shelter, or manage to plant a basic crop, they have to flee from violence. Soldiers and landmines ensure that returning is out of the question. They manage to keep on building new shelters but never manage to make a home. Although shot in eastern Burma, this video highlights the plight of the countless millions of IDPs across the country who have to contend with extreme violence, food shortages and a lack of access to health care and education."
Language: Karen (English sub-titles)
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: Adobe Flash (duration 4 minutes 43 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2011


Title: Living conditions for displaced villagers and ongoing abuses in Tenasserim Division
Date of publication: 29 October 2009
Description/subject: "Villagers in SPDC-controlled parts of Tenasserim Division, including 60 villages forced to move to government relocation sites in 1996, continue to face abuses including movement restrictions, forced labour and arbitrary demands for 'taxation' and other payments. In response, thousands of villagers continue to evade SPDC control in upland jungle areas. These villagers report that they are pursued by Burma Army patrols, which shoot them on sight, plant landmines and destroy paddy fields and food stores. This report primarily draws on information from September 2009. Because KHRG has not released a field report on the region since 2001, this report also includes quotes and photographs from research dating back to 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F19)
Format/size: html, pdf (473K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f19.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2009


Title: Starving them out: Food shortages and exploitative abuse in Papun District
Date of publication: 15 October 2009
Description/subject: "As the 2009 rainy season draws to a close, displaced villagers in northern Papun District's Lu Thaw Township face little prospect of harvesting sufficient paddy to support them over the next year. After four straight agricultural cycles disrupted by Burma Army patrols, which continue to shoot villagers on sight and enforce travel and trade restrictions designed to limit sale of food to villagers in hiding, villagers in northern Papun face food shortages more severe than anything to hit the area since the Burma Army began attempts to consolidate control of the region in 1997. Consequently, the international donor community should immediately provide emergency support to aid groups that can access IDP areas in Lu Thaw Township. In southern Papun, meanwhile, villagers report ongoing abuses and increased activity by the SPDC and DKBA in Dwe Loh and Bu Thoh townships. In these areas, villagers report abuses including movement restrictions, forced labour, looting, increased placement of landmines in civilian areas, summary executions and other forms of arbitrary abuse. This report documents abuses occurring between May and October 2009..."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2009-F18)
Format/size: html, pdf (861 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f18.pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 October 2009


Title: Abuse, Poverty and Migration: Investigating migrants' motivations to leave home in Burma
Date of publication: 10 July 2009
Description/subject: "International reporting of the large-scale migration of those leaving Burma in search of work abroad has highlighted the perils for migrant during travel and in host countries. However, there has been a lack of research in the root causes of this migration. Identifying the root causes of migration has important implications for the assistance and protection of these migrants. Drawing on over 150 interviews with villagers in rural Burma and those from Burma who have sought employment abroad, this report identifies the exploitative abuse underpinning poverty and livelihoods vulnerability in Burma which, in turn, are major factors motivating individuals to leave home and seek work abroad..." _Thailand-based interviewees explained to KHRG how exploitative abuses increased poverty, livelihoods vulnerability and food insecurity for themselves and their communities in Burma. These issues were in turn cited as central push factors compelling them to leave their homes and search for work abroad. In some cases, interviewees explained that the harmful effects of exploitative abuse were compounded by environmental and economic factors such as flood and drought and limited access to decent wage labour.[17] While the individuals interviewed by KHRG in Thailand would normally be classified as 'economic migrants', the factors which they cited as motivating their choice to migrate make it clear that SPDC abuse made it difficult for them to survive in their home areas. Hence, these people decided to become migrants not simply because they were lured to Thailand by economic incentives, but because they found it impossible to survive at home in Burma. Clearly, the distinction between push and pull factors is blurred in the case of Burmese migrants. The concept of pull factors for migrants is further complicated because migrants are not merely seeking better jobs abroad, but are instead pulled to places like Thailand and Malaysia in order to access protection. For refugees and IDPs, protection is a service that is often provided by government bodies, UN agencies and international NGOs. For refugees in particular, protection is often primarily understood to mean legal protection against refoulement - defined as the expulsion of a person to a place where they would face persecution. Beyond legal protection against refoulement, aid agencies have implemented specific forms of rights-based assistance, such as gender-based violence programmes, as part of their protection mandates. However, for migrants from Burma the act of leaving home is overwhelmingly a self-initiated protection strategy through which individuals can ensure their and their families' basic survival in the face of persistent exploitative and other abuse in their home areas. This broader understanding of protection goes beyond legal protection against refoulement and the top-down delivery of rights-based assistance by aid agencies. It involves actions taken by individuals on their own accord to lessen or avoid abuse and its harmful effects at home.[18] KHRG has chosen to use the term self-initiated protection strategy, rather than a more generic concept like 'survival strategy', in order to highlight the political agency of those who choose such migration. By seeing this protection in political terms, one can better understand both the abusive underpinnings of migration from Burma as well as the relevance of such migration to the protection mandates of governments, UN agencies and international NGOs currently providing support to conventional refugee populations. Understanding protection in this way presents opportunities for external support for the many self-initiated protection strategies (including efforts to secure employment without exploitation, support dependent family members, enrol children in school and avoid arrest, extortion and deportation) which migrant workers regularly use._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2009-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2009


Title: Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa-an District
Date of publication: 29 June 2009
Description/subject: "While recent media attention has focused on the joint SPDC/DKBA attacks on the KNLA in Pa'an District and the dramatic exodus of at least 3,000 refugees from the area of Ler Per Her IDP camp into Thailand, the daily grind of exploitative treatment by DKBA forces continues to occur across the region. This report presents a breakdown of DKBA Brigade #999 battalions, some recent cases of exploitative abuse by this unit in Pa'an District and a brief overview of the group's transformation into a Border Guard Force as part of the SPDC's planned 2010-election process, in which the DKBA has sought to significantly expand its numbers. Amongst those forcibly recruited for this transformation process was a 17-year-old child soldier injured in the fighting at Ler Per Her, whose testimony is included here..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F11)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: IDP conditions and the rape of a young girl in Papun District
Date of publication: 11 April 2009
Description/subject: "This report describes SPDC operations in and around internally displaced person hiding sites in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. Villagers in this area continue to face constant physical threats and food insecurity caused by SPDC patrols-indeed, residents have been prevented from consistently accessing their farm fields for so long that they now face a dire food crisis. This report also details the rape of a 13-year-old girl by an SPDC soldier in Dweh Loh Township and the local military commander's attempt to cover up the incident. This report examines cases of SPDC abuse from December 2008 to March 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F8)
Format/size: html, pdf (881 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f8.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: IDP responses to food shortages in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 10 April 2009
Description/subject: "Since the beginning of 2009, SPDC troops have patrolled areas near displaced hiding sites in Nyaunglebin District. These patrols prevent displaced villagers from cultivating their secret crops or otherwise accessing food, which in turn exacerbates food insecurity for these civilians. Despite such hardships, villagers have responded by cooperating with each other-often sharing food or helping each other cultivate crops and sell goods in 'jungle markets'. This report describes the situation of displaced villagers in Nyaunglebin District from December 2008 to March 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F7)
Format/size: html, pdf (751 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: The Karen struggle (Video)
Date of publication: 21 February 2009
Description/subject: Untold stories in Myanmar obscured by the catastrophic Cyclone Nargis...based on a media trip organised by Burma Campaign UK
Author/creator: Simon Ostrovsky (Director)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al-Jazeera (Listening Post) via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash (9 minutes, 52 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2009


Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Papun District
Date of publication: 04 February 2009
Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in the Lu Thaw and Dweh Loh townships of Papun District. Abuses have been particularly harsh in Lu Thaw, most of which has been designated a "black area" by the SPDC and so subject to constant attacks by Burma Army forces. Villagers who decide to remain in their home areas are often forced to live in hiding and not only face constant threats of violence by the SPDC, but also a worsening food crisis due to the SPDC's disruption of planting cycles. This report covers events in Papun District from August 2008 to January 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F2)
Format/size: html, pdf (578 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg09f2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: Cycles of Displacement: Forced relocation and civilian responses in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 12 January 2009
Description/subject: "Over the past three years, the Burma Army has conducted an extensive forced relocation campaign in Nyaunglebin District. As part of the wider offensive in northern Karen State, the forced relocations in Nyaunglebin District have aimed to bring the region's entire civilian population into more easily controllable settlements in the plains, along vehicle roads and alongside army camps and bases. Local villagers, however, have resisted these efforts in numerous ways. Villagers' resistance strategies include: fleeing into hiding to evade forced relocation; negotiating with local SPDC commanders to avoid relocation or garner increased freedom of movement at relocation sites; and covertly leaving relocation sites to temporarily or permanently return to their former homes and lands. The Burma Army's attacks against civilian communities in hiding, combined with forced relocation efforts and civilian evasion in Nyaunglebin District, have created ongoing cycles of displacement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2009-01)
Format/size: html, pdf (6.1 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg0901.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2009


Title: The “Everyday Politics” of IDP Protection in Karen State
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Abstract: "While international humanitarian access in Burma has opened up over the past decade and a half, the ongoing debate regarding the appropriate relationship between politics and humanitarian assistance remains unresolved. This debate has become especially limiting in regards to protection measures for internally displaced persons (IDPs) which are increasingly seen to fall within the mandate of humanitarian agencies. Conventional IDP protection frameworks are biased towards a top-down model of politicallyaverse intervention which marginalises local initiatives to resist abuse and hinders local control over protection efforts. Yet such local resistance strategies remain the most effective IDP protection measures currently employed in Karen State and other parts of rural Burma. Addressing the protection needs and underlying humanitarian concerns of displaced and potentially displaced people is thus inseparable from engagement with the “everyday politics” of rural villagers. This article seeks to challenge conventional notions of IDP protection that prioritise a form of state-centric “neutrality” and marginalise the “everyday politics” through which local villagers continue to resist abuse and claim their rights..."..... ISSN: 1868-4882 (online), ISSN: 1868-1034 (print)
Author/creator: Stephen Hull
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 28, 2, 7-21.
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2011


Title: Human minesweeping and forced relocation as SPDC and DKBA step up joint operations in Pa'an District (English and Karen)
Date of publication: 20 October 2008
Description/subject: "Since the end of September 2008, SPDC and DKBA troops have begun preparing for what KHRG researchers expect to be a renewed offensive against KNU/KNLA-controlled areas in Pa'an District. These activities match a similar increase in joint SPDC-DKBA operations in Dooplaya District further south where these groups have conducted attacks against villagers and KNU/KNLA targets over the past couple of weeks. The SPDC and DKBA soldiers operating in Pa'an District have forced villagers to carry supplies, food and weapons for their combined armies and also to walk in front of their columns as human minesweepers. This report includes the case of two villagers killed by landmines during October while doing such forced labour, as well as the DKBA's forced relocation of villages in T'Moh village tract of Dta Greh township, demands for forced labourers from the relocated communities and the subsequent flight of relocated villagers to KNLA-controlled camps in Pa'an District as a means to escape this abuse; all of which took place in October 2008."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (534K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08b11.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


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: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 01 August 2008
Description/subject: "SPDC troops have continued to target internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Toungoo District. Civilians continue be killed or injured by the attacks while many of the survivors flee their homes and take shelter in forest hiding sites. Some who have moved into SPDC forced relocation sites continue to secretly return to their villages to cultivate their crops, constantly risking punishment or execution by troops patrolling the areas. The SPDC's repeated disruption of regular planting cycles has created a food crisis in Toungoo, further endangering the IDPs living there. This report examines the abuses in Toungoo District from April to June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F9)
Format/size: html, pdf (880 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Attacks, forced labour and restrictions in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 01 July 2008
Description/subject: "While the rainy season is now underway in Karen state, Burma Army soldiers are continuing with military operations against civilian communities in Toungoo District. Local villagers in this area have had to leave their homes and agricultural land in order to escape into the jungle and avoid Burma Army attacks. These displaced villagers have, in turn, encountered health problems and food shortages, as medical supplies and services are restricted and regular relocation means any food supplies are limited to what can be carried on the villagers' backs alone. Yet these displaced communities have persisted in their effort to maintain their lives and dignity while on the run; building new shelters in hiding and seeking to address their livelihood and social needs despite constraints. Those remaining under military control, by contrast, face regular demands for forced labour, as well as other forms of extortion and arbitrary 'taxation'. This report examines military attacks, forced labour and movement restrictions and their implications in Toungoo District between March and June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F7)
Format/size: html, pdf (880 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Burma Army attacks and civilian displacement in northern Papun District
Date of publication: 12 June 2008
Description/subject: "Following the deployment of new Burma Army units in the area of Htee Moo Kee village, Lu Thaw township of northern Karen State, Papun District, during the first week of March 2008, at least 1,600 villagers from seven villages were forced to relocate to eight different hiding sites in order to avoid the encroaching army patrols. These displaced communities are now facing heightened food insecurity and an ongoing risk of military attack. This report is based on in-depth interviews with displaced villagers from Lu Thaw township regarding the recent Burma Army operations and the resultant effects on the local communities. It also includes information on the recent military attack on Dtay Muh Der village, Lu Thaw township, Papun District which Burma Army forces conducted during the first week of June 2008 and which led to the further displacement of over 1,000 villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F6)
Format/size: html, pdf (537 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f6.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Supporting IDP resistance strategies
Date of publication: 23 April 2008
Description/subject: "...Whether in hiding or living under military control, displaced villagers of Karen State and other areas of rural Burma have shown themselves to be innovative and courageous in responding to and resisting military abuse. They urgently need increased assistance but it is they who should determine the direction of any such intervention. This article, co-authored by two KHRG staff members, appears in issue number 30 of the journal Forced Migration Review (FMR), issued in April 2008 and is available on both the KHRG and FMR websites..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Articles & Papers (KHRG #2008-W1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2009


Title: Village-level decision making in responding to forced relocation: A case from Papun District
Date of publication: 07 March 2008
Description/subject: "As part of its campaign of militarisation in Northern Karen State the SPDC has had as a principle strategy the forcible relocation of villagers from areas outside of its control to relocation sites close to Army camps or vehicle roads where civilian control can be firmly established. Over the years, villagers in Papun District and across Karen State have come to learn well that SPDC control means regular abuse and exploitation and, therefore, have sought to avoid such control wherever possible. This report presents one recent example from January to February 2008 of the courageous and varied response strategies villagers use to resist forced relocation and abuse and evade control by SPDC soldiers. Interestingly, this case also hints at some internal dissent and corruption within the SPDC ranks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F3)
Format/size: html, pdf (650 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Militarisation, violence and exploitation in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 15 February 2008
Description/subject: "While the SPDC leadership proposes dates for a constitutional referendum and eventual multiparty elections it nonetheless continues without the slightest hesitation the violent subjugation of villagers in northern Karen State. The area of Toungoo District is now saturated with SPDC troops and the local civilian population living under military control as well as those living in hiding are facing constricting options for their lives. The SPDC has continued to increase the military build-up of the area deploying more troops, building new camps and bases and constructing and upgrading vehicle roads to facilitate troop deployment and the stocking of army camps. In this context attacks on villages, arbitrary detentions, killings, forced labour and extortion have continued consistent with the regime's policy of civilian subjugation and in opposition to its claims of a potential return to civilian rule through the current constitution-vetting process..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F2)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.1 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Attacks, killings and increased militarisation in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 11 January 2008
Description/subject: "With the dry season in northern Karen State well under way, the SPDC continues to intensify its militarisation of the area. In Nyaunglebin District this intensification has come in the form of an increased troop build-up with the regime deploying new military units, establishing new camps and bases and attacking displaced civilian communities in hiding. Maintaining a shoot-on-sight policy SPDC soldiers operating in Nyaunglebin have shot and killed or otherwise severely injured displaced villagers and destroyed rice storage barns and civilian rice supplies across the district. In those areas more firmly under SPDC control, soldiers have ordered villagers to labour building army camps, porter mortar shells and army rations and repair SPDC-controlled vehicle roads in support of the region's growing military presence. This report looks at the human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District from October to December 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F1)
Format/size: html, pdf (689K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg08f1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Villagers risk arrest and execution to harvest their crops
Date of publication: 04 December 2007
Description/subject: "The months of November and December which follow the annual cessation of the rainy season mark the traditional harvest time for the agrarian communities of Karen State when villagers must venture out into their fields in order to reap their ripe paddy crops. Across large areas of Toungoo District, however, where the SPDC lacks a consolidated hold on the civilian population, this time of year has become especially perilous as the Army enforces sweeping movement restrictions backed up by a shoot on sight policy in order to eradicate the entire civilian presence in areas outside its control and restrict the population to military-controlled villages and relocation sites where they can be more easily exploited for labour, money, food and other supplies. Displaced communities in hiding thus risk potential arrest and execution by venturing out into the relatively open area of their hill side agricultural fields where they are more easily spotted by SPDC troops who regularly patrol the area. Yet, because of the Army's persistent attacks against covert farm fields, food stores and displaced communities in hiding these villagers confront a severe food shortage which has increased pressure on them to tend to their covert fields despite the risks. As a consequence some villagers have already lost their lives; having been shot by SPDC soldiers while attempting to tend their crops and address their community's rising food insecurity..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F11)
Format/size: html, pdf (817 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f11.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Born on the Run
Date of publication: September 2007
Description/subject: A photojournalist put aside his camera to comfort a young Karen woman at the birth of her son in a jungle hideout... "It was a makeshift village on the Thai side of the Moei River bordering Burma and Thailand, about 60 miles north of the Thai border town of Mae Sot. Around 100 Karen lived there, so-called “internally displaced persons,” refugees from the excesses committed by the Burmese army and the equally feared troops of the regime-backed Democratic Karen Buddhist Army..."
Author/creator: Dai Kurokawa
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2008


Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 09 August 2007
Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.24 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f6_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Provoking Displacement in Toungoo District: Forced labour, restrictions and attacks
Date of publication: 30 May 2007
Description/subject: "The first half of 2007 has seen the continued flight of civilians from their homes and land in response to ongoing State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military operations in Toungoo District. While in some cases this displacement is prompted by direct military attacks against their villages, many civilians living in Toungoo District have told KHRG that the primary catalyst for relocation has been the regular demands for labour, money and supplies and the restrictions on movement and trade imposed by SPDC forces. These everyday abuses combine over time to effectively undermine civilian livelihoods, exacerbate poverty and make subsistence untenable. Villagers threatened with such demands and restrictions frequently choose displacement in response - initially to forest hiding sites located nearby and then farther afield to larger Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps or across the border to Thailand-based refugee camps. This report presents accounts of ongoing abuses in Toungoo District committed by SPDC forces during the period of January to May 2007 and their role in motivating local villagers to respond with flight and displacement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F4)
Format/size: html, pdf (947K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f4_0.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 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: Bullets and Bulldozers: The SPDC offensive continues in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 19 February 2007
Description/subject: "The first two months of 2007 have done nothing to lessen the intensity of attacks against the villagers of Toungoo District. SPDC forces continue to send in more troops and supplies, build new camps and upgrade older ones using forced village labour, convict porters and heavy machinery brought in for this purpose. Local villagers have been the ones to suffer from the increased military build-up and infrastructure 'development' as such programmes have put the SPDC in a stronger position to enforce their authority over civilians in rural areas and undermine the efforts of local peoples to evade military forces and maintain their livelihoods. Employing the new roadways and camps to shuttle troops and supplies deeper into areas beyond military control, SPDC forces continue to expand their reach in terms of extortion of funds, food and supplies; extraction of forced labour; and restriction of all civilian movement, travel and trade. These abuses have combined to exacerbate poverty, worsen the humanitarian situation and restrict the options of villagers living in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F1)
Format/size: html, pdf (819 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg07f1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Papun Update: SPDC attacks on villages continue
Date of publication: 06 October 2006
Description/subject: "As the rainy season nears its end, SPDC operations in northern Papun District persist. Civilians living in Lu Thaw township in northern Papun District who fled from military attacks on their villages earlier in the current offensive have been joined by those more recently displaced. So long as military forces remain active in the area of their abandoned homes, these villagers are unable to return to tend their crops, collect possessions and reclaim their land. In these situations of displacement, villagers confront daily food shortages, unhygienic conditions and the constant threat of detection by military forces. With the establishment of new army camps, the likely construction of more roads and a possible large-scale relocation site at Pwah Ghaw, the ability of displaced villagers to maintain their livelihood, evade military forces and retain some measure of control over their land is becoming highly restricted. Nevertheless, the threat of regular abuse and ceaseless demands in military-controlled areas prompt villagers living in hiding to continue to evade capture and military subjugation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F10)
Format/size: pdf (671K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f10.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f10.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: SPDC military begins pincer movement, adds new camps in Papun district
Date of publication: 09 August 2006
Description/subject: "KHRG continues to monitor the activities of large SPDC military columns which are systematically destroying villages in Papun, Nyaunglebin and Toungoo districts. We have just received information from a KHRG researcher in the field that in the past week SPDC Military Operations Command #15 has launched its expected pincer operation in northern Papun district, trying to catch Karen villagers between its Tactical Operations Command #2 coming from the south and Tactical Operations Command #3 coming from the north. These two large multi-battalion columns, with several hundred soldiers each, are attempting to force all villagers out of the hills west of the Yunzalin River (Bway Loh Kloh) in northern Papun district of Karen State. Tactical Operations Command #2 has pushed north from Naw Yo Hta and has now set up a new base at Baw Ka Plaw, just north of Kay Pu; while Tactical Operations Command #3 has approached the same area from the north, coming down from Bu Sah Kee and establishing themselves at a new camp at Si Day. This pincer movement and the establishment of these two new Army camps ensure that the hill villagers in the northern tip of Papun district will remain displaced for the coming months and will lose their entire rice harvest, creating serious concerns about their food security and survival over the coming year."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B10)
Format/size: html, pdf (459K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2006


Title: Forced Relocation, Restrictions and Abuses in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 10 July 2006
Description/subject: "This report presents information on ongoing abuses in Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) District, Karen State committed by SPDC forces during the period of March to May 2006. Attacks on hill villagers have continued as SPDC units seek to depopulate the hills and force all villagers to relocate to military-controlled villages in the plains and along roadways. However, those villagers living in SPDC-controlled areas are subject as well to continued abuses including arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion, restricted movement and forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F6)
Format/size: pdf (645 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f6.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f6.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: New SPDC military moves force more villagers to flee
Date of publication: 04 July 2006
Description/subject: "The SPDC is continuing its attacks on Karen hill villages throughout northern Karen State, trying to entirely depopulate the northern hills. SPDC columns have regrouped and resupplied and are now launching attacks into hill regions not previously reached by the offensive. If successful, this offensive threatens to completely annihilate the unique way of life and culture of the hill Karen, a distinct group within the Karen population, by either forcing them into relocation sites where they cannot practice their culture and livelihood, or simply killing them off and destroying all remnants of their existence..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (555K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b9.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b9.html
Date of entry/update: 04 July 2006


Title: Without Respite: Renewed Attacks on Villages and Internal Displacement in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 12 June 2006
Description/subject: "With the annual monsoon rains now falling over Karen State, the SPDC’s military offensive against civilian villagers in northern Karen State would normally be drawing to a close. However, quite the opposite is happening. The resumption of SPDC Army attacks on villages and the increased patrols in Toungoo District shows that the offensive is far from over. Thousands more landmines have been reportedly deployed across Toungoo District to isolate certain parts of the district and restrict villagers’ movements. An analysis of SPDC Army troop movements and tactics suggests that the offensive is now set to expand eastward across the Day Loh River where it can be expected that SPDC units will soon commence shelling and destroying villages. In addition to this, the situation in the southeast of the district has become dire as the villagers are now caught between two advancing columns and have nowhere left to flee. It is likely that dozens more villages will be destroyed and thousands more villagers will be displaced in the coming months. Civilian villagers living in Toungoo District (Taw Oo in Karen), the northernmost of the seven Karen districts in eastern Burma, have been under attack since November last year. In its latest military offensive against the civilian population, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta has been targeting Karen villagers living in the hills of northern Karen State in the ongoing attempt to consolidate its control and bring the whole of the population under its rule. Over the past six months, thousands of villagers have been displaced and dozens of villages have been abandoned and/or destroyed. The wet season has now commenced, but the attacks show no sign of slowing down. Unlike in previous years, when offensive activities would cease with the onset of the rains, the SPDC has actually recently intensified its activities against Karen civilians in Toungoo District. The situation for the villagers is now growing increasingly desperate as more and more troops flood into the district to inflict wholesale human rights violations..."... Table of Contents: The Scope of Displacement: Implications for Health and Education; Increased Isolation of Villages in the Region; Examining the Motives behind the Offensive.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F5)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB), html (260K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0602.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0602a.html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2006


Title: Offensive columns shell and burn villages, round up villagers in northern Papun and Toungoo districts
Date of publication: 07 June 2006
Description/subject: "...SPDC troops in northern Papun district continue to escalate their attacks, shooting villagers, burning villages and destroying ricefields. Undefended villages in far northern Papun district are now being shelled with powerful 120mm mortars. Three battalions from Toungoo district have rounded up hundreds of villagers as porters and are detaining their families in schools in case they're needed; this column is now heading south with its porters, apparently intending to trap displaced villagers in a pincer between themselves and the troops coming north from Papun district. A similar trapping movement is being performed along the Bilin river, as 8 battalions come from two directions to wipe out every village in their path. Up to 4,000 villagers in Papun district's far north have been displaced in the past week, and 1,500 to 2,000 more along the Bilin River..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B7)
Format/size: html, pdf (800K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b7.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006


Title: An Uncertain Fate
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: A savage onslaught by the Burmese army in Karen State has displaced thousands and seriously undermined any government talk‑ about democratic reform... "Up to four families squash into half-finished bamboo structures of three or four rooms built into the side of a mountain. Those on the other side of the mountain still wait for suitable shelter. Under these thatched roofs, various cooking utensils lie scattered among tired, poorly clothed and underfed Karen refugees just arrived from northern and eastern Karen State in Burma. They were driven out of their homes by an aggressive campaign by the Burmese army, which targets civilians as well as armed ethnic rebels..."
Author/creator: Shah Paung/Mae Ra Moo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 December 2006


Title: Rising Waters
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: As thousands of displaced Karen fill temporary shelters along the Salween River in Burma, their plight has yet to mobilize the international community... "A large boat churns through the coffee-colored waters of the Salween River that separates Burma from Thailand. Sitting among plastic wrapped bundles of mosquito nets, tins of sardines, boxes of iron nails, plastic buckets, hammers and floor mats, a small chunky man stares at the fast-gathering rain clouds smothering the hot sun. “There are already 670 people in the camp and hundreds more on their way,” says Hla Henry. “If we don’t get shelters and clinics built before the heavy rains come, it will be a disaster.” He is the secretary for the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People and says his job is to get help and support for Karen people forced from their homes by the Burmese army..."
Author/creator: Phil Thornton
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 December 2006


Title: Toungoo District: Update on the Dam on the Day Loh River
Date of publication: 30 May 2006
Description/subject: "...Over the past ten years the SPDC has undertaken numerous 'development projects' across Karen State, consistently claiming that these are purely for the good of the people. Such projects however are anything but, invariably bringing with them an increase in human rights violations in the area surrounding the development site. Villages are typically forcibly relocated and their inhabitants are used as forced labour. One such project is a hydroelectricity power plant that is to be built on the Day Loh River in Toungoo District. In 2005, KHRG examined the activities of 2,000 SPDC Army troops who moved into the region to secure the area surrounding the dam site. This report serves as an update of the dam situation, incorporating information which may be possible evidence of the complicity of foreign corporations, and explores the possibility that the imminent construction of this project and others like it are part of the motivation behind the current offensive underway in northern Karen State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B5)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b5.html
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2006


Title: Toungoo district: Civilians displaced by dams, roads, and military control
Date of publication: 19 August 2005
Description/subject: "...Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta claims to be implementing peace and development in Karen regions, but civilians in Toungoo District of northern Karen State say they are facing instead brutal treatment aimed at asserting military control. An example of SPDC-led ‘development’ is a new dam project on the Thauk Yay Ka (Day Loh) river in western Toungoo District. Villagers in the area of this proposed dam say that it has brought a new military access road to their area and that large SPDC military columns now patrol their villages, looting their belongings and forcing them into labour. Security checkpoints along all roads in the area have proliferated, restricting the movements of villagers and extorting heavy ‘taxes’ on all goods they try to take to market. Increased military presence along the roads has occurred throughout the district, from the Than Daung Gyi – Leit Tho road in the north to the Kler Lah – Bu Sah Kee road in the southeast, and close to 300 acres of villagers’ farmland has been confiscated for the establishment of a large military base at Leit Tho in the north. This continues the campaign of control already exposed in KHRG’s March 2005 report from the district (see ‘Peace’, or Control?, KHRG Report from the Field #2005-F3). SPDC troops burn farmfields and plantations adjacent to vehicle roads for military security, while destroying the villagers’ food security. People who have been forced from the hills into SPDC-controlled villages struggle against disease, food scarcity and restrictions on their movement, while those who have chosen to evade SPDC control in the hills must remain mobile to evade SPDC patrols who destroy their rice fields and landmine the pathways. In the relocation villages and in the forests, people are facing a difficult struggle against food scarcity, deteriorating health conditions, and SPDC human rights abuses..."...Dam security; Road security; New Army base at Leit Tho; Destruction of villages and livelihoods; Relocation sites and roadsides; Villagers in hiding; Health; Children and education
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F7)
Format/size: html, pdf (58K)
Date of entry/update: 20 August 2005


Title: A Life in Hiding
Date of publication: July 2005
Description/subject: Karen Internally Displaced Persons wonder when they will be able to go home... "Sitting in his new bamboo hut in Ler Per Her camp for Internally Displaced Persons, located on the bank of Thailand’s Moei River near the border with Burma, Phar The Tai—a skinny, tough-looking man of 60 who used to hide in the jungles and mountains of Burma’s eastern Karen State—waits for the time when he can return home. “We are living in fear all the time,” he says about the lives of IDPs. His words reflect the general feeling among IDPs from Karen State, which has produced the largest number of displaced people in Burma..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: "They Came and Destroyed Our Village Again"-- The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Karen State
Date of publication: 09 June 2005
Description/subject: "...While the nonviolent struggle of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi against the Burmese military government’s continuing repression has captured the world’s attention, the profound human rights and humanitarian crisis endured by Burma’s ethnic minority communities has largely been ignored.4 Decades of armed conflict have devastated ethnic minority communities, which make up approximately 35 percent of Burma’s population. The Burmese army, or Tatmadaw, has for many years carried out numerous and widespread summary executions, looting, torture, rape and other sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and torture, forced labor, recruitment of child soldiers, and the displacement and demolition of entire villages as part of military operations against ethnic minority armed opposition groups. Civilians bear the brunt of a state of almost perpetual conflict and militarization. Violations of international human rights and humanitarian law (the laws of war) by the Tatmadaw have been particularly acute in eastern Karen state, which runs along the northwestern border of Thailand...One result of the Tatmadaw’s brutal behavior has been the creation of large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees among Burma’s ethnic minority communities. Conflict and its consequences have been going on for so long that in many ethnic minority-populated areas, continuous forced relocations and displacement––interspersed with occasional periods of relative stability––have become a fact of life for generations of poor villagers. The scale of the IDP problem in Burma is daunting. Estimates suggest that, as of late 2004, as many as 650,000 people were internally displaced in eastern Burma alone. According to a recent survey, 157,000 civilians have been displaced in eastern Burma since the end of 2002, and at least 240 villages destroyed, relocated, or abandoned. The majority of displaced people live in areas controlled by the government, now known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), or by various ethnic armed groups that have agreed to ceasefires with the government. But approximately eighty-four thousand displaced people live in zones of ongoing armed conflict, where the worst human rights abuses continue. Many IDPs live in hiding in war zones. Another two million Burmese live in Thailand, including 145,000 refugees living in camps. Karen State is the location of some of the largest numbers of IDPs in Burma. Since 2002, approximately 100,000 people have been displaced from Karen areas,which include parts of Pegu and Tenasserim Divisions. Though a provisional ceasefire was agreed in December 2003 between the SPDC and the Karen National Union (KNU), sporadic fighting continues. Tatmadaw military operations against the KNU’s army, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), in the first months of 2005 caused numerous deaths and injuries to civilians in poor villages along the Thai border. They also forced many civilians to flee internally or to Thailand. For example, at least 9,000 civilians were displaced in Toungoo District, in the far north of Karen State bordering Karenni State, and in Nyaunglebin District in northwest Karen State, during major Tatmadaw offensives between November 2004 and February 2005. The majority of Karen IDPs have been forced out of their homes as a direct result of the Tatmadaw’s “Four Cuts” counter-insurgency strategy, in which the Burmese army has attempted to defeat armed ethnic groups by denying them access to food, funds, recruits, and information from other insurgent groups..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html, pdf (2.3MB., 415K) 72 pages
Alternate URLs: http://hrw.org/reports/2005/burma0605/burma0605.pdf (text and maps)
http://hrw.org/reports/2005/burma0605/burma0605text.pdf (text only)
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2005


Title: Nyaunglebin District: Food supplies destroyed, villagers forcibly displaced, and region-wide forced labour as SPDC forces seek control over civilians
Date of publication: 04 May 2005
Description/subject: "Between October 2004 and January 2005 SPDC troops launched forays into the hills of Nyaunglebin District in an attempt to flush villagers down into the plains and a life under SPDC control. Viciously timed to coincide with the rice harvest, the campaign focused on burning crops and landmining the fields to starve out the villagers. Most people fled into the forest, where they now face food shortages and uncertainty about this year's planting and the security of their villages. Meanwhile in the plains, the SPDC is using people in relocation sites and villages they control as forced labour to strengthen the network of roads and Army camps - the main tools of military control over the civilian population - while Army officers plunder people's belongings for personal gain. In both hills and plains, increased militarisation is bringing on food shortages and poverty..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F4)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f4.html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: Damming at Gunpoint (Burmese)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB - OBL version; 3.23MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/dammingatgunpoint.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: Damming at Gunpoint (English)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (617K - OBL version; 1.82MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/english/dammingatgunpointenglish.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: Damming at Gunpoint (Karen)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB - OBL version; 2.17MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/dammingatgunpointkaren.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: Enduring Hunger and Repression: : Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation faced by rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known as Taw Oo in Karen). Toungoo District is the northernmost district of Karen State, sharing borders with Karenni (Kayah) State to the east, Pegu (Bago) Division to the west, and Shan State to the north. To the south Toungoo District shares borders with the Karen districts of Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) and Papun (Mutraw). The westernmost portion of the district bordering Pegu Division consists of the plains of the Sittaung River, which are heavily controlled by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta which presently rules Burma. The rest of the district to the east is covered by steep and forested hills that are home to Karen villagers who live in small villages strewn across the hills. For years, the SPDC has endeavoured to extend its control through the hills, but their efforts thus far have been hampered by the continued armed resistance of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Within the areas that are strongly controlled by the SPDC, the villagers must live with constant demands for forced labour, food, and money from the SPDC battalions that are based in the area. Villages that do not comply with SPDC demands risk being relocated and burned. Many villages have been burned and their inhabitants forcibly relocated to sites where the SPDC may more easily control and exploit them. Those villagers who do not move to the relocation sites flee into the jungles where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Several thousand villagers now live internally displaced in the mountains of Toungoo District. These villagers live in almost constant fear of SPDC Army units, and must run for their lives if they receive word that a column of soldiers is approaching. SPDC Army columns routinely shoot displaced villagers on sight. The villagers here continue to suffer severe human rights violations at the hands of the SPDC Army soldiers, including, but not limited to summary arrest, torture, forced labour, extortion, extrajudicial execution, and the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies. Although a verbal ceasefire is in place between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the SPDC, not much has changed for the villagers in the district. KNLA and SPDC military units still occasionally clash. The SPDC has taken advantage of the ceasefire to move more troops into the area and to build new camps. These new camps and troops have meant that the villagers now have to do forced labour building the new camps and portering supplies up to the camps. There are also more troops and camps to demand food and money from the villagers. The many new camps have made it more difficult for internally displaced villagers work their fields or to go to find food..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (9.5MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2004/khrg0401a.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2004/khrg0401.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2004


Title: Broken Trust, Broken Home
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "Fifty-five years of civil war have decimated Burma’s Karen State, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes. Most would like to return—by their own will when the fighting stops. By Emma Larkin/Mae Sot, Thailand When Eh Mo Thaw was 16 years old, a Burmese battalion marched into his village in Karen State and burned down all the houses. Eh Mo Thaw and his family were herded into a relocation camp where they had to work for the Burma Army, digging ponds and growing rice to feed the Burmese troops. They had no time to grow food for themselves and many were not able to survive. Villagers caught foraging for vegetables outside the camp perimeter were shot on sight. "Many people died," says Eh Mo Thaw. "I also thought I would die." Eh Mo Thaw managed to escape from the camp with his family. For 20 years, he hid in the jungle, moving from place to place whenever Burmese troops drew near. Eventually he found himself on the Thai border and, when Burmese forces stormed the area, he had no choice but to cross the border into Thailand and enter a refugee camp..."
Author/creator: Emma Larkin
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 12, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


Title: Expansion of the Guerrilla Retaliation Units and Food Shortages
Date of publication: 16 June 2003
Description/subject: KHRG Information Update #2003-U1 June 16, 2003 "The situation faced by the villagers of Toungoo District (see Map 1) is worsening as more and more parts of the District are being brought under the control of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) through the increased militarisation of the region. At any one time there are no fewer than a dozen battalions active in the area. Widespread forced labour and extortion continue unabated as in previous years, with all battalions in the District being party to such practices. The imposition of constant forced labour and the extortion of money and food are among the military’s primary occupations in the area. The strategy of the military is not one of open confrontation with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) – the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) - but of targeting the civilian population as a means of cutting all lines of support and supply for the resistance movement. There has not been a major offensive in the District since the SPDC launched Operation Aung Tha Pyay in 1995-96; however since that time the Army has been restricting, harassing, and forcibly relocating hill villages to the point where people can no longer live in them. Many of the battalions launch sweeps through the hills in search of villagers hiding there in an effort to drive them out of the hills and into the areas controlled by the SPDC. Fortunately, the areas into which many of them have fled are both rugged and remote, making it difficult for the Army to find them. For those who are discovered, once relocated, they are then exploited as a ready source for portering and other forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2003/khrg03u1.html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2003


Title: After the 1997 Offensives: The Burma Army's Relocation Program in Kamoethway Area
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "Mass Displacement by the Burmese Army's forced relocation program in Tenasserim division first rose to awareness when multi-national companies started to build the Yadana gas pipeline. What followed was a Burmese Army offensive in 1997 to KNU controlled areas to secure more of the area for their business interests. After the arrival of foreign companies and the Yadana gas pipeline the Kamoethway area became a refuge for those fleeing from the gas pipeline area. Later Kamoethway area itself became another target for Burmese troops trying to gain better access to the gas pipeline. In 1997 the Karen in Kamethway area were forcibly relocated by Burmese troops to their designated relocation sites where they were under strict control.This report focuses on the forced relocation program in Kamoethway area: how the villagers survive in the relocation sites, what is the current situation of the forced relocation sites and how the Burmese troops control the villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (419K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/1997offensive.html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: IDPs in Burma: A short summary
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "Burma has a population of 50 million people, recent estimates place 2 million of those people as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). They live precarious and transient lives in the jungles of Burma’s ethnic border areas and in the more urban central plains. They are denied the stability of having a home and a livelihood and are forced into a constant state of movement: never having the opportunity to maintain a home, their farms, access to education and medical facilities and peace of mind..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues (Peaceway Foundation)
Format/size: pdf (219 K)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


Title: Flight, Hunger and Survival: Repression and Displacement in the Villages of Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts
Date of publication: 22 October 2001
Description/subject: "This report documents in detail the plight of villagers and the internally displaced in these two northern Karen regions. Since 1997 the SPDC has destroyed or relocated over 200 villages here, forcing tens of thousands of villagers to flee into hiding in the hills where they are now being hunted down and shot on sight by close to 50 SPDC Army battalions. The troops are now systematically destroying crops, food supplies and farmfields to flush the villagers out of the hills, making the situation increasingly desperate. Meanwhile, those living in the SPDC-controlled villages and relocation sites are fleeing to the hills to join the displaced because they can no longer bear the heavy burden of forced labour, extortion, restrictions on their movement and random torture and executions. KHRG's most intensive research effort to date, this report draws on over 300 interviews with people in the villages and forests, thousands of photographs and hundreds of documents assembled by KHRG researchers in the past 2 years." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2001-03)
Format/size: PDF version 9770K (yes, almost 10 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0103a.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0103.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: On the Trail of Burma's Internal Refugees
Date of publication: June 2001
Description/subject: An American dentist travels deep into the world of Burma's Internally Displaced Persons, and discovers a people driven by fear into an uncertain future. Armed with a Colt .45, American dentist Shannon Allison is on a dangerous mission of mercy: to bring emergency medical assistance to Internally Displaced Persons inside Burma. Veteran photojournalist Thierry Falise reports from Burma's war-torn jungles on efforts to assist these victims of endemic conflict.
Author/creator: Thierry Falise
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: Internally displaced villagers cornered by 40 SPDC Battalions; Food shortages, disease, killings and life on the run.
Date of publication: 09 April 2001
Description/subject: Food shortages, disease, killings and life on the run.Based on new interviews and reports from KHRG field researchers, this update summarises the increasingly desperate situation for villagers in these two districts. In the hills, the people of several hundred villages are still in hiding, their villages destroyed by SPDC troops. Their survival situation is now desperate as 40 SPDC Battalions continue to systematically destroy their rice supplies and crops and landmine their fields, and shoot them on sight. In the villages under SPDC control, people suffer under an impossible burden of many kinds of forced labour and extortion.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG (Information Update #2001-U3)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg01u3.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma: Displaced Karens. Like Water on the Khu Leaf
Date of publication: 2001
Description/subject: "War disrupts the normal relationship between people and place. Displaced by war, people must adapt to survive, both physically and socially. When people are displaced for a long time, these adaptations become normal; thus displacement starts as an aberration but becomes a constant way of life. In eastern Burma, 'normal' displacement has led to significant changes in the political, cultural and economic relationships between Karen people and their 'place' - both the physical space they occupy and their position in society. Those changes, and particularly the Karens' own revised perceptions of their place in the world, provide insights into how they, and others in Burma, cope with displacement. In Burma,1 population displacement is widespread, though little understood. Armed conflict, disputes over land and natural resources, and poverty drive people from their homes; but there has been little research on displacement's effect on people's lives.2 Many internally displaced persons live in remote areas that are also theatres of war; and the government of Burma denies permission to researchers or aid workers hoping to visit these contested regions. Furthermore, until a few years ago, Burma's displaced population attracted little international attention. Few, apart from a handful of Thailand-based aid organisations, knew about conditions in the war zones. By the late 1990s, however, the world became more aware of conditions inside Burma, thanks to reports of displacement, increasing numbers of would-be refugees seeking asylum in Thailand, the controversial repatriation of Burmese refugees from Bangladesh, deteriorating tolerance for refugees in Thailand, and the burgeoning influence of Burma's democracy movement..."
Author/creator: Chris Cusano
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Caught Between Borders" - Norwegian Refugee Council (with kind permission)
Format/size: pdf (197K)
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2006


Title: Karen IDPs Report: The Plight of Internally Displaced Karen People in Mu Traw District of Burma
Date of publication: December 2000
Description/subject: "...The report pin points the dismal conditions for the Karen people throughout the district, but the desperate situation of specific group in worst hit areas. It was always the intention to build on the BERG report, Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma, published in 1998, which provided the background and general description of the displacement of the Karen in Kawthoolei. The Mu Traw report has been the first attempt by the CIDKP to provide more detailed information focussing on a single district. It is hoped that the report will lead to future publications regarding the situation in the other Karen districts..."
Author/creator: Saw Klo Wah Moo, Saw Ternder, Saw La Thwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2005


Title: KHRG Commentary #2000-C2
Date of publication: 17 October 2000
Description/subject: The worsening situation of the internally displaced in all northern Karen districts, forced labour and convict porters, rice quotas, the desperate situation of rank-and-file SPDC soldiers, forced repatriation of refugees in Thailand, and the SPDC's persistence in denying that there is any problem whatsoever.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg00c2.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Peace Villages and Hiding Villages: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 15 October 2000
Description/subject: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District. Based on interviews and field reports from KHRG field researchers in this northern Karen district, looks at the phenomenon of 'Peace Villages' under SPDC control and 'Hiding Villages' in the hills; while the 'Hiding Villages' are being systematically destroyed and their villagers hunted and captured, the 'Peace Villages' face so many demands for forced labour and extortion that many ofthem are fleeing to the hills. Looks at forced labour road construction and its relation to increasing SPDC militarisation of the area, and also at the new tourism development project at Than Daung Gyi which involves large-scale land confiscation and forced labour. Keywords: Karen; KNU; KNLA; SPDC deserters; Sa Thon Lon activities; human minesweepers; human shields; reprisals against villagers; abuse of village heads; SPDC army units; military situation; forced relocation; strategic hamletting; relocation sites; internal displacement; IDPs; cross-border assistance; forced labour; torture; killings; extortion, economic oppression; looting; pillaging; burning of villages; destruction of crops and food stocks; forced labour on road projects; road building; restrictions on movment; lack of education and health services; tourism project; confiscation of land and forced labour for tourism project;landmines; malnutrition; starvation; SPDC Orders. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC & DKBA Orders to Villages: Set 2000-B
Date of publication: 12 October 2000
Description/subject: Pa'an, Dooplaya, Toungoo, Papun, & Thaton Districts. Over 250 orders dating from mid-1999 through late September 2000, the vast majority of them from the latter half of that period. Includes restrictions on the movement of villagers, forced relocation, demands for forced labour, extortion of money, food, and materials, threats to villagers and other demands, as well as documents related to rice quotas which farmers are forced to give, education and health. Also contains one order #174 which directly shows the role of a Dutch timber importing company in causing the SPDC to threaten all non-government controlled timber traders. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2000-04)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg0004.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interview Annex to "Starving Them Out"
Date of publication: 31 March 2000
Description/subject: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG (#2000-02A)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg0002a.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Starving Them Out: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 31 March 2000
Description/subject: "This report consists of an Introduction and Executive Summary, followed by a detailed analysis of the situation supported by quotes from interviews and excerpts from SPDC order documents sent to villages in the region. As mentioned above, an Annex to this report containing the full text of the remaining interviews can be seen by following the link from the table of contents or from KHRG upon approved request..." Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-02)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg0002.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Central Karen State: villagers fleeing forced relocations and other abuses forced back by Thai troops
Date of publication: 29 September 1999
Description/subject: Over the past four months, villagers from southeastern Pa'an District in Karen State have been steadily arriving at areas along the Thai border 35-60 km north of the Thai town of Mae Sot. They have risked treacherous travelling conditions during the rainy season to make the journey, camping in makeshift shelters along the way with little food or clothing. Testimonies collected from recent refugees indicate that the SPDC is intensifying its operation from August-December 1999 to clear all villages in the southeastern corner of Pa'an District in order to undermine Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) activities in the region.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg99/khrg99u4.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Central Karen State: New Refugees Fleeing Forced Relocation, Rape and Use as Human Minesweepers
Date of publication: 27 August 1999
Description/subject: Since mid-August, new flows of refugees have begun arriving at the Thai border from Karen villages in southeastern Pa'an District, central Karen State. Over 100 families, totalling well over 500 people, have arrived thus far and they say that many more will follow. Those who have arrived so far come from the villages of Pah Klu, Taw Oak, Tee Hsah Ra, Kyaw Ko, Tee Wah Thay, Tee Khoh Taw, Tee Wah Klay, B'Naw Kleh Kee and Ker Ghaw, most of which are within 2-3 days' walk of the border. . . According to Karen National Union (KNU, the main Karen opposition group) sources, troops from as many as 5 different SPDC Light Infantry Divisions have been sent into the area for an operation to run from August to December 1999, intending to subjugate the area with a special focus on clearing landmines by using villagers as human minesweepers. ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg99/khrg99u3.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Death Squads and Displacement - Systematic Executions, Village Destruction and the Flight of Villagers in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 24 May 1999
Description/subject: "This report is a detailed analysis of the current human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District (known in Karen as Kler Lweh Htoo), which straddles the border of northern Karen State and Pegu Division in Burma. Most of the villagers here are Karen, though there are also many Burmans living in the villages near the Sittaung River. Since late 1998 many Karens and Burmans have been fleeing their villages in the area because of human rights abuses by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which currently rules Burma, and this flight is still ongoing. Those from the hills which cover most of the District are fleeing because SPDC troops have been systematically destroying their villages, crops and food supplies and shooting villagers on sight, all in an effort to undermine the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) by driving the civilian population out of the region. At the same time, people in the plains near the Sittaung River are fleeing because of the ever-increasing burden of forced labour, cash extortion, and heavy crop quotas which are being levied against them even though their crops have failed for the past two years running. Many are also fleeing a frightening new phenomenon in the District: the Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation units, which appeared in September 1998 and since then have been systematically executing everyone suspected of even the remotest contact with the opposition forces, even if that contact occurred years or decades ago. Their methods are brutal, their tactics are designed to induce fear, and they have executed anywhere from 50 to over 100 civilians in the District since September 1998..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports(KHRG #99-04)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg99/khrg9904.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Nyaunglebin District: Internally Displaced People and SPDC Death Squads
Date of publication: 15 February 1999
Description/subject: Nyaunglebin (known in Karen as Kler Lwe Htoo) District is a northern Karen region straddling the border of northern Karen State and Pegu Division. It contains the northern reaches of the Bilin (Bu Loh Kloh) River northwest of Papun, and stretches westward as far as the Sittaung (Sittang) River in the area 60 to 150 kilometres north of Pegu (named Bago by the SPDC). The District has 3 townships: Ler Doh (Kyauk Kyi in Burmese), Hsaw Tee (Shwegyin), and Mone. The eastern two-thirds of the district is covered by forested hills dotted with small Karen villages, and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) operates extensively in this region. The western part of the district is in the plains of the Sittaung river basin; here there are larger villages of mixed Karen and Burman population, and this area is under strong SPDC control. For several years now SLORC/SPDC forces have tried to destroy Karen resistance in the eastern hills, largely by forcing villagers to move and wiping out their ability to produce food. Many villages in the parts of these eastern hills bordering PapunDistrict have been destroyed since 1997 as part of the SPDC campaign to wipe out Karen villages in northern Papun and eastern Nyaunglebin Districts (see "Wholesale Destruction", KHRG, April 1998). According to reports by KHRG monitors in the region and interviews with internally displaced villagers and new refugees, the situation continues to worsen for villagers in eastern and western Nyaunglebin, particularly with the recent creation of SPDC 'Dam Byan Byaut Kya' death squads.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg99/khrg99u1.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Displacement of Villagers in Southern Pa
Date of publication: 19 September 1998
Description/subject: "The region commonly known as Pa’an District forms a large triangular area in central Karen State, bounded in the west and north by the Salween River and the town of Pa’an (capital of Karen State), in the east by the Moei River where it forms the border with Thailand, and in the south by the motor road from Myawaddy (at the Thai border) westward to Kawkareik and Kyone Doh. Pa’an District is also known as the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA’s) 7th Brigade area. The western parts of Pa’an District and the principal towns have been controlled by the SLORC/SPDC military junta for 10 years or longer, while the eastern strip adjacent to the Thai border has come largely under their control over the past 3 years. The easternmost strip of Pa’an District near the Moei River is separated from the rest of the district by the main ridge of the steep Dawna Mountains ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg98/khrg98u2.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma
Date of publication: April 1998
Description/subject: 1. The Karen and Kawthoolei: The Karen; Kawthoolei; The Kawthoolei districts || 2. Displacement and counter-insurgency in Burma: Population displacement in Burma; Protracted ethnic conflict in Burma; Counter-insurgency: the four-cuts || 3. The war in Kawthoolei: Seasonal offensives: the moving front line and refugee flows, 1974-92; Cease-fires (1992-94) and the renewal of offensives (1995-97) || 4. Internal displacement in Kawthoolei: Counter-insurgency and displacement in Kawthoolei; Displacement in Kawthoolei; The situation of IDPs in Kawthoolei districts; Extent of population displacement in Kawthoolei; Patterns of displacement; Factors preventing the IDPs returning home; Factors preventing the IDPs becoming refugees in Thailand; Vulnerability of IDPs; Note on forced relocations sites || 5.Assistance: International responses to IDPs; International responses to IDPs in Burma; Responses inside Burma; The response from the border area to Karen IDPs || 6.Protection: Refugees on the Thai-Burma border: international assistance with limited protection; The case of the repatriation of the Mon; The Karen: the problem of security; Assistance and protection: refugees and IDPs; The need for leverage; Transition from armed conflict || Appendix III: Interview at Mae La (This version lacks the maps and tables)
Author/creator: Brother Amoz, Steven Lanjouw, Saw Pay Leek, Dr. Em Marta, Graham Mortimer, Alan Smith, Saw David Taw, Pah Hsaw Thut, Saw Aung Win, Saw Kwe Htoo Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Format/size: PDF (570K, 505K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004CE90B/(httpDocuments)/0787CA1BCAB95999802570B700599932/$file/Berg+Karen+IDP+report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Ethnic Minority Rights under Attack
Date of publication: 22 July 1997
Description/subject: This report focuses . . . human rights violations against members of ethnic minority groups. These abuses, including extrajudicial executions; ill-treatment in the context of forced portering and labour; and intimidation during forcible relocations occur both in the context of counter-insurgency operations, and in areas where cease-fires hold. The State Law and Order Restoration Council SLORC, Myanmar's military government) continues to commit human rights violations in ethnic minority areas with complete impunity. This high level of human rights violations and the attendant political instability in Myanmar pose a major regional security issue for the country's new ASEAN partners. One dimension of this is the unprecedented numbers of refugees from Myanmar now in Thailand: a conservative estimate of some 200,000 refugees live in Thai cities and in camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. All of the refugees whom Amnesty International recently interviewed, and whose testimonies form the basis of this report, said that they had fled because they could no longer survive under the harsh forced labour and relocation practices of the SLORC. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English and French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/20/97)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/020/1997/en/ca9c92ae-ea43-11dd-8810-c1f7ccd3559e/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/020/1997/en
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/020/1997/en/cfed5a5a-ea43-11dd-8810-c1f7ccd3559e/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2010


Title: Tenasserim Division: Forced Relocation and Forced Labour (Information Update)
Date of publication: 09 February 1997
Description/subject: "SLORC's campaign of forced relocations and forced-labour road building in the Palauk-Palaw, Mergui and Tenasserim regions, which began in September 1996, is now being accelerated ... Almost every village between the Tavoy-Mergui-Kawthaung car road in the west and the Tenasserim River in the east, from Palauk in the north to Tenasserim town in the south has been ordered to move one or more times between September 1996 and January 1997..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg97/khrg97u1.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Papun District
Date of publication: 04 March 1996
Description/subject: "SLORC has seriously stepped up its campaign to clear the entire rural population out of Papun District and make the entire area a free-fire zone. Since December 1995, orders have been issued to every rural village under SLORC control from Kyauk Nyat in the north to Ka Dtaing Dtee in the south, from the Salween River (the Thai border) in the east to at least 10 km. west of Papun - an area 50-60 km. north to south and 30 km. east to west. This area is rugged hills dotted with small villages, averaging 10-50 households (population 50-300) per village. Estimates are that 100 or more villages may be affected. Every village has been ordered to move either to SLORC Army camps surrounding Papun, such as Papun, Kaw Boke, Par Haik, or Ka Hee Kyo (all along the Papun - Kyauk Nyat road route) or to DKBA headquarters far to the south at Khaw Taw (Myaing Gyi Ngu) in Pa'an District. The orders have all been issued by SLORC. Generally a SLORC column enters the village with only a few DKBA soldiers accompanying them, and the SLORC officer issues the order. Villagers confirm that DKBA never operates in the area by themselves anymore - DKBA soldiers only appear in small groups as part of SLORC columns. SLORC units involved in the operation include Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 340, 341, 434, and Infantry Battalion (IB) 5..." KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-11)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg96/khrg9611.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Kyauk Kyi Township
Date of publication: 10 June 1993
Description/subject: "Nyaunglebin District. Feb 93. Karen men, women: Forced relocation to undrained land; Only Karen villages made to move; SLORC's control of rice to control the population; forced labour (incl. portering). Description of the difficult economic conditions. Extortion; ransoming; looting. Translation of an official SLORC Relocation Order; economic oppression..." _ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg93/93_06_10.html
https://khrg.org/2014/02/93-06-10/forced-relocation-kyauk-kyi-township
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Current Situation in Mudraw Papun District
Date of publication: 13 November 1992
Description/subject: The current SLORC Offensive and Displaced People "From July 92. Karen men, women, children: Air-raids on civilian villages (20 civilians killed); precarious economic life of people hiding in jungle; children die of malnutrition; Saw Hta offensive; list of villages and numbers of the people displaced; economic oppression..." Area: Tee Moo Khee Area, Kaw Lu Der Area, Saw Hta
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg92/92_11_13a.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003