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Economic, Social and Cultural issues
In this and the following sections the material is divided into Texts and Commentary. The texts may be adopted laws ("Laws", "Acts") or bills (legislation proposed but not yet adopted) or implementing instruments ("rules", "regulations", "directives", "notifications", "procedures" etc.)

  • Education

    • Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to education (commentary)

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Monywa Students Protest Education Bill
      Date of publication: 25 September 2014
      Description/subject: "Students from Monywa University in Sagaing Division on Wednesday launched a campaign opposing the National Education Bill. The controversial bill, passed by parliament at the end of July, has been a subject of criticism among educators and students alike. Several student protests have been held around the country, claiming that the new bill would centralise decision-making and grant too much power to the Ministry of Education. Around 50 students from the Monywa University Students’ Union Network on Wednesday distributed leaflets and spoke to fellow students at the gate to the campus, explaining why they believed the National Education Bill should be rejected. “We demand the abolition of the National Education Commission and the Coordination Committee for Higher Education (CCHE), which both centralise control of our education,” said San Wai Phyo, coordinator of the Monywa University Students Union Network. “We want to see the inclusion of articles in the bill that allow freedom to students and lecturers to form associations and unions at their campus.” The protestors at Monywa University also called for a tri-lingual education system – in Burmese, English, and ethnic languages – which, they said, would promote ethnic unity in the multinational Union of Burma. A clause in chapter four of the draft National Education Bill said centralisation of power would be decreased only if teachers and lecturers “display good conduct and attitude”, which students deemed an insult to teachers and education staff. University students across Burma, since March this year, have been campaigning against the bill, even before it was approved by parliament. The CCHE to date has not responded to their calls. San Wai Phyo said the Monywa student protestors will now step up their campaign in solidarity with student associations from other universities."
      Author/creator: Nang Mya Nadi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Democratic Voice of Burma"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Title: MPs to Vote on Education Bill
      Date of publication: 22 September 2014
      Description/subject: "The National Education Bill was approved by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on July 31. Faced with the choice of signing it into law or proposing changes, President U Thein Sein sent it back with 25 suggestions. On September 11, the Joint Bill Committee delivered its report to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, recommending representatives approve 19 of the president’s proposed changes and reject six, including one that would delay the full introduction of reforms from 2019 to 2027. U Myat Nyarna Soe, secretary of the Amyotha Hluttaw Education Development Committee, said he was hopeful MPs would vote in line with the committee’s recommendation. “The government needs to undertake reforms to give universities real autonomy within five years,” he said. The Joint Bill Committee also rejected the president’s suggestions to make both primary and middle school free and compulsory, instead advising MPs to opt for the original version, which states that free and compulsory basic education should be implemented “step by step” throughout primary, middle and high school. It also rejected the president’s request to remove a provision requiring the government to get parliamentary approval when forming the National Education Committee, and to place some universities under the responsibility of other government ministries, such as defence and religious affairs. If the original version is maintained, military training schools, such as the elite Defence Service Academy, will become independent."...
      Author/creator: Wa Lone
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Times
      Alternate URLs: www.mmtimes.com
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Title: Burma’s Teachers Chime in on Education Reform
      Date of publication: 15 September 2014
      Description/subject: "Opposition to Burma’s National Education Bill continues to grow as the draft moves closer to approval. The Myanmar Teachers Federation (MTF) has joined the long list of students and educators that oppose the legislation. “We would like to announce to the people that we strongly believe the National Education Law affects not only the education sector but the entire country and the people,” the MTF said in a statement released on Monday. “Therefore, the Myanmar Teachers Federation will fully cooperate with student unions across the country who are pushing for education reform that will truly benefit the country.” Related Stories The bill, drafted by the government’s Education Promotion Implementation Committee (EPIC) and submitted to parliament in March 2014, was recently passed by both houses of parliament and now awaits the president’s signature. Controversial from the outset, the bill has sparked heated demonstrations in Mandalay, Sagaing and Rangoon divisions. The bill’s detractors claim that the education reform process lacks transparency and could ultimately serve to centralise education, granting too much power to the government. History has shown a tendency to marginalise minorities through the education system, which is in poor shape after decades of fiscal and administrative neglect."...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
      Alternate URLs: www.dvb.no
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Title: ‘We Will Create an All-Inclusive Education System’
      Date of publication: 08 September 2014
      Description/subject: "In late July, the Union Parliament approved the National Education Bill and the legislation, which is still awaiting approval by the president, is meant to overhaul Burma’s derelict education system. Under previous military governments, the system suffered from neglect, underfunding and outdated teaching methods. The new bill includes a range of reforms for all education levels, but has come in for criticism from independent organizations, who said it continues unnecessary central government controls on education. In the basic education sector, the bill strives to ensure enrollment of every school-age child, provision of free schooling and the use of student-centered teaching methods. San San Yi, director of the Ministry of Education’s No. 3 Basic Education Department, spoke with The Irrawaddy about how the new legislation would change basic education in Burma."...
      Author/creator: HTET NAING ZAW
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Irrawaddy
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: University Students Union Opposes Education Bill
      Date of publication: 10 September 2014
      Description/subject: "The University Students Union released a statement on Wednesday denouncing the National Education Bill; at the same time it launched an awareness campaign in front of the University for Computer Studies, 25km north of Rangoon. A spokesperson for the students’ union, commonly known in Burma as the ta-ka-tha, said the event was not a demonstration but rather “a gathering to raise awareness about the weaknesses of the education bill”, and that they had timed it to meet students who were entering the campus to sit for exams on Wednesday morning. The draft National Education Bill awaits the president’s signature since being approved by both houses of parliament in late July. Controversial from the outset, the bill’s detractors claim that it was drafted unilaterally and without enough transparency. Last month, a group of almost 100 students gathered at Mandalay’s Yadanabon University to voice opposition to certain aspects of the bill, claiming that it creates excessive restrictions on the formation of student unions and centralises Burma’s education system. Related Stories The All Burma Federation of Students Unions, or ba-ka-tha, has also released statements opposing the current draft of the Education Bill, as has the National Network for Education Reform, an independent oversight body. Burma has a high literacy rate – 93 percent, according to World Bank data released in 2012. However, the country’s education system was stymied under decades of military rule, and remains sorely short of highly-skilled instructors. The budget allocated for education in Burma is under six percent of national spending."
      Author/creator: KAUNG HTET KYAW
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Title: New law to see private universities use State curriculum
      Date of publication: 03 July 2014
      Description/subject: "Currently private universities are responsible for their own curriculum and many receive assistance in developing their courses from foreign universities. This will change after the National Educational Bill, which was submitted to parliament earlier this year, is enacted, said the official, who asked not to be named. “By the time the National Education Law is enacted, the curriculums of those private universities have to be [the same as] those of the state-owned universities,” the official said. He insisted that this would “not degrade” the standards of the private sector. “If they cannot teach it, we cannot recognise those schools. If every school teaches their own curriculum, we cannot know which school is better.” Private universities, of which there are more than 10 in Myanmar, say they are opposed to the provision in the draft law. U Nay Win Naing from Victoria College said students would lose out if the law is passed in its current form. “We are opening this university in this country and so we are going to follow this country’s law. However, the curriculum should not be degraded. If this happens, students will lose out,” he said. The NLD, which has been at the forefront of the push for education reform, is in favour of private universities being independent. It argues that rather than force private universities to adhere to the state curriculum, the state universities should raise their standards to those of the private sector."...
      Author/creator: May Thinzar Naing
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.mmtimes.com/
      Date of entry/update: 26 September 2014


      Title: Higher Education Bill Scrapped over Lack of University Autonomy
      Date of publication: 26 August 2012
      Description/subject: "In a major upset, the Education Ministry’s higher education bill was rejected during the final stages of its passage through Myanmar’s Hluttaw, or parliament, after opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other legislators criticised it. It is the first time that the lower house has scrapped an entire bill rather than amending it. A new bill to increase university autonomy and place institutions on the road to international competitiveness will be drafted by legislators after the proposed bill was thrown out on 31 July because it would not allow universities enough freedom. Amendments would not be sufficient, Aung San Suu Kyi said, requesting parliament “to bring about a bill that is more suitable, for this country, this era and this world”. Suspension of the ministry’s bill would “enable the Hluttaw to discuss a higher education bill that is more comprehensive, brings more benefit to the country and represents the voice of the students,” said Thein Nyunt, the MP responsible for putting forward the eleventh-hour motion to scrap the bill. Legislators said the ministry’s proposed bill simply mirrored the system set up by the previous military regime, and blamed government control of universities for the collapse of higher education standards in recent decades."...
      Author/creator: Naw Say Phaw Waa
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: University World News
      Date of entry/update: 25 September 2014


  • Family/matrimonial/personal Law

    • Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to Family/Matrimonial Law (texts)

      Individual Documents

      Title: Personal Laws (Buddhist, Hindu, Muhammadan, Parsi, Christian)
      Date of publication: 1958
      Description/subject: These laws, which have various dates, are found in pages 1-116 of Vol. XI of "The Burma Code".....TABLE OF CONTENTS: PART XXII . --PERONAL LAWS: Buddhist:-The Registration of Kittim and options Act…The Hindu Widows’ Re-m arriage Act…The Anand Marriage Act…The Hindu Disposition of Property Act…The Caste Disabilities Removal Act…The Hindu Inh eritance (Rem oval of Disabilities) Act…The H indu Law of Inheritance Amendment Act…The Hindu Gains of Learning Act…The Kazis Act ...The Mussalman Wakf Validating Act…The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act…The Church of Scotland Kirk Session Act ...The Christian Marriage Act…The Foreign Marriage Act…The Burma Divorce Act…The Native Converts’ Marriage Dissolution Act... - The Special Marriage Act…The Married Women’s Property Act...The Majority Act…The Guardians and Wards Act…The Maintenance Orders Enforcement Act…The Child Marriage Restraint Act…The Slavery Act...The Succession Act…The Administrator-General’s Act…The Legal. Representatives Suits Act… The Rangoon Insolvency Act…The Burma Insolvency Act… The Arbitration (Protocol and Convention) Act…The Arbitration Act, 1944… The Hindu Widows’ Re-marriage Act…The Anand Marriage Act…The Hindu Disposition of Property Act…The Caste Disabilities Removal Act…The Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act…The Hindu Law of Inheritance Amendment Act…The Hindu Gains of Learning Act... The Kazis Act…The Mussalm an Wakf Validating Act…The Bar Council Act…The Legal Practitioners Act
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Government of the Union of Burma via "The Burma Code" Vol. XI
      Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
      Date of entry/update: 17 November 2014


    • Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to Family/Matrimonial/Personal Law (commentary)

      Individual Documents

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


      Title: A dangerous path for Myanmar
      Date of publication: 15 April 2015
      Description/subject: "This week in Myanmar the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw passed a law that gives regional governments the right to restrict how many children a woman has, legally enshrining a human rights breach found in few other countries in the world – with the notable exception of China..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 May 2015


      Title: Myanmar: Parliament must reject discriminatory ‘race and religion’ laws (English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Date of publication: 03 March 2015
      Description/subject: Joint statement by Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists..."Myanmar’s Parliament must reject or extensively revise four draft laws addressing “race and religion” that are currently under its consideration, said Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). These draft laws are discriminatory and could result in violations of a number of human rights, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to privacy, children’s rights and the right to freedom of expression. In December 2014, President Thein Sein submitted to Parliament a package of four draft laws aimed at “protecting race and religion”. The four draft laws – the Religious Conversion Bill, the Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill, the Population Control Healthcare Bill and the Monogamy Bill – contain many discriminatory provisions, in particular on religious and gender grounds, and do not accord with international human rights law and standards, including Myanmar’s legal obligations as a state party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)..."
      Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Source/publisher: Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists
      Format/size: pdf (84K-English; 170K-Burmese)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/AI-2015-03-03-Parliament_must_reject_discriminatory_race_and_rel...
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2015


      Title: Burma: Revoke ‘Two-Child Policy’ For Rohingya
      Date of publication: 28 May 2013
      Description/subject: Coerced Birth Control Reflects Broader Persecution of Muslim Minority ... "Burma’s government should publicly revoke a discriminatory population control regulation that restricts Rohingya Muslims to having two children. Implementation of this policy is consistent with the wider persecution of the largely stateless Rohingya, violating international human rights protections, and endangering women’s physical and mental health..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 May 2015


      Title: APPLICATION OF ISLAMIC LAW IN MYANMAR
      Description/subject: "There is no doubt that Myanmar is the Buddhist majority country although some minority religions like Christians, Muslim and Hindus have also been living there since long time ago. Also all religions have their own family law such as Hindu Law, Myanmar Buddhists Customary Law and Islamic Law. This article deals with the development and application of Islamic law in Myanmar discussing focuses on several Eras..."
      Author/creator: Marlar Than Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Academia.edu, Peer Articles, International Islamic University Malaysia, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws,
      Format/size: pdf (101K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2015


      Title: CURRENT LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON ISLAMIC FAMILY LAW IN MYANMAR
      Description/subject: "Like its neighboring country India, Myanmar has become an independent country on 4th January 1948 and announced as “Union of Burma”. Although Myanmar becomes an Independent country, legal matters are somehow still under the influence of British. Since British colonial time, Islamic law has been recognized as one of the family law of Myanmar and it has been practicing at civil courts of Myanmar till today. This presentation therefore presents the current legal framework on Islamic Family Law in Myanmar..."
      Author/creator: Marlar Than Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Islamic University Malaysia,
      Format/size: pdf (48K)
      Alternate URLs: https://www.academia.edu/5337108/CURRENT_LEGAL_FRAMEWORK_ON_ISLAMIC_FAMILY_LAW_IN_MYANMAR
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2015


      Title: The Administration on Islamic Law of Inheritance in Myanmar
      Description/subject: "The administration on inheritance is governed by Islamic Family Law in Myanmar because it is included in the Burma Laws Act (1898) Sec 13(1) . In Myanmar, most of the descriptions of the Succession Act (1925) give exemption for the administration on Islamic inheritance but some shall be applied for Islamic inheritance matters. According to the Islamic Law , the administration on inheritance in Myanmar is laid down on the civil jurisdiction. Islamic Inheritance system is rather complicated and yet the law has been codified, Courts have to rely upon the Fatwa, precedents of the former cases and translated Islamic law books. According to Islamic Law, the estate of a deceased Muslim shall be divided after deduction of funeral expenses; death-bed charges, debts and the payment by will which does not exceed one third of estate. After prescribing the Succession Act (1925), administration on inheritance in Islamic Family Law has to follow the procedure provides in the Act as follows:..."
      Author/creator: Marlar Than Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Academia.edu, Peer Articles, International Islamic University Malaysia, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws,
      Format/size: pdf (78K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2015


      Title: The Administration on Islamic Law of Marriage in Myanma
      Description/subject: "Marriage is called 'Nikah' in Islam. The Arabic word 'Nikah' literally means marriage or matrimony. In the view of law, marriage or 'Nikah' implies a contract which objects the legalizing of the sexual relationship and procreation of the children. Islamic marriage, 'Nikah' is under the authority of Islamic custom because it is recognized as a social contract in Myanmar. No special rite and official are needed to be a valid marriage. Traditionally, most of the marriages are performed as the religious ceremonies at the religious places by religious priests. There is at least a Mosque in almost every town or almost every Muslim community which has the marriage register book that Government recognized. Each Mosque has to maintain its register books for long term except from the natural disaster. There are three kinds of marriage recognized in Myanmar. They are valid marriage, void marriage and irregular or invalid marriage..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Academia.edu, Peer Articles, International Islamic University Malaysia, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws,
      Format/size: pdf (65K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 June 2015


  • Population

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

      Individual Documents

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


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


  • Religion

    • Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to religion (commentary)

      Individual Documents

      Title: The Symbolic Politics of Power – A Framework for Understanding the Strategy Behind Myanmar's 'Race and Religion Protection Laws'
      Date of publication: 25 July 2015
      Description/subject: Introduction: "The proposal of a controversial package of four bills, known as the ‘Race and Religion Protection Laws’, has evoked an outcry from national and international civil and human rights advocates as well as from several of Myanmar’s ethnic and religious minority groups. Similarly, political responses from outside the country have largely reviewed the proposal as a development that stands in stark contrast to Myanmar’s ostensible democratization and liberalization process that followed the general elections in 2010 and the by-elections in 2012. The European Union and European Union member state embassies note in a joint statement that ‘these draft bills do not appear to be in line with the international human rights treaties to which Myanmar is a party, including the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The EU calls upon the Government of Myanmar and the Hluttaw to ensure that all legislation adopted be fully in line with Myanmar’s own international human rights obligations. Further, these bills contain provisions which do not seem consistent with the current transition towards national reconciliation and an open democratic society.'...".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
      Author/creator: Richard Roewer and Amalie Weinrich
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
      Format/size: pdf (214K)
      Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
      Date of entry/update: 07 August 2015


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


      Title: Myanmar: Parliament must reject discriminatory ‘race and religion’ laws (English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Date of publication: 03 March 2015
      Description/subject: Joint statement by Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists..."Myanmar’s Parliament must reject or extensively revise four draft laws addressing “race and religion” that are currently under its consideration, said Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). These draft laws are discriminatory and could result in violations of a number of human rights, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to privacy, children’s rights and the right to freedom of expression. In December 2014, President Thein Sein submitted to Parliament a package of four draft laws aimed at “protecting race and religion”. The four draft laws – the Religious Conversion Bill, the Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Bill, the Population Control Healthcare Bill and the Monogamy Bill – contain many discriminatory provisions, in particular on religious and gender grounds, and do not accord with international human rights law and standards, including Myanmar’s legal obligations as a state party to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)..."
      Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Source/publisher: Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists
      Format/size: pdf (84K-English; 170K-Burmese)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/AI-2015-03-03-Parliament_must_reject_discriminatory_race_and_rel...
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2015


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


      Title: Law and Religion in Burma
      Date of publication: April 2001
      Description/subject: "Burma was annexed by the British through the three wars in 1824-1826, 1852-1853 and 1885-1886. When colonial rule started, it was British policy (as in other British colonies) not to interfere with local religion. The British did not want to create further confrontations. If they had not adopted this policy, there would have been more uprisings and more discontent among the people. And that would have endangered the position of the British. The policy reflected the experience of the colonial administrators in the implementation of colonial rule in India in the 18th century...Although according to the regime there is religious freedom in Burma, the reality is that there is religious discrimination. The junta is suppressing Muslims and Christians in order to disperse them, while it pretends to promote Buddhism. Buddhism is promoted by the military at the expense of other religions to increase SPDC's nationalism. The generals systematically use propaganda in their attempts to falsely convince the Buddhists that the military regime is representing their interests. Such is the state of Law and Religion in Burma today. Under the cloak of law, Buddhists are suppressed and the Sangha curtailed, as these are among the most active in the struggle for the restoration of democracy and human rights."
      Author/creator: Peter Gutter
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 8 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
      Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found in http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal%20Issues%20on%20Burma%20Journal%208.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003