Law/policy on land in Burma/Myanmar
|Title:|| ||Scott Leckie: ‘Burma could very easily become the displacement capital of Asia’
|Date of publication:|| ||05 November 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...In the last six to eight months there’s been a lot of commotion made about land disputes in Burma. Legally speaking, what’s setting the precedent for this to happen now?
Well the whole phenomenon needs to be looked at in terms of the history of the country when it comes to land ever since independence, whereby a system of law, which essentially gave all power to the state when it came to the control, use and allocation of land, was used and very often abused by those who were members of the state or closely associated with the state to acquire land for personal benefit.
That process may take a slightly different form today and may manifest itself in slightly different ways than it did in the past, but the environment now – with greater openness and greater commercial possibilities, business possibilities and investment possibilities – has put ever greater and increasing pressure on land with the net result being that values go up, expectations go up, and therefore the incentives to acquire land and benefit from it personally have also consequentially expanded. That of course leaves those who reside on the land in an extremely difficult position, particularly in a country which traditionally has not taken housing, land and property (HLP) rights of the citizenry very seriously..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||David Stout|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 November 2012|
|Title:|| ||Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads (final version)
|Date of publication:|| ||25 October 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary:
"Few issues are as frequently discussed and politically charged in transitional Myanmar as the state of housing, land and property (HLP) rights. The effectiveness of the laws and policies that address the fundamental and universal human need for a place to live, to raise a family, and to earn a living, is one of the primary criterion by which most people determine the quality of their lives and judge the effectiveness and legitimacy of their Governments. Housing, land and property issues undergird economic relations, and have critical implications for the ability to vote and otherwise exercise political power, for food security and for the ability to access education and health care.
As the nation struggles to build greater democracy and seeks growing engagement with the outside world, Myanmar finds itself at an extraordinary juncture; in fact, it finds itself at the HLP Crossroads. The decisions the Government makes about HLP matters during the remainder of 2012 and beyond, in particular the highly controversial issue of potentially transforming State land into privately held assets, will set in place a policy direction that will have a marked impact on the future development of the country and the day-to-day circumstances in which people live. Getting it right will fundamentally and positively transform the nation from the bottom-up and help to create a nation that consciously protects the rights of all and shows the true potential of what was until very recently one of the world's most isolated nations. Getting it wrong, conversely, will delay progress, and more likely than not drag the nation's economy and levels of human rights protections downwards for decades to come.
Myanmar faces an unprecedented scale of structural landlessness in rural areas, increasing displacement threats to farmers as a result of growing investment interest by both national and international firms, expanding speculation in land and real estate, and grossly inadequate housing conditions facing significant sections of both the urban and rural population. Legal and other protections afforded by the current legal framework, the new Farmland Law and other newly enacted legislation are wholly inadequate. These conditions are further compounded by a range of additional HLP challenges linked both to the various peace negotiations and armed insurgencies in the east of the country, in particular Kachin State, and the unrest in Rakhine State in the western region. The Government and people of Myanmar are thus struggling with a series of HLP challenges that require immediate, high-level and creative attention in a rights-based and consistent manner.
As the country begins what will be a long and arduous journey toward democratization, the rule of law and stable new institutions, laws and procedures, the time is ripe for the Government to work together with all stakeholders active within the HLP sector to develop a unique Myanmar- centric approach to addressing HLP challenges that shows the country's true potential. And it is also time for the Government to begin to take comprehensive measures - some quick and short-term, others more gradual and long-term - to equitably and intelligently address the considerable HLP challenges the country faces, and grounding these firmly within the reform process.Having thoroughly examined the de facto and de jure HLP situation in the country based on numerous interviews, reports and visits, combined with an exhaustive review of the entire HLP legislative framework in place in the country, this report recommends that the following four general measures be commenced by the Government of Myanmar before the end of 2012 to improve the HLP prospects of Myanmar:..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Displacement Solutions|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.55MB-original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://displacementsolutions.org/files/documents/MyanmarReport.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||26 October 2012|
|Title:|| ||Farmland Act - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 11/2012 / လယ္ယာေျမ ဥပေဒ (၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ မတ္လ ၃၀ ရက္) (Burmese)
|Date of publication:|| ||03 April 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Adopted 30 March 2012...This law repeals: (a) The Land Nationalization Act of 1953; (b) The 1963 Tenancy Law; (c) The Law Safeguarding Peasant Rights, 1963. / ၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္၊ ျပည္ေထာင္စု လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဥပေဒ အမွတ္ ၁၁။... ၁၃၇၃ ခုႏွစ္၊ တန္ခူးလဆန္း ၈ ရက္... (၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ မတ္လ ၃၀ ရက္)... ေအာက္ပါဥပေဒမ်ားကို ဤဥပေဒျဖင့္ ႐ုပ္သိမ္းလိုက္သည္-
(က) ၁၉၅၃ ခုႏွစ္၊ လယ္ယာေျမႏိုင္ငံပိုင္ျပဳလုပ္ေရးအက္ဥပေဒ၊
(ခ) ၁၉၆၃ ခုႏွစ္၊ သီးစားခ်ထားေရးဥပေဒ၊
(ဂ) ၁၉၆၃ ခုႏွစ္၊ ေတာင္သူလယ္သမား အခြင့္အေရးကာကြယ္သည့္
|Language:|| ||Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Mirror" ("Kyemon") ေၾကးမံု 3 April 2012|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (143K-"Mirror" version; 125K, Alternate URL))|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Farmland_Act%28bu%29.pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 April 2012|
|Title:|| ||More warnings over land bills
|Date of publication:|| ||26 February 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Experts say two pieces of draft legislation have 'major gaps' that could be exploited for land grab..."Harvard academics, farmers, activists, politicians, United Nations agencies and a Nobel Prize-winning economist have joined the debate on land rights reform, warning that two proposed land laws could lead to increased poverty and inequality if approved in their current form.
The Farmland Bill and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Bill were submitted to parliament during the second session but had not been passed when the session ended in late November.
Activists and land rights experts say the bills are inadequate and require further consultation, and in late 2011 quietly began campaigning to have both of the draft laws amended. With as much as two-thirds of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, the issue is considered critical to efforts to alleviate poverty and promote inclusive and sustainable development..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Thomas Kean|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"Myanmar Times" Volume 31, No. 615|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||22 June 2012|
|Title:|| ||Guidance Note on Land Issues (Myanmar)
|Date of publication:|| ||June 2010|
|Description/subject:|| ||"This note is meant to serve as a quick reference for local authorities and NGOs to
acquire an understanding of relevant land laws and the context of land-use in
Myanmar. All land and all natural resources in Myanmar, above and below the ground,
above and beneath the water, and in the atmosphere is ultimately owned by the Union of
Myanmar. Although the socialist economic system was abolished in 1988, the existing Land
Law and Directions were not changed in parallel, and thus these are still in use today in
accordance with the ‘Adaptation of Expression of Law’ of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council Law No 8/88..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||UN Habitat, UNHCR|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.7MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||12 November 2011|
|Title:|| ||Burma HLP Initiative
|Date of publication:|| ||November 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Since its establishment in 2006, Displacement Solutions has been active in exploring the housing, land and property rights situation in Burma. The Burma HLP Initiative aims to shed new light on the numerous HLP rights issues in Burma today by building capacity for enforcing these rights by citizens of the country. The Initiative works together with various groups within and outside Burma towards these ends.
The Initiative explores key questions such as:
* What are the characteristics and status of the legal regime in Burma as it relates to HLP rights issues?
* How effective is the current legal regime in promoting human rights standards relevant to HLP rights? What are the key issues facing the HLP rights regime in Burma?
* In what ways can the legal code more effectively address HLP rights in Burma, and how might it be reformed to avoid problems in the future transition process? This will draw on the many experiences of political transition since the end of the Cold War.
* How can the capacity of the Burmese democratic opposition be enhanced to structurally address the HLP legal environment in Burma today? How can expert capacity be strengthened to better prepare the broader democratic opposition to address the HLP challenges that will arise during and after political transition?..." THIS LINK CONTAINS A HYPERLINKED SET OF BURMESE HLP-RELATED LAWS|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Displacement Solutions|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||20 October 2010|
|Title:|| ||HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS IN BURMA: THE CURRENT LEGAL FRAMEWORK
|Date of publication:|| ||November 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||A compilation of all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, plus commentary...
"The deplorable human rights record of Burma’s military junta has been a key focus of
international attention for many years. The military has ruled the country for half a century,
and has presided over a collapse of the economy and of social services. At the same time,
successive military regimes have perpetuated an almost feudal governance system – where
the population is seen as a resource at the disposal of the rulers – that is in many respects
unchanged since pre-colonial times.
A combination of deliberate abuse, a general climate of impunity, and out-dated and
ineffective social policies all contribute to a fundamental absence of basic human rights in
this country of 55 million people. To date, the bulk of attention has focused on important
questions of political prisoners, denial of basic freedoms, forced labour, forced displacement,
as well as the other abuses related to the army’s brutal counter-insurgency policies.
However, there are additional types of rights abuses that are not as frequently mentioned,
but that have a critical impact on the daily lives of millions of people across Burma. And
it is these – housing, land and property (HLP) rights – that form the contents of this
important new book.
This volume contains all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, and
makes a vital contribution to understanding the impact that these legal structures have
on communities across the country. Being able to view the HLP legal code in its entirety
for the first time reveals more clearly than ever before that supporters of democratic and
governance reform within Burma need to better understand – and place greater emphasis
on – HLP issues than they have to date. Understanding how these issues are dealt with in
both law and practice will enable more creative thinking about Burma’s HLP future, in
order that the peoples of the country can most fully enjoy their legitimate housing, land
and property rights."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Scott Leckie and Ezekiel Simperingham (eds)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Displacement Solutions & The HLP Institute|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (3.42MB) - 1255 pages|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||30 December 2009|