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Burma: Internal displacement/forced migration of several ethnic groups.

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Burma's Displaced People
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: The feature section on Burma includes 29 articles exploring the extent of the displacement crisis, factors affecting displaced people and the search for solutions. The issue also includes 19 articles on other aspects of forced migration..... Forced displacement of Burmese people, Inge Brees... Burma: in urgent need of change, Douglas Alexander... The international community's Responsibility to Protect, Kavita Shukla... . Landmines: reason for flight, obstacle to return, Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan.... Forced relocation in Burma's former capital, Donald M Seekins... Under attack: a way of life, David Eubank... State of terror: women at risk, The Karen Women's Organisation.... Carving out humanitarian space, Jean-Francois Durieux and Sivanka Dhanapala.... Defining "forced migration" in Burma, Ashley South and Andrew Bosson... Humanitarian aid to IDPs in Burma: activities and debates, Ashley South... Supporting IDP resistance strategies, Poe Shan K Phan and Stephen Hull... Responses to eastern Burma's chronic emergency, The Thailand Burma Border Consortium... Reproductive health in Burma: a priority for action, John Bercow... A sense of home in exile, Sandra Dudley... Technology in the borderlands, Rachel Sharples... Neglect of refugee participation, Marie Theres Benner, Aree Muangsookjarouen Egbert Sondorp and Joy Townsend... Community-based camp management, Sally Thompson.... Access to justice and the rule of law, Joel Harding, Shane Scanlon, Sean Lees, Carson Beker and Ai Li Lim... Invisible in Thailand: documenting the need for protection, Margaret Green, Karen Jacobsen and Sandee Pyne ... Burmese asylum seekers in Thailand: still nowhere to turn, Chen Chen Lee and Isla Glaister... Rohingyas and refugee status in Bangladesh, Pia Prytz Phiri... Without refuge: Chin refugees in India and Malaysia, Amy Alexander.... Migration and trafficking: putting human rights into action, Nikolas Win Myint... Asia's new boat people, Chris Lewa.... Myanmar's forgotten people, Nyi Nyi Kyaw... Difficult to remain: the impact of mass resettlement, Susan Banki and Hazel Lang.... Karen voices on resettlement, The Karen Women's Organisation, with Sarah Fuller and Eileen Pittaway... Educational change in a protracted refugee context, Marc van der Stouwe and Su-Ann Oh... . To Sheffield with love, Patricia Hynes and Yin Mon Thu... Additional resources.
Language: English, Burmese (Arabic, French and Spanish versions are in preparation)
Source/publisher: Forced Migration Review No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 3.2MB, Burmese, 2.61MB))
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/FMR30Burmese.pdf

http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30/contents.pdf (download individual articles)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008

Title: Ashley South: Publications on Burma
Description/subject: List of published books and links to more than 20 online documents, mostly on the Mon, the Karen and internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar ....."Ashley South is an independent writer and consultant, specialising in humanitarian and political issues in Burma/Myanmar and Southeast Asia."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ashley South
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 January 2009

Title: Brookings Institution
Description/subject: Some docs on IDPs in Burma
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Free Burma Rangers
Description/subject: "... The Free Burma Rangers is an organization dedicated to freedom for the people of Burma. "De Oppresso Liber" is the motto of the Free Burma Rangers and we are dedicated in faith to the establishment of liberty, justice, equal rights and peace for all the people of Burma. The Free Burma Rangers support the restoration of democracy, ethnic rights and the implementation of the International Declaration of Human Rights in Burma. We stand with those who desire a nation where God's gifts of life, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and peace are ensured for all... MISSION: The mission of the Free Burma Rangers is to bring help, hope and love to the oppressed people of Burma. Its mission is also to help strengthen civil society, inspire and develop leadership that serves the people and act as a voice for the oppressed... ACTIONS: The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), conduct relief, advocacy, leadership development and unity missions among the people of Burma... Relief: ..."...FBR has issued some of the best documented reports on internal displacement/forced migration
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2004

Title: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) - Myanmar page
Description/subject: Highly recommended. Well-organised site. In "list of sources used" are most of the main reports from 1995 bearing on IDPs (though the reports from 1995 to 1997 are missing - temporarily, one hopes) and more Burma pages updated June 2001. Go to the home page for links on IDPs, including the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDMC
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004CE90B/%28httpCountries%29/59F29664D5E69CEF802570A70...
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

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

Title: Refugees International Burma page
Description/subject: One major report, several shorter articles. " The repressive government of Burma has caused hundreds of thousands of people, mainly members of minority ethnic groups, to flee to Thailand, Bangladesh and other countries in search of safety."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010

Title: Refworld UNHCR
Description/subject: A Search engine. UNHCR Documentation Centre's website. Lots of refugee and other documents.
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010

Title: ReliefWeb's Myanmar page
Description/subject: Reports from various NGOs, think-tanks and UN agencies
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: TBC (formerly TBBC) Map Room
Description/subject: Maps of internal displacement from 1996...The maps contain locations of such features as: Tatmadaw Regional Commands; S.E. Burma-Education-Basic; S.E. Burma-Health-Basic; S.E. Burma-Livelihoods-Basic; Poverty Incidence; Contested Areas in South East Myanmar; Development Projects in South East Myanmar; Internally Displaced Persons in South East Myanmar ; Tatmadaw outposts; Tatmadaw Military OPS Commands; BGF/Militia HQs; Tatmadaw Battalion Headquarters; BGF (Border Guard Force)/Militia Outpost; Displaced Villages; IDP Camps; Refugee Camps; Resumed Armed Resistance (SSA-N) Renewed Ceasefire Areas (UWSA, NDAA); International Boundaries; Rivers; Roads; cities; villages; State/Region Boundaries; Protracted Armed Resistance (SSA-S, PNLO); Development Projects Associated with Human Rights Abuses (Mines; Dams; Logging; Road Construction; Railroad Construction)
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium (TBC)- formerly Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: html, JPEG
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/maproom.htm
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2009

Title: TBC documents on internal displacement in Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2008

Title: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: US Committee for Refugees
Description/subject: Some reports and articles on Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar fighting spurs mass displacement - The country's political reforms have not shielded remote communities from being devastated by ongoing conflicts.
Date of publication: 19 June 2015
Description/subject: Photo essay..... "The country's political reforms have not shielded remote communities from being devastated by ongoing conflicts...Myanmar has undergone political reform over the past few years, led by President Thein Sein, a former military commander who has adopted a more moderate stance concerning the country's political system. Despite the reforms, however, conflicts involving minority groups have escalated, and Myanmar's Muslim communities, especially the Rohingya in the northwest, have become victims of violence. According with UNHCR's latest statistics, there are more than 300,000 internal displaced people (IDP) and almost half a million refugees originating from conflict areas in Myanmar. Adding to the numbers, fresh displacements are still being witnessed in northern Kachin State where clashes between Myanmar's army and Kachin Independent Army continue. In Shan State, many people escaped months ago from clashes between the rebel Talang National Liberation Army and government soldiers. More than 120,000 people from the Karen minority are still living in temporary shelters along the Thai-Myanmar border waiting for the results of the never-ending peace agreement between the Karen rebel groups and the central government..." In 2012, violence in Rakhine State forced almost 140,000 people to flee their homes. The majority live in government-designated IDP camps near the state capital, Sittwe, and in surrounding townships.
Author/creator: Vincenzo Floramo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2015

Title: Humanitarian Bulletin Myanmar Issue 9| 1 – 31 October 2014
Date of publication: 31 October 2014
Description/subject: Repairing IDP shelters in Rakhine and Kachin...Citizenship verification exercise in Myebon...Displaced people in Meiktila need assistance for the winter...School children at risk of food ration cuts
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNOCHA
Format/size: pdf (491K)
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2014

Title: Myanmar: comprehensive solutions needed for recent and long-term IDPs alike
Date of publication: 01 July 2014
Description/subject: Executive summary: "IDMC estimates that there are up to 642,600 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Myanmar, forced to flee their homes by armed conflict and inter-communal violence. The figure includes up to 400,000 people living in protracted displacement as a result of conflict in the south-east of the country – in southern Shan, Kayah, Kayin and Mon states and Bago and Tanintharyi regions - and 98,000 displaced by conflict in Kachin and northern Shan states since 2011. It also includes around 140,000 people displaced by inter-communal violence in Rakhine state since 2012, and more than 5,000 who fled their homes in Mandalay region in 2013. Disasters brought on by natural hazards and forced evictions linked to land grabs and the exploitation of natural resources have caused further displacement, including in areas where people have already fled conflict and violence. Landmines and unexploded ordnance constitute a significant obstacle to IDPs’ return in Kachin, northern Shan and the south-east. Internally displaced women and girls in Kachin and northern Shan face the threat of sexual violence. Muslim IDPs in Rakhine are confined to camps, where they have little or no access to health care, education or livelihoods, and shelters are in need of maintenance in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan. In the south-east, on the other hand, many IDPs are thought to be well on their way to achieving durable solutions through return or local integration, but estimating their number and gauging their outstanding needs is a challenge. Myanmar has no policy or legislation on internal displacement, and the government’s response has varied from region to region. Following the signing of ceasefire agreements, IDPs in the south-east should be better consulted and should be enabled to participate more in peace negotiations to ensure that their needs and aspirations in terms of durable solutions are addressed. UN mechanisms such as clusters and sectors coordinate the international response in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan, but generally humanitarian access is difficult in Rakhine, and in areas of Kachin and northern Shan not under government control."
Author/creator: Anne-Kathrin Glatz
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2014

Title: Ceasefires and Durable Solutions in Myanmar: a lessons learned review.....Commentary: IDPs and refugees in the current Myanmar peace process
Date of publication: March 2014
Description/subject: "Over six decades of ethnic conflict in Myanmar have generated displacement crises just as long. At the time of writing there are an estimated 640,747 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar, and 415,373 refugees originating from the country.However, these figures are not fully indicative of levels of forced migration, as obtaining reliable data for IDPs remains difficult, while millions of regular and irregular migrants have also left the country, often fleeing similar conditions to those faced by documented refugees and IDPs. Since a new government came into power in 2011, it has managed to secure fresh ceasefire agreements with the majority of the country’s ethnonationalist armed groups (EAGs), potentially inching one step closer to a lasting solution for the country’s hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs. As the possibility for voluntary return and resettlement of displaced people opens up, there is a lot to learn from a look back at past ceasefire periods in Myanmar where movements of such populations have taken place. Focusing on the cases of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) ceasefire in 1994, and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) ceasefire in 1995, which had very different impacts on the displaced populations affected, this paper aims to provide lessons for the current transition..." Jolliffe)....."This commentary reflects on some key findings emerging from Kim Jolliffe’s paper on lessons learned from previous ceasefire agreements in Myanmar, and examines how issues relating to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been addressed in the current ceasefires and emerging peace process in Myanmar. The main focus of both papers are the Kachin situation (past and present), a case study of historic forced migration and attempted solutions in Mon areas, and the current situation in Karen areas. Comprehensive treatment of these issues would have to take into account (inter alia) the contexts in western Myanmar, and Shan and Karenni/Kayah areas..." (South)
Author/creator: Kim Jolliffe (paper); Ashley South (Commentary)
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Format/size: pdf (915K-reduced version; 1.18MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendocPDFViewer.html?docid=533927c39&query=%22New%20is...
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2014

Title: Humanitarian Bulletin - Myanmar Issue: November 2012
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: Dire humanitarian needs P.1... Access constraints P.2... Funding requirements P.3... Sector needs and responses P.4..... HIGHLIGHTS The Government reports that the total estimated number of IDPs in Rakhine reached 115,000 people, including over 36,000 newly displaced in late October. Up to 75,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by insecurity in Kachin and northern Shan States which started in June 2011. The Government indicates that at least 17 people were killed and 114 injured due to an earthquake in upper Myanmar.
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) with humanitarian partners
Format/size: pdf (442K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2012

Title: Changing Realities, Poverty and Displacement in South East Burma/Myanmar - 2012 Survey (TBC)
Date of publication: 31 October 2012
Description/subject: "A significant decrease in forced displacement has been documented by community‐based organisations in South East Myanmar after a series of ceasefire agreements were negotiated earlier this year. While armed conflict continues in Kachin State and communal violence rages in Rakhine State, field surveys indicate that that there has been a substantial decrease in hostilities affecting Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon communities. In its annual survey of displacement and poverty released today, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) estimates that 10,000 people were forced from their homes during the past year in comparison to an average of 75,000 people displaced every year during the previous decade. While there remain at least 400,000 internally displaced persons in rural areas of South East Myanmar, the tentative return of 37,000 civilians to their villages or surrounding areas reflects hope for an end to displacement. After supporting refugees and internally displaced persons for nearly three decades, TBBC’s Executive Director Jack Dunford is optimistic about the possibility of forging a sustainable solution but conscious that there are many obstacles still to come. “The challenge of transforming preliminary ceasefire agreements into a substantive peace process is immense, but this is the best chance we have ever had to create the conditions necessary to support voluntary and dignified return in safety”, said Mr Dunford. Poverty assessments conducted by TBBC’s community‐based partners with over 4,000 households across 21 townships provide a sobering reminder about the impact of protracted conflict on civilian livelihoods. The findings suggest that 59% of households in rural communities of South East Myanmar are impoverished, with the indicators particularly severe in northern Karen areas where there have been allegations of widespread and systematic human rights abuse. The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar reported to the United Nations General Assembly last month that truth, justice and accountability are integral to the process of securing peace and national reconciliation. Mr Dunford commented that “after all the violence and abuse, inclusive planning processes can help to rebuild trust by ensuring that the voices of those most affected are heard and that civil society representatives are involved at all stages”." (TBC Press Release, 31 October 2012)..... 9 documents: English full report (Zip-PDF: 22.5Mb); Burmese brochure (PDF: 8.25Mb); English brochure (PDF: 0.9Mb); English Exec Summ. (PDF: 270Kb); English-Chapter 1 (PDF: 800Kb); English-Chapter 2 (PDF: 7.9Mb); English-Chapter 3 (PDF: 9.7Mb); English-Chapter 4 (PDF: 5.6Mb); English-Appendices (PDF: 5.9Mb).....
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Border Consortium - TBC (formerly Thailand Burma Border Consortium - TBBC )
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2012-idp-en-press-release.pdf (press release)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/report-2012-idp-full-en-op-red.pdf (slightly reduced version of the full report)
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012

Title: Displacement and Poverty in South East Burma/Myanmar - 2011 Survey - TBBC (English)
Date of publication: October 2011
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (extract): Poverty alleviation has been recognised by the new government as a strategic priority for human development. While official figures estimate that a quarter of the nation live in poverty, this survey suggests that almost two thirds of households in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar are unable to meet their basic needs. Impoverishment is particularly severe in the conflict-affected townships of Kyaukgyi and Shwegyin in Pegu/Bago Region and Thandaung in Karen/Kayin State. Comparative analysis with household surveys conducted by the World Food Program suggest that that standards of living in rural areas of the South East are similar to conditions in Northern Rakhine State and far worse than those those reported from the central Dry Zone. This report seeks to increase awareness about the scale of poverty and displacement in rural areas of South East Burma/Myanmar at a critical juncture in the nation’s history...".....With Field Assessments and Situation Updates by: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People; Karen Offi ce of Relief and Development; Karenni Social Welfare and Development Centre; Mon Relief and Development Committee; Shan Relief and Development Committee...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (5.8MB-low resolution; 8.9MB - higher resolution); Zip file - TBBC site - 8.8MB)
Alternate URLs: Higher resolution: http://www.tbbc.org/resources/resources.htm#idps
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2011

Title: MYANMAR: Displacement continues in context of armed conflicts (Overview)
Date of publication: 19 July 2011
Description/subject: "In November 2010 the first national elections since 1990 were held in Myanmar. While the party set up by the previous government and the armed forces retain most legislative and executive power, the elections may nevertheless have opened up a window of opportunity for greater civilian governance and power-sharing. At the same time, recent fighting between opposition non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and government forces in Kayin/Karen, Kachin, and Shan States, which displaced many within eastern Myanmar and into Thailand and China, is a sign that ethnic tensions remain serious and peace elusive. Since April 2009, armed conflict between the armed forces and NSAGs has intensified, as several NSAGs that had concluded a ceasefire with the government in the 1990s refused to obey government orders to transform into army-led border guard forces. Displacement in the context of armed conflict is not systematically monitored by any independent organisation inside the country. Most available information on displacement comes from organisations based on the Thai side of the Thailand-Myanmar border. Limited access to affected areas and lack of independent monitoring make it virtually impossible to verify their reports of the numbers and situations of internally displaced people (IDPs). Although the conflicts in other areas of Myanmar have probably also led to displacement, the only region for which estimates have been available was the southeast, where more than 400,000 people were believed to be living in internal displacement in 2010. More than 70,000 among them were estimated to be newly displaced. People displaced due to conflict in Myanmar lack access to food, clean water, health care, education and livelihoods. Their security is threatened by ongoing fighting, including where conflict parties reportedly target civilians directly. Although the limited access of humanitarians to most conflict-affected areas has hampered the provision of assistance and protection, the Government of Myanmar took a positive step in 2010 by concluding an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the provision of assistance to conflict-affected communities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Format/size: pdf (249K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/IDMC-Myanmar_Overview_July2011.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011

Title: Dilemmas of Burma in transition
Date of publication: March 2011
Description/subject: "Until a government of Burma is able to accept the role of non-state armed groups as providers for civilian populations and affords them legitimacy within a legal framework, sustained conflict and mass displacement remain inevitable. Throughout decades of brutal conflict, which have seen thousands of villages destroyed and millions of people displaced, Burma’s ruling regime has made no effort to provide support for affected civilians. As a result, Burma’s ethnic non-state armed groups (NSAGs) – thought to hold territory covering a quarter of the country’s landmass – play a crucial role as protectors and providers of humanitarian aid. The approach to governance taken by different NSAGs varies greatly, as does the level of willing support given to them by their respective populations. In these traditional cultures, hierarchical leadership structures have evolved over time, often based largely on loyalty to those who provide support and protection. Leaders linked to or part of NSAGs are now firmly established as being responsible for the governance of millions of people in Burma. This situation poses a threat to the state which, in turn, has responded with brute force, perpetuating the cycle of conflict and protracted displacement..."
Author/creator: Kim Jolliffe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 37
Format/size: html, pdf (171K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/non-state/Jolliffe.html
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2014

Date of publication: 28 October 2010
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Regardless of the outcomes in Burma’s first elections for twenty years, the incoming government and international community cannot afford to ignore the deteriorating socio-economic conditions that plague the country any longer. The urgency is particularly acute in eastern Burma where protracted armed conflict and restrictions on humanitarian access have exacerbated the legacy of chronic poverty. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document conditions in eastern Burma since 2002. This year, apart from updating information about displacement across six states and divisions, poverty assessments were also conducted in six townships. The poverty assessment was developed in consultation with humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon/Yangon as a contribution towards developing a credible, nation-wide database of indicators for household vulnerability. Government statistics disguise the extent of suffering and suggest relatively low levels of poverty in eastern Burma. This is because surveys are not allowed in some areas and pockets of extreme vulnerability are not taken into account when data is only disaggregated to the State or Division level. However, the indicators for vulnerability in eastern Burma documented in this report are comparable to the worst findings that international agencies have reported anywhere in Burma. Impoverishment is particularly severe in the rural areas of Kyaukgyi Township where half of the sample population reported displacement, forced labour and restrictions on movement had caused shocks to livelihoods during the previous six months. Analysis of the demographic structure in eastern Burma reveals high birth and child mortality rates as well as low life expectancy. There is a high degree of dependency on a relatively small working age population, and almost half of the population surveyed has no proof of citizenship. These characteristics are more comparable to the vulnerability experienced in northern Rakhine State than national averages. Offi cial fi gures suggest that poverty rates in Kachin State and Magway Division are amongst the worst in the nation. However, this survey indicates that basic living conditions, such as access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, are generally worse in eastern Burma. The lack of durable shelter resulting from protracted conflict in eastern Burma resembles conditions in the Irrawaddy Delta a year after Cyclone Nargis wreaked havoc. Government statistics claim the average farming household owns 6 acres of land, but this survey found 64% of rural households have access to less than two acres of land and only 13% have access to irrigated fields. These seemingly contradictory fi gures reflect large inequalities with regards to land tenure in Burma. The labour intensive nature of agriculture is indicated by over 80% of farmers lacking farm machinery and being dependent on simple tools. Official data suggests that northern Shan State suffers from food insecurity more than most regions in Burma, but this survey fi nds the situation in south eastern Burma is comparable. Three quarters of the households in south eastern Burma had experienced food shortages during the month prior to being surveyed, and a similar proportion were preparing for a gap in rice supply of at least three months prior to the next harvest. Food consumption analysis identifi es that 60% of households surveyed have an inadequate diet, while acute malnutrition rates amongst children suggest a serious public health problem. While numerous indicators reflect severe vulnerabilities in eastern Burma, there is also evidence that subsistence livelihoods are highly resilient. The main source of staple food for three quarters of households is either their own rice crop or social networks, while access to cash income is more limited than elsewhere in the country. The low dependence on trade and high degrees of self reliance are also reflected by a relatively low proportion of household expenditures on food. This would generally be considered an indicator for lower levels of poverty, but comparisons are distorted because of increased restrictions on movement and reduced access to markets in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma. Impoverishment in eastern Burma is a bi-product of militarisation and a key factor contributing to displacement. During the past year, SPDC attempts to pressure ethnic ceasefi re groups to transform into Border Guard Forces have increased insecurity in areas which were relatively stable. The main ceasefi re parties have resisted the pressure and reiterated calls for a review of the 2008 Constitution and political dialogue to promote national reconciliation. In response, the Burmese Army has forcibly conscripted and extorted villagers to form ethnic militia units to act as proxy forces in case ceasefire agreements collapse. This year’s survey estimates at least 73,000 people were forced to leave their homes in eastern Burma between August 2009 and July 2010. The highest rates of displacement were reported in northern Karen areas, where over 26,000 villagers were forced from their homes by Burmese Army artillery attacks against civilians and by forced eviction orders. More than 8,000 villagers in southern Mon areas also fl ed from their homes as a result of instability and conflict induced by the Border Guard Force conversion orders and by forced relocations. TBBC’s partner agencies have documented the destruction, forced relocation or abandonment of more than 3,600 civilian settlements in eastern Burma since 1996, including 113 villages and hiding sites during the past year. Coercive practices by armed forces have also undermined livelihoods and contributed to at least 446,000 people being internally displaced in the rural areas of eastern Burma at the end of 2010. As this conservative estimate only covers 37 townships and discounts urban areas, it is likely that well over half a million internally displaced persons remain in eastern Burma. Military appointees and proxy party representatives are expected to control government after the elections, and there is no indication that political indifference to human suffering will change in the immediate future. The political challenge remains to press and engage with the national authorities for a genuine process of national reconciliation and the rights-based rule of law. However, there is an urgent need to scale up poverty alleviation and humanitarian relief efforts and there are capacities within Rangoon and border-based aid agencies to absorb additional funding immediately. The humanitarian and development challenge is to ensure that aid funding and programming are based on needs and vulnerabilities rather than political agendas."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (8MB); zip (7.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2010-idp-en.zip
http://www.tbbc.org/announcements/2010-10-28-media-release-idp-survey.pdf (press release)
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2010

Title: Displaced Childhoods
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: Preface: "On 17 January 2010, Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) number 367 initiated a fresh round of attacks on several villages in Karen State’s Nyaunglebin District in eastern Burma, killing three villagers, burning down houses, and committing atrocities against civilians. Over a two-day period, the attacks forcibly displaced over 1,000 villagers, including hundreds of children. These children are now living in uncertain conditions, hiding from further military attacks with little more than the clothes on their backs. They are at extreme risk of continued human rights violations, malnourishment, and serious health problems. Such attacks are common in military-ruled Burma. A generation of the country’s children have been scarred by death, destruction, loss, and neglect at the hands of Burma’s military. For over four decades, Burma’s military government has forced children from their homes and villages, subjected them to extreme human rights violations, and largely left them to fend for their survival in displacement settings without access to basic provisions or humanitarian services. Since 2002, Free Burma Rangers (FBR) has independently documented over 180 incidents of displacement, and for the last 14 years both Partners and FBR have provided lifesaving humanitarian service to thousands more. From 2002 to the end of 2009, more than 580,000 civilians, including over 190,000 children, have been forcibly displaced from their homes in Eastern Burma alone. An estimated one to three million people live as internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout Burma. As many as 330,000 to 990,000 of the displaced are children..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers. Partners Relief & Development
Format/size: pdf (2MB)
Date of entry/update: 08 April 2010

Date of publication: 03 February 2010
Description/subject: * In the 18 months spanning July 2008-December 2009, SPDC military operations displaced at least 118,800 (43,800 refugees and 75,000 internally displaced persons) people in Eastern Burma alone. * Of this figure, at least 16,800 were victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined under international law. * Much of the displacement was the result of the junta's program to secure military and political control over ethnic areas in the lead-up to the SPDC's planned elections this year. * Displacement is expected to increase as the regime intensifies pressure on ethnic groups resisting the elections that are predicated on a constitution designed to legitimize the military regime's political and economic subjugation of ethnic nationalities. * At the start of 2010, SPDC Army crimes against humanity and war crimes in Eastern Burma pushed 2,000 Karen into the jungles.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (119K)
Date of entry/update: 04 February 2010

Title: MYANMAR: Increasing displacement as fighting resumes in the east A profile of the internal displacement situation
Date of publication: 29 January 2010
Description/subject: "...Displacement as a result of armed conflict and human rights violations continues in Myanmar. Between August 2008 and July 2009, an estimated 75,000 people from ethnic minority communities in eastern Myanmar were forced to flee their homes. In several areas it is impossible to estimate the number of internally displaced people (IDPs). In October 2009, it was estimated there were at least 470,000 IDPs in rural areas of eastern Myanmar. Here, conflict between the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar Armed Forces) and ethnic insurgent groups has intensified since June 2009, as a result of government plans to transform armed opposition groups which have agreed ceasefires into Tatmadaw-commanded Border Guard Forces in the run-up to planned 2010 elections. During 2009, displacement was most prevalent in the Shan and Kayin/Karen States, where the IDP populations were reportedly 135,000 and 125,000 respectively. In several parts of Myanmar, coercive measures such as forced labour and land confiscation, often part of state-sponsored development initiatives, have also caused displacement. IDPs living in conflict-affected areas of Myanmar are vulnerable and in need of security, food, shelter, health and education. With the exception of the Ayerarwady/Irrawaddy delta, devastated by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, humanitarian access remains tightly controlled. International awareness of the nature and extent of conflict-induced displacement remains limited..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB, full text; 541K -overview)
Alternate URLs: http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004BE3B1/%28httpInfoFiles%29/CA6833A6901BDE21C12576BA004A2DE8/$file/Myanmar_Overview_Jan10.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 19: Internal Displacement and Forced Relocation
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: "Despite intense international focus on the human rights situation in Burma in 2008, forced displacement, as a result of conflict and human rights violations, was ongoing in the country. Throughout 2008, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military regime remained the main perpetrator in the majority of violations against civilians, particularly those against ethnic minority groups. Further, the SPDC remained unwilling to fulfil their obligations in relation to internally displaced persons (IDPs), flatly rejecting the assertion of the presence of a large number of IDPs in Burma. As a result, during 2008, the junta’s restrictions on humanitarian access continued to obstruct aid workers in Burma, particularly in conflict-affected areas....In addition to the more traditional conflict-induced and development-induced displacement discussed above, internal displacement in Burma is also caused by a combination of coercive and economic factors which lead to the impoverishment and forced migration of local populations. Such practices and policies employed by the SPDC and its allied ceasefire armies include land confiscation, the use of forced labour, arbitrary taxation and extortion, theft and looting, enforced agricultural quotas and procurement policies and restrictions on the freedom of movement.25 As such, the systematic and widespread violation of human rights is one of the leading causes of displacement in Burma today. While many reports published throughout 2008 continued to refer to “civilians fleeing fighting”, the reality remains that conflict in Burma is typically of a low intensity and what civilians flee from more often than not are the human rights abuses that invariably accompany militarization and not overt fighting as is often implied. This is especially prevalent in areas of ethnic armed conflict. In such contexts, it is misleading to use the term “fighting”, as this implies that the villagers are fleeing from counter-insurgency measures used by SPDC army units against armed resistance groups and that the conflict has spilled over unintentionally into civilian villages where the villagers are easily labelled as “collateral damage”. Such assumptions could not be any further from the truth. For the most part, the only real “fighting” that ever takes place is when SPDC army columns attack undefended civilian villages and opposition forces attempt to intervene to give the villagers a chance to escape. In all such attacks, the villagers cannot be considered “collateral damage”, but rather the intended targets of them. Actual cases of SPDC army forces seeking out and engaging the resistance are rare..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (1.39MB)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2009

Title: Protracted Displacement and Militarization in Eastern Burma- 2009 Survey -TBBC (English, Burmese, Thai)
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: "The main threats to human security in eastern Burma are related to militarisation. Military patrols and landmines are the most significant and fastest growing threat to civilian safety and security, while forced labour and restrictions on movement are the most pervasive threats to livelihoods. Trend analysis suggests that the threats to both security and livelihoods have increased during the past five years. Over 3,500 villages and hiding sites in eastern Burma have been destroyed or forcibly relocated since 1996, including 120 communities between August 2008 and July 2009. The scale of displaced villages is comparable to the situation in Darfur and has been recognised as the strongest single indicator of crimes against humanity in eastern Burma. At least 75,000 people were forced to leave their homes during this past year, and more than half a million people remain internally displaced. The highest rates of recent displacement were reported in northern Karen areas and southern Shan State. Almost 60,000 Karen villagers are hiding in the mountains of Kyaukgyi, Thandaung and Papun Townships, and a third of these civilians fled from artillery attacks or the threat of Burmese Army patrols during the past year. Similarly, nearly 20,000 civilians from 30 Shan villages were forcibly relocated by the Burmese Army in retaliation for Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) operations in Laikha, Mong Kung and Keh Si Townships. Thailand’s National Security Council recently acknowledged it was preparing for another mass influx of refugees due to conflict in Burma’s border areas leading up to the proposed elections in 2010. Conflict has already intensified in Karen State with over 4,000 Karen refugees fleeing into Thailand during June. The increased instability is related to demands that ethnic ceasefire groups transform into Border Guard Forces under Burmese Army command. Such pressure has already resulted in the resumption of hostilities in the Kokang region which caused 37,000 civilians to flee into China..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (5.6MB - English; 7.3MB - Burmese; 5.6MB - Thai))
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/TBBCidp_report-2009(bu).pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 November 2009

Title: A State of Fear
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: Caught in the crossfire of Burma’s civil war, hundreds of thousands of Karen, Karenni, Mon and Shan are trapped in No Man’s Land... "At night, my mother and I boiled rice while my sister dried our wet clothes by the fire,” said Moo Kay Paw. “We were too scared to light a fire during the day in case the government troops saw it and came for us. “We survived for weeks only on boiled rice. At night, we slept rough on the ground with pieces of bamboo for pillows. I shared a single blanket with my four sisters to stay warm,” she said. a family waits for help before rushing across a Burmese military road in northern Karen State. (Photo: FBR) Four years ago, when Moo Kay Paw was 14, her village was burnt down by government soldiers and her father was shot before her eyes. In many ways, her story is typical of someone from a farming village in eastern Burma. Constantly on the move to avoid the war between the Tatmadaw—the Burmese military government’s forces—and the ethnic insurgents of the region, Moo Kay Paw’s family has lived in a state of fear since the 1980s..."
Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2010

Title: Patrols, movement restrictions and forced labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 28 September 2009
Description/subject: "This report documents the situation for villagers in Toungoo District, both in areas under SPDC control and in areas contested by the KNLA and home to villagers actively evading SDPC control. For villagers in the former, movement restrictions, forced labour and demands for material support continue unabated, and continue to undermine their attempts to address basic needs. Villagers in hiding, meanwhile, report that the threat of Burma Army patrols, though slightly reduced, remains sufficient to disrupt farming and undermine food security. This report includes incidents occurring from January to August 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F16)
Format/size: html, pdf (474K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2009-09-28-patrols_movements_restrictions-en-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009

Title: MYANMAR: No end in sight for internal displacement crisis. A profile of the internal displacement situation
Date of publication: 05 March 2009
Description/subject: "Displacement as a result of conflict and human rights violations continued in Myanmar in 2008. An estimated 66,000 people from ethnic minority communities in eastern Myanmar were forced to become displaced in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses. As of October 2008, there were at least 451,000 people reported to be internally displaced in the rural areas of eastern Myanmar. This is however a conservative figure, and there is no information available on figures for internally displaced people (IDPs) in several parts of the country. In 2008, the displacement crisis continued to be most acute in Kayin (Karen) State in the east of the country where an intense offensive by the Myanmar army against ethnic insurgent groups had been ongoing since late 2005. As of October 2008, there were reportedly over 100,000 IDPs in the state. New displacement was also reported in 2008 in western Myanmar’s Chin State as a result of human rights violations and severe food insecurity. People also continued to be displaced in some parts of the country due to a combination of coercive measures such as forced labour and land confiscation that left them with no choice but to migrate, often in the context of state-sponsored development initiatives. IDPs living in the areas of Myanmar still affected by armed conflict between the army and insurgent groups remained the most vulnerable, with their priority needs tending to be related to physical security, food, shelter, health and education. Humanitarian access to this population continued to be very restricted. An unprecedented level of access for humanitarian workers was permitted in response to Cyclone Nargis which struck the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) Delta in May 2008, but government restrictions on humanitarian access continued elsewhere in Myanmar and frustrated efforts to reach conflict-affected IDPs. Additionally, the awareness of the international community of the nature and extent of conflict-displacement in Myanmar continued to be limited."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Format/size: pdf (1.53MB)
Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009

Title: Internal Displacement and International Law in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Twenty years after the Burmese junta gunned down pro-democracy protesters, violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma are more widespread and systematic than ever. Ten years after the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were submitted, the international response in eastern Burma remains largely ineffective in dealing with a predatory governing regime. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the characteristics of internal displacement in eastern Burma since 2002. During this period there has been increasing debate about whether violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma constitute an international crime. So aside from updating information about the scale and distribution of internal displacement, this year's survey compiles abuses reported during 2008 in relation to the legal framework for crimes against humanity.Conflict-induced displacement remains most concentrated in the northern Karen areas, where armed skirmishes between the Burmese Army and the Karen National Union continued in the first six months of 2008. While the wet season was previously a time of respite from Burmese Army patrols, intensified troop deployments during the past couple of years mean that the occupation is now sustained all year. This has led to the displacement of 27,000 villagers in the four affected townships during the past year. The prevalence of military attacks targeting civilians has slightly decreased since the junta's offensive in 2006. However, the harassment of villagers perceived as sympathetic to the armed opposition is unrelenting. The four townships surrounding Laikha in southern Shan State are also of particular concern. Armed skirmishes and Burmese Army deployments have escalated in this area since a former battalion commander with the Shan State Army - South surrendered in 2006. The Burmese Army is attempting to assert its supremacy in the area by breaking communication links between the armed opposition to the south and ceasefire groups to the north. Over 13,000 civilians are estimated to have been displaced from their homes in this area during the past twelve months. TBBC has previously reported that more than 3,200 settlements were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned in eastern Burma between 1996 and 2007. Such field reports have been corroborated by high resolution commercial satellite imagery of villages before and after the displacement occurred. During the past year, community organisations have documented the forced displacement of a further 142 villages and hiding sites. However, displacement is more commonly caused by coercive factors at the household level. The imposition of forced labour, extortion, land confiscation, agricultural production quotas, and restrictions on access to fields and markets has a devastating effect on household incomes and a destabilising impact on populations. During the past year, the prevalence of these factors has been exacerbated by hydro-electric projects in Shan and Karen States, mining projects in Shan and Karenni States and Pegu Division, the gas pipeline in Mon State as well as commercial agriculture and road construction in general.While the total number of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma is likely to be well over half a million people, at least 451,000 people have been estimated in the rural areas alone. The population includes approximately 224,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities. However, the most vulnerable group is an estimated 101,000 civilians who are hiding in areas most affected by military skirmishes, followed by approximately 126,000 villagers who have been forcibly evicted by the Burmese Army into designated relocation sites. An estimated 66,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses during the past year alone. Despite concessions made in the Irrawaddy Delta after Cyclone Nargis, the junta's restrictions on humanitarian access continue to obstruct aid workers elsewhere in Burma, particularly in conflict-affected areas. The large scale of displacement and the obstruction of relief efforts are indicative of ongoing violations of human rights and humanitarian law in eastern Burma. International law recognises crimes against humanity as acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population. Attacks on civilians refer not only to military assaults but also to the multiple commission of acts such as murder, enslavement, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape when related to a State policy. This definition reflects customary international law binding on all states, including Burma. The evidence cited in this report appears to strengthen Amnesty International's recent assessment that the violations in eastern Burma meet the legal threshold to constitute crimes against humanity. Skeptics argue that raising allegations about crimes against humanity will merely frustrate the promotion of political dialogue. However, just as the provision of humanitarian assistance should not be dependent upon political reform, humanitarian protection and the administration of justice should not be sacrificed to expedite political dialogue. The reality is that the authorities have consistently refused to enter into a serious discussion of these abuses with a view to putting a stop to them. The threat of prosecution may actually increase the leverage of the diplomatic community and provide an incentive for the governing regime to end the climate of impunity. Given the impunity with which violations have been committed, and the Burmese junta's failure to implement recommendations formulated by relevant United Nations' bodies, the responsibility to protect shifts to the international community. The challenge remaining for the international community is to operationalise this responsibility in Burma and hold the junta to account."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (10.33MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2008

Title: Landmines: reason for flight, obstacle to return
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: "Burma/Myanmar has suffered from two decades of mine warfare by both the State Peace and Development Council and ethnic-based insurgents. There are no humanitarian demining programmes within the country. It is no surprise that those states in Burma/Myanmar with the most mine pollution are the highest IDP- and refugee-producing states. Antipersonnel mines planted by both government forces and ethnic armed groups injure and kill not only enemy combatants but also their own troops, civilians and animals. There is no systematic marking of mined areas. Mines are laid close to areas of civilian activity; many injuries occur within half a kilometre of village centres. Although combatants have repeatedly said that they give ‘verbal warnings’ to civilians living near areas which they mine, no civilian mine survivor interviewed by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines reported having had verbal warnings..."
Author/creator: Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 293K; Burmese, 175K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008

Title: Under attack: a way of life
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: Much of what is happening in the conflict zones of eastern Burma is difficult to capture with photos, video and reports. It is a slow and insidious strangulation of the population rather than an all-out effort to crush them...
Author/creator: David Eubank
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (Burmese, 267K; English, 401K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30/10-11.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008

Title: A Comprehensive Plan Addressing the Needs of Displaced Persons on the Thailand/ Myanmar (Burma) Border in 2007/8
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: Introduction: "1.1 This ‘Comprehensive Plan Addressing the Needs of Displaced Persons on the Thailand/Myanmar (Burma) Border in 2007/8’ has been prepared by t he Committee for the Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office in Bangkok... 1.2 The first CCSDPT/ UNHCR Comprehensive Plan was for 2006 and was drawn up through a participatory process during 2005. It was presented to the Royal Thai Government (RTG) at a workshop in December that year. The 2006 plan was then expanded for 2006/ 7 and presented to Donors at a Donor Forum in May 2006 also attended by the National Security Counc il (NSC) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI)... 1.3 The Comprehensive Plan for 2007/8 draws on the earlier processes but this time also incorporates inputs from UNHCR’s Strengthening Protection Capacity Projec t-Thailand (SPCP-Thailand). This was initiated in August 2006 and is another gap ident ification exercise aimed at impr oving the protection capacity of Thailand to receive and protect refugees, enhance t heir means of self-reliance and expand opportunities for durable solutions... 1.4 The result is a more complete document whic h summarises current protection and humanitarian assistance services in 2007, anticipat ed services in 2008 and gaps identif ied in each sector. For many of the most important gaps, specific project propo sals with budget estimates are appended... 1.5 Implementation of the Comprehensive Plan will require ongoing cooperation between all stakeholders Specific challenges requiring action to move the pl an forward are set out for CCSDPT/ UNHCR, the Donors and the RTG..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: CCSDPT and UNHCR
Format/size: pdf (2.69MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=search&query=Burma+OR+Myanmar&x=0&y=0
Date of entry/update: 23 October 2015

Title: Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma
Date of publication: 05 December 2007
Description/subject: "According to COHRE's new report, 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma', land confiscation by Government forces is responsible for many serious housing, land and property (HLP) rights violations in Burma. These abuses occur during military counter-insurgency operations; to clear land for the construction of new army bases; to make way for infrastructure development projects; to facilitate natural resource extraction; and to cater for the vested interests of business. 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma' also reveals that control of land is a key strategy for the military regime, and a means of promoting the on-going expansion of the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw). In 1998, the SPDC issued a directive instructing Tatmadaw battalions to become self-sufficient in rice and other basic provisions. This prompted the Tatmadaw to 'live off the land' by appropriating resources (food, cash, labour, land) from the civilian population. This policy has exacerbated conflict and displacement across much of rural Burma. The Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) and its partners estimate that during 2007, approximately 76,000 people have been newly displaced by armed conflict and associated human rights abuses. The majority of new incidents of forced migration and village destruction were concentrated in northeast Karen State and adjacent areas of Pegu Division. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Eastern Burma in October 2007 was 503,000. These included 295,000 people in ceasefire zones, 99,000 IDPs 'in hiding' in the jungle and 109,000 in relocation sites. The estimates exclude hundreds of thousands of IDPs in other parts of Burma (especially Kachin and Shan States, and the west of the country, as well as in some parts of Karen State). Including these figures would bring the total to over a million internally displaced people. COHRE's Du Plessis said, "More than one million people have been dispossessed and are internally displaced in Burma -- not because of a natural disaster, but due to their own government's calculated and brutal actions. We have here a state monopoly which forcibly transfers property, income and assets, from rural, non-Burman ethnic nationalities to an elite, military Government. The HLP violations found in Burma today are the result of short-sighted and predatory policies that date back to the early years of Independence, and to the period of colonial rule. These problems can only be resolved through substantial and sustained change in Burma. Political transition should include improved access to a range of fundamental rights, as enshrined in international law and conventions -- including respect for HLP rights."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Coalition on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (3.21MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ashleysouth.co.uk/files/COHRE_November_2007.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2010

Title: Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma, 2007 Survey
Date of publication: 19 October 2007
Description/subject: The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the characteristics of internal displacement in eastern Burma since 2002. This year's research updates estimates of the scale and distribution of internal displacement, and documents the impacts of militarization and state-sponsored development, based on quantitative surveys with key informants in 38 townships. Trends relating to vulnerability, coping strategies and efforts at promoting protection were assessed by utilizing a multi-stage cluster sampling method to select and interview almost 1,000 households spread across six states and divisions. This year's survey has identified 273 infantry and light infantry battalions active in eastern Burma, representing more than 30% of the Burmese Army's battalions nationwide. These troops are generally controlled by the State Peace and Development Council's (SPDC's) Coastal Command based in Mergui, South Eastern Command in Moulmein, Southern Command in Taungoo, Eastern Command in Taunggyi and Triangle Area Command in Keng Tung. Documentation in this report reflects that human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army as part of their counter-insurgency strategy are tantamount to crimes against humanity and remain a key cause of displacement. However, even the SPDC's military hierarchy has admitted that poor troop management, inadequate rations and harsh conditions resulted in low morale and an 8% increase in desertion during the past year. Rather than alleviating poverty, state-sponsored development initiatives primarily facilitate the consolidation of military control over rural communities and induce displacement. Local livelihoods in areas surrounding proposed hydro-electric dams along the Salween River have been further undermined during the past year, with additional troop deployments to the Hutgyi dam site in Karen State during September particularly notable. Similarly, the livelihoods of Mon villagers continue to be undermined by the imposition of forced labour to secure the gas pipeline transporting electricity to Thailand. The government's promotion of castor oil plantations has become more systematic, with reports of land confiscation, extortion and forced cultivation especially significant in Southern Shan State. Palm oil and rubber plantations operated as joint ventures between local Burmese Army commanders and foreign investors have caused similar problems in Tenasserim Division, Meanwhile over 3,000 acres of farm land was confiscated in northern Karenni State to pave the way for an industrial estate. Approximately 76,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses during the past year. The number of people displaced was slightly lower than last year, which was primarily related to a relaxation of restrictions in Tenasserim Division. Forced migration was most concentrated in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division where counter-insurgency operations displaced approximately 43,000 civilians. While the total number of deaths in these four townships is unknown, at least 38 villagers have been killed by the Burmese Army during 2007 in Thandaung township alone. TBBC has previously reported that more than 3,000 villages were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned in eastern Burma between 1996 and 2006. These field reports have recently been corroborated by high resolution commercial satellite imagery taken before and after the villages were displaced. Visual evidence includes the removal of structures from villages that were forcibly relocated, and burn scars where destroyed villages used to be. During the past year, at least 167 more entire villages have been displaced. Internal displacement in eastern Burma, however, is more commonly associated with the coerced movements of smaller groups rather than entire villages. This relates to impoverishment and forced migration caused by the confiscation of land, asset stripping, forced procurement policies, agricultural production quotas, forced labour, arbitrary taxation, extortion and restrictions on access to fields and markets. The compulsory and unavoidable nature of these factors is distinct from the voluntary profit-oriented, "pull-factors" more commonly associated with economic migration. The total number of internally displaced persons who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society is estimated to be at least half a million people. This displaced population includes 295,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities. A further 99,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the SPDC in areas most affected by military skirmishes, while approximately 109,000 villagers have followed SPDC eviction orders and moved into designated relocation sites. While the overall figures are comparable to last year, lower estimates for relocation sites primarily reflect villagers' attempts at returning to former villages or resettling nearby in Tenasserim Division and Shan State. However, it is not known how sustainable these movements will be, while SPDC campaigns to forcibly relocate and consolidate villages have intensified in northern Karen State, eastern Pegu Division and northern Mon state. Higher estimates for the internally displaced in ethnic ceasefire areas are largely attributed to the expansion of authority exercised by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the newly formed KNU/KNLA Peace Council and subsequent instability in central Karen State. A slight population increase reported from hiding sites reflects the protracted emergency for the most vulnerable communities in eastern Burma A feature of this report is the inclusion of trend assessments which have been derived from comparisons to findings from previous household surveys conducted by TBBC and partner agencies over the past few years. In terms of vulnerability, the prevalence of threats to personal safety and security has increased, and in particular the incidence of arbitrary arrest or detention and forced conscription to porter military supplies. Indicators suggest that restrictions on movement to fields and markets have almost doubled to become the most pervasive threat to livelihoods, ahead of forced labour and arbitrary taxation. Violence against women, and in particular the threat of domestic violence and physical assault, was perceived as most prevalent in relocation sites and mixed administration areas where Burmese Army troops are in close proximity..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (8.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2007-idp-burmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Burma: The Changing Nature of Displacement Crises
Date of publication: February 2007
Description/subject: Introduction: "The shifting nature of conflict in Burma over the past fifteen years has structured a range of inter-linked displacement crises. In this paper, three main types of forced migration in – and from – the country are identified: Type 1 – armed-conflict-induced displacement; Type 2 – State/society-induced displacement; and Type 3 – livelihood/vulnerability-induced displacement. Each is addressed in a case study, with material drawn from different geographic areas, illustrating different aspects and impacts of (armed and state-society) conflict in Burma. This paper shows that internal displacement in Burma is not only caused by armed conflict in the insurgent-prone eastern borderlands. While the most acutely vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) do live in those few areas of the country still affected by significant levels of armed conflict, the phenomenon of forced migration is more complex and widespread – the product of decades of mis-governance by the militarized state..."
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford (RSC Working Paper No. 39)
Format/size: pdf (438K)
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2007

Title: Conflict and displacement in Burma/Myanmar
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: "...This chapter has described aspects of forced migration in Burma that are under-researched, including the phenomenon of serial displacement, and has proposed a three-part typology. Many internally displaced persons and others move repeatedly, sometimes for a combination of reasons; others have been displaced for some time and have found at least semi-durable solutions to their plight; many are living mixed with communities who are not—or have not recently been—displaced. Forced migrants’ needs can be assessed and appropriate interventions planned only if the full complexity of displacement situations in Burma is understood. Humanitarian (and political) actors should therefore respect and respond to the voices and agency of forced migrants and enrol their participation in all aspects of program planning and myanmar – the state, community 78 and the environment implementation. In most cases, forced migrants and communities threatened by displacement have special protection vulnerabilities related to the causes of migration (especially armed and state–society conflict). These concerns link humanitarian needs to explicitly political issues. Ultimately, substantial and sustained protection from forced migration, as well as the rehabilitation of displaced populations and reconstruction of communities, depends on resolutions to the conflicts that cause displacement in Burma. Unfortunately, efforts at conflict resolution have thus far met with only limited success.,,"
Author/creator: Ashley South
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2006 Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (153K)
Alternate URLs: http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf_instructions.html
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008

Title: Internal Displacement in Eastern Burma, 2006 Survey
Date of publication: November 2006
Description/subject: “Both tragedy and hope are reflected in this fifth annual survey of internal displacement in eastern Burma. The tragedy is that such systematic and widespread violations of human rights and humanitarian law continue to occur with national impunity and a largely ineffective international response. Yet it is the ongoing commitment and courage of ethnic community-based organisations to support grassroots coping strategies and document the impacts of conflict, violence and abuse which inspires hope for the future of Burma. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) has been collaborating with ethnic community-based organisations to document the scale, distribution and characteristics of internal displacement since 2002. Collectively, these surveys have aimed to raise awareness about vulnerability in eastern Burma and inform the development of humanitarian protection strategies. Recognising that conditions for the internally displaced are always changing, this year's survey attempted to update population estimates and assess trends across different areas in more detail with higher resolution maps. TBBC and the participating community-based organisations designed the surveys collaboratively by drawing from the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Although there were some changes for the sake of clarity, the questionnaire was similar to those used in previous years to facilitate trend analysis. Quantitative field surveys of the scale and distribution of internal displacement and the impacts of militarization and development have been based on interviews with key informants in 38 townships between June and August 2006. This has been complemented with qualitative field assessments about the causes and impacts of displacement which have been documented by community based organisations on an ongoing basis throughout the year. TBBC has previously reported that the Burmese Army has approximately doubled the deployment of battalions across eastern Burma since 1995. This survey has identified 204 infantry and light infantry battalions currently in eastern Burma, which represents approximately 40% of the government's frontline troops nation-wide. Such militarisation has facilitated the State Peace and Development Council's (SPDC's) counter-insurgency strategy which targets civilians in contravention of international humanitarian law. Accounts of such crimes against humanity have been documented by community based organisations in this report as contributing to conflict-induced displacement. State-sponsored development projects have done little to alleviate poverty in Burma, but have been significant causes of human rights abuses and displacement during the past year. The energy sector is Burma's largest recipient of foreign direct investment, but this report associates the gas pipeline in Mon State with forced labour, travel restrictions, and harassment. Similarly, proposed hydro-electric dams along the Salween River are linked with incidents of forced relocations, forced labour and the logging of community forests. Meanwhile commercial agriculture, and in particular the national development initiative to cultivate castor oil plants to produce bio-diesel, is reported to have induced widespread land confiscation, the imposition of procurement quotas and forced labour for the cultivation of seedlings. During the past year alone, this survey estimates that 82,000 people were forced to leave their homes as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflict and human rights abuses. These estimates are consistent with the annual average rate of displacement in eastern Burma since 2002, and reflect the SPDC's disregard for their responsibility to protect Burmese citizens from harm. While the distribution of forced migration during the past year was widespread, the most significant concentration was in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division. Counter-insurgency operations are reported to have killed at least 39 civilians and displaced over 27,000 others in this area during the past year. While the majority of people displaced during the past year fled in small groups, 232 entire villages were destroyed, forcibly relocated or otherwise abandoned. When combined with the findings of previous field surveys, 3,077 separate incidents of village destruction, relocation or abandonment have been documented in eastern Burma since 1996. Over a million people are understood to have been displaced from their homes in eastern Burma during this time. This reflects the cumulative impact of the Burmese Army's expanded presence and forced relocation campaign targeting civilians in contested areas. Some of these villages may have since been re-established, and indeed this survey has identified 155 villages that were at least partly repopulated during the past year. However, the sustainability of return and resettlement is restricted not only by livelihood constraints but also by the lack of official authorisation. Indeed, attempts to re-establish over 100 villages in previous years have already been thwarted by harassment leading to further rounds of displacement. The total number of internally displaced persons who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society as of November 2006 is estimated to be at least 500,000 people. This population is comprised of approximately 287,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 95,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the SPDC in areas most affected by military skirmishes and approximately 118,000 villagers have followed SPDC eviction orders and moved into designated relocation sites. These are conservative estimates for eastern Burma as it has not been possible to survey urban areas nor mixed administration areas. Overall this represents a decrease of approximately 40,000 internally displaced persons since October 2005. This is due to a decrease of 53,000 people in the estimates for ceasefire areas. Population movements have been recorded out of areas administered by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) due to lack of livelihood opportunities. Estimates in other ceasefire areas of Shan and Karenni states have also decreased, reflecting how the areas administered by non state actors have effectively been reduced by the expansion of SPDC control. While many of these villagers may remain internally displaced, it has not been possible to track their current status. Conversely, the number of people in relocation sites has increased by approximately 10,000 people. This is partly a result of broader survey reach in Tenasserim Division and partly due to new incidents of forced relocation in Shan State. However, a significant decrease has been recorded in Mon state, where restrictions on resettlement away from relocation sites have eased. Rather than reflecting increased freedom, this illustrates that as villagers in surrounding areas become resigned to complying with Burmese Army orders, the government's perceived need for relocation sites becomes redundant. While the overall estimates for people in hiding sites increased only slightly, there has been a significant increase in northern Karen State and eastern Pegu Division where approximately 55,000 villagers are currently hiding from government forces. This represents an increase of approximately 14,000 people since last year, and suggests that half of those displaced in the past year were previously living with the tacit approval of local SPDC authorities in mixed administration areas. These local arrangements offered little protection when the Southern and South Eastern Military Commands coordinated patrols by over 40 battalions to search for civilian settlements and destroy their means of survival..."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB- ocr version; 2.864MB -- original and authoritative) 6.8, (Burmese) 7.9MB (Thai)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2006-idp-english.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

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

Title: Ending the Waiting Game: Strategies for Responding to Internally Displaced People in Burma
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: "Ending the Waiting Game: Strategies for Responding to Internally Displaced People in Burma" argues that the crisis in Burma has reached a point where displaced people and other vulnerable populations simply cannot wait any longer for outside assistance, including health services, education, food production and building the capacity of civil society organizations in the country. U.S. sanctions against Burma's military regime currently prevent the provision of significant humanitarian aid."...Table of Contents Executive Summary i Introduction 1 Types of Displacement and Conditions of the Displaced Population 4 Displacement Resulting from Counter-insurgency 5 Displacement in Ceasefire Areas 6 Development-induced Displacement 7 Urban Displacement 7 Summary of Displacement by Geographic Area 8 Displacement as a Consequence of Economic Vulnerability 10 Conditions of the Displaced Population 10 Humanitarian Response Inside Burma 13 The Government of Burma 13 Burma-based Agencies 13 Thailand-based Agencies 17 The Debate Over Aid and Engagement 19 The Aid Dilemma 19 Concern about Aid Reaching People in Need 21 Sanctions vs Engagement 23 The International Community's Response to Burma 24 Rationale for International Assistance Inside Burma 31 Towards a More Effective Response to Internal Displacement 34 Burma-based Agencies 34 Thailand-based Agencies 36 The Government of Burma 37 Refugees International's Recommendations 38
Author/creator: Kavita Shukla
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.refugeesinternational.org/policy/in-depth-report/ending-waiting-game-strategies-respondi...
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Date of publication: 10 May 2006
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global IDP Project
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB) 176 pages
Date of entry/update: 27 June 2005

Title: Die Wa in Gefahr. Nach dem Opiumbann droht in der Special Region 2 eine humanitäre Katastrophe
Date of publication: 29 December 2005
Description/subject: In den Grenzregionen des Shan State im Nordosten Burmas, die seit 1989 unter der Kontrolle der United Wa State Army (UWSA) ist, werden 65 Prozent des gesamten Opiums des Landes angebaut. Trotz der Bereitschaft der Landwirte konnten wegen minderwertiger Bodenbeschaffenheit und klimatischer Bedingungen bisher noch keine Erfolg versprechenden Alternativen zum Opiumanbau realisiert werden. Seit dem kompletten Bann im Jahre 2005 werden tiefgreifende humanitäre Konsequenzen für die Region in Form von Menschenhandel, Armut und mangelnder Sicherheit befürchtet. keywords: ethnic minorities, Wa, Shan State, opium production, opium trafficking, resettlement
Author/creator: Michael Tröster
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Asienhaus Focus Asien Nr. 26; S. 45-55
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2006

Title: Internal Displacement and Protection in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) first collaborated with communitybased organizations to document the scale and distribution of internal displacement in Eastern Burma during 2002. Two years later, another survey was coordinated to enhance understanding about the vulnerability of internally displaced persons. These assessments sought to increase awareness about the situation in conflict-affected areas which remain largely inaccessible to the international community. More communities have been displaced during the past year while others have attempted to return to former villages, resettle elsewhere in Burma or continue their journey of forced migration into Thailand. As the environment is constantly evolving, situation assessments also need to be regularly revised. Part of the purpose of this report is thus to update estimates of the scale and distribution of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma. Threats against conflict-affected populations in eastern Burma have been well documented by a range of independent institutions. However, there is little information on humanitarian efforts to stop existing patterns of abuse, mitigate the worst consequences, prevent emerging threats and promote judicial redress. A second key objective is therefore to inform the development of humanitarian protection strategies for internally displaced persons and other civilians whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by war, abuse and violence. This year's surveys were designed in partnership with ethnic community based organizations with reference to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and conducted between April and June 2005. Estimates for the scale and distribution of internal displacement have been compiled from interviews with key informants in 37 townships across the six states and divisions of eastern Burma. Analysis of issues relevant to humanitarian protection has been based around responses to 1,044 questionnaires with conflict-affected households spread evenly between hiding sites, government controlled relocation sites, ethnic administered ceasefire areas and mixed administration areas. These responses have been complemented by semistructured interviews with internally displaced persons, the four main non state actors in eastern Burma and ten humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon. During the past year it is estimated that a further 87,000 people were forced or obliged to leave their homes by the effects of war or human rights abuses. Border-wide, a further 68 villages were destroyed, relocated or otherwise abandoned during this period, including a number which had only recently been established by displaced persons. In the majority of cases, forced displacement was found to be caused by violence or abuse perpetrated by the armed forces of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). This survey has also identified 88 previously abandoned villages which have been partially re-established during the past year. In this time, it is estimated that 40,000 people who had previously been displaced have returned to their homes or resettled elsewhere in eastern Burma. The total number of internally displaced persons in eastern Burma who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes over the past decade and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society is estimated to be at least 540,000 people. The population is comprised of 340,000 people currently in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 92,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the Burma Army in areas most affected by armed conflict and approximately 108,000 villagers have followed eviction orders from the SPDC and moved into designated relocation sites. Overall this represents a slight increase of approximately 14,000 internally displaced persons since late 2004. This is attributed primarily to flight in Shan State away from SPDC patrols and into hiding, a significant inflow into Mon ceasefire areas, and methodological differences estimating populations in Tenasserim Division's relocation sites. These combined increases have outweighed reductions in the estimates for internally displaced populations hiding in Karen State as well as for ceasefire areas in Shan and Karen State. However, these population estimates are considered conservative as it has not been possible to include displaced persons in urban areas and rural mixed administration areas who may not have reintegrated into society but rather remain in a state of internal displacement. Patterns of insecurity, the coping strategies of survivors of abuse and violence, and attempts at engaging the humanitarian responsibility of relevant authorities were assessed to inform the development of protection strategies. The survey conclusively found that not only are soldiers from the Burma Army the primary perpetrators of abuse, but also that the Government of Burma is generally unable or unwilling to strengthen local coping strategies and protect civilians from harm. Legal insecurity is highlighted by findings that less than a quarter of the conflictaffected population own legal title deeds for land tenure while just 12% of civilians hiding from Burma Army patrols possess an identity card. The former reflects the threat of land confiscation while the latter increases vulnerability to extortion at checkpoints, harassment in contested areas, restricted access to markets and fields as well as another obstacle for the internally displaced against returning to former homes or resettlement elsewhere in Burma. Despite the range and severity of deliberate physical violence in conflict-affected areas, the prevalence of threats to civilian livelihoods is on a much greater scale. A third of households surveyed have been directly affected by arbitrary taxes and forced labour in the past year. During this period, the deliberate impoverishment and deprivation of civilians as a counter-insurgency strategy is reflected in 17% of households having had food supplies destroyed or confiscated. Similarly, a quarter of households in hiding and relocation sites reported having had housing destroyed or having been forcibly evicted during the past year. Although unable to stop or prevent violence and abuse, internally displaced and conflict-affected villagers have developed a range of coping strategies to resist threats and mitigate the worst consequences. Other civilians are the main source of early warning signals about approaching troops, which stresses the importance of building social capital, or networks of trust, within and between local communities for the development of a more protective environment. Hiding food supplies and preparing alternative hiding sites in case counterinsurgency patrols induce an emergency evacuation were the main approaches to coping with threats amongst households in hiding sites. Conversely, the main method of minimizing risks in relocation sites and mixed administration areas is reportedly to pay fines and follow orders. These findings suggest that abuses against civilians by government forces are motivated not only by retaliation against armed opposition patrols, but also by economic imperatives or greed. Six percent of households reported that they had at some point resorted to procuring a hand gun to minimize threats to safety and livelihoods. Given the threat of being suspected as either a rebel sympathizer by the SPDC or a government collaborator by the armed opposition, this gauge of the prevalence of assault weapons is considered high. Due to the breakdown in law and order and the ease of procurement, transport, concealment and use, the prevalence of small arms is in itself a significant threat of violent insecurity. Humanitarian responsibilities relate to ensuring that parties to a conflict respect human dignity and prevent harm from being inflicted on civilians. While it was beyond the possibility of this survey to engage Burmese national authorities, the views of non state actors were solicited. Humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon were also consulted about their experiences in dealing with the government. Non state actors acknowledged that the use of landmines was their main transgression in terms of threatening the safety and livelihoods of civilians. 86% of villagers surveyed were not aware of any signs on location warning about minefields, indicating that there is no systematic demarcation of minefields in eastern Burma. However the armed opposition authorities, and indeed a quarter of civilian households hiding in the most conflict-affected areas, perceived landmines as a necessary means of self-defense against the military might of the Burma Army. It was also admitted by non state actors that their protective capacities are limited. Authorities from ceasefire parties negotiated a cessation of hostilities ten years ago to reduce the deprivations suffered by the civilian population, but have still not been able to address ongoing human rights abuses. In areas of ongoing armed conflict, the non state actors responded that short term protection objectives are limited to deterring and delaying SPDC patrols, using radio communication to provide warnings to villagers of approaching troop movements, and securing access for local humanitarian agencies to provide relief aid. Humanitarian agencies based in Rangoon have managed to expand not only their access into eastern Burma but also the engagement of government authorities in policy-level dialogue during the past decade. However, United Nations (UN) agencies reported that since the purge of the former Prime Minister and his allies in October 2004, humanitarian agencies in Burma have either been disregarded or viewed with suspicion by the government. Unless the government is willing to engage in policy-level dialogue about protection concerns, it is recognised that the humanitarian space will contract further. At the same time humanitarian agencies increasingly feel squeezed by restrictions from donors who are worried that foreign aid may be prolonging the rule of an illegitimate government. A perceived concern is that humanitarian sanctions will further restrict contact with policy makers, and exacerbate the reluctance of the Burmese government to negotiate about protection concerns. The challenge for humanitarian responses is to promote protection oriented programming which includes assessment of the programme's impact on the conflict. These surveys sought to update estimates of internal displacement and inform the development of protection strategies for conflict-affected areas in eastern Burma. Recommendations are not presented, but it is hoped that this report will enlighten collaborative strategies to stop existing patterns of abuse and prevent emerging threats from harming internally displaced and other conflict-affected communities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (3.9MB, 4.1MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/TBBC-2005-ocr.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Unter Zwang
Date of publication: 29 April 2005
Description/subject: Mit Zwangsarbeit, ethnischen Umsiedlungen und ausländischen Investitions-Dollars sichert die Militärjunta ihre Machtstrukturen in Myanmar. Forced labour, internal displacement, foreign investments, power structures.
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: politikerscreen
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2005

Title: Housing, Land, and Property Rights in Burma
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "...The main objective of this research is to examine housing, land, and property rights in the context of Burma’s societal transition towards a democratic polity and economy. Much has been written and discussed about property rights in their various manifestations, private, public, collective, and common in terms of “rights”. When property rights are widely and fairly distributed, they are inseparable from the rights of people to a means of living. Yet in the contemporary world, millions of people are denied access to the land, markets, technology, money and jobs essential to creation of livelihoods (Korten, 1998). The most significant worldwide problems of unjust property rights remain those associated with landlessness, rural poverty, and inequality (Hudson-Rodd & Nyunt, 2000)..."
Author/creator: Nancy Hudson-Rodd
Language: English
Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (741K)
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007

Title: Internal Displacement and Vulnerability in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "In September 2002 the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), formerly the Burmese Border Consortium, compiled a report “Internally Displaced People and Relocation Sites in Eastern Burma”. The report was written because although the Royal Thai Government was reluctant to accept more refugees and believed repatriation should occur as soon as conditions were judged suitable, new refugees were still arriving in Thailand. Since most of the new arrivals reported that they had formerly been living as internally displaced persons, TBBC considered that it was important to understand what was happening in the border areas before any planning for repatriation could begin. Since that time, the nature and scale of internal displacement in eastern Burma has been generally acknowledged, and humanitarian agencies based in Burma have been increasingly requesting and gaining access to some border areas. In particular, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Myanmar has negotiated roving access to a number of townships of ‘potential refugee return’. UNHCR Thailand has also been engaging the Royal Thai Government, donors and non governmental organisations (NGOs) in a conceptual planning exercise for the eventual repatriation of the refugees. Much of Eastern Burma is, however, still inaccessible to international observers from inside the country and the initial steps being taken towards planning for repatriation make it even more important to understand what is happening in these areas. This report draws together the results of new surveys carried out by local community organisations who collectively have broad access to the border areas. Community organizations conducted field surveys across eastern Burma between April and July 2004.1 Population estimates have been gathered from key informants in 36 significant townships and cross-checked with estimates from other local humanitarian and human rights agencies wherever possible. Vulnerability indicators were also developed from a multi-stage cluster survey of 6,070 people and 1,071 households in 60 areas spread over six states and divisions. The sample population for this quantitative survey was distributed between internally displaced persons in free-fire areas, government relocation sites, ethnic ceasefire areas and mixed administration areas. Estimates recorded during this survey in 2004 indicate at least another 157,000 civilians have been displaced by war or human rights abuses since the end of 2002. This includes people from at least 240 villages which have been documented as completely destroyed, relocated or abandoned during the past two years. The current status of villages forcibly relocated prior to 2002 has not been comprehensively assessed, but attempts to return and re-establish more than 100 such villages in Tenasserim Division have been documented as thwarted by further displacement. Civilian displacement has continued at a high rate even though there has been a significant decrease in the number of villages forcibly relocated since the mid-late 1990s. This trend is indicative of the extent to which government troops had been deployed and villages forcibly evicted prior to 2002. Since then, the military government has been consolidating, rather than expanding, areas of control. High rates of civilian displacement in areas where forced village relocations have decreased are attributed to the harassment of people who had already deserted SPDC relocation sites to attempt returning to their village or resettlement nearby. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have been forced or obliged to leave their homes and have not been able to return or resettle and reintegrate into society as of late 2004 is estimated to be at least 526,000 people. The population consists of 365,000 people in the temporary settlements of ceasefire areas administered by ethnic nationalities, while 84,000 civilians are estimated to be hiding from the military-government in free-fire areas and approximately 77,000 villagers still remain in designated relocation sites after having been forcibly evicted from their homes. This represents a decrease since 2002 when 633,000 people were estimated to be internally displaced in hiding sites, temporary shelters and relocation sites. This decrease can be attributed to a mix of sustainable return or resettlement, forced migration into the fringes of urban and rural communities, flight into refugee and migrant populations in Thailand and methodological differences in data collection. Speculation remains as to how many people on the fringes of rural and urban communities have been obliged to leave their homes and are unable to resettle and reintegrate, but whose status as internally displaced persons can not be verified. Indicators of vulnerability for the internally displaced population reflect a critical situation. The survey found that more than half of internally displaced households have been forced to work without compensation and have been extorted of cash or property during the past year. While these and other human rights abuses were widespread and a lack of protection was common in all areas, people in relocation sites have reportedly been affected the most. Livelihoods in free-fire areas are demonstrated as largely dependent on subsistenceoriented slash and burn agriculture, yet still they are undermined by government patrols searching for and destroying crops. Conversely, less households were documented in relocation sites than elsewhere as being involved in any type of rice farming, indicating a lack of access to land and greater restrictions on movement. Yet the survey also found the highest rates of hunting and gathering were in densely populated ceasefire areas, which is indicative of the livelihood constraints of resettlement into these areas. This report presents indicators which suggest there is a public health emergency amongst internally displaced persons in eastern Burma. A third of households surveyed had not been able to access any health services during the past year, contributing to high mortality rates from infectious diseases which can be prevented and treated, such as malaria. Child mortality and malnutrition rates are double Burma’s national baseline rate and comparable to those recorded amongst internally displaced populations in the Horn of Africa. The population structure shows significantly more children dependent on a smaller proportion of working age adults compared to official data sources for Burma. This working age adult population consists of a high proportion of women representing greater rates of mortality, economic migration, flight from abuse and military conscription amongst young adult men. Low levels of access to durable shelter are recorded and associated not only with limited protection from the climate but also adverse impacts on health and human dignity. Similarly, low levels of educational attainment are likely to restrict the capacity of internally displaced persons to cope and recover from all of these aspects of vulnerability. The surveys demonstrate that the problem of forced migration in Eastern Burma remains large and complex and that internally displaced populations are extremely vulnerable. As in 2002, TBBC presents this compilation of data without making any recommendations. The intention is that policy makers and humanitarian organisations might be better informed in terms of preparing for refugee repatriation and addressing the situation of internal displacement itself."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC)
Format/size: pdf (3.87MB, 4MB - Full, 1.7MB-Chs 1-3; 2.1MB - Chs 4-5)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/TBBC-IDPs2004-1-3 (Chapters 1-3)
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/TBBC-IDPs2004-4-5 (Chapters 4-5)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Burma's Dirty War - The humanitarian crisis in eastern Burma
Date of publication: 24 May 2004
Description/subject: "Up to a million people have fled their homes in eastern Burma in a crisis the world has largely ignored. Burma's refusal to release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, and the boycotting of the constitutional convention this month by the main opposition, has thrust Burma into the spotlight again. But unseen and largely unremarked is the ongoing harrowing experience of hundreds of thousands of people in eastern Burma, hiding in the jungle or trapped in army-controlled relocation sites. Others are in refugee camps on the Thai-Burmese border. These people are victims in a counterinsurgency war in which they are the deliberate targets. As members of Burma's ethnic minorities - which make up 40 per cent of the population - they are trapped in a conflict between the Burmese army and ethnic minority armies. Surviving on caches of rice hidden in caves, or on roots and wild foods, families in eastern Burma face malaria, landmines, disease and starvation. They are hunted like animals by army patrols and starved into surrender. In interviews... refugees told Christian Aid of murder and rape, the torching of villages and shooting of family members as they lay huddled together in the fields. They recalled farmers who had been blown up by landmines laid by the army around their crops. This report, based on personal testimonies from refugees, tells the story of Burma's humanitarian crisis. On the brink of the Burmese government's announcement of a 'roadmap to democracy' for a new constitution, Burma's Dirty War argues that any new political settlement must include the crisis on the country's eastern borders. Burma's refusal to free Aung San Suu Kyi promises more intransigence and an even slower pace of change - with predictable human costs. This report calls on the UK and Irish governments, the EU and the UN to use what opportunity remains from the roadmap to democracy to press for an end to the conflict in negotiations with ethnic minorities. It also argues that the UN must gain access to the areas in crisis - despite the Burmese government ban on travel there by humanitarian agencies. Key recommendations include: * that the Burmese government cease human rights abuses, allow access to eastern Burma by humanitarian agencies including UN special representatives, and engage in dialogue with ethnic minority representatives * that the UK and Irish governments, the EU and the UN fund work with displaced people inside Burma and continue to support refugees in Thailand * that the UK and Irish governments, the EU and UN Security Council condemn Burma's human rights abuses against ethnic minorities, demand that it protect civilians from violence and insist that Burma allow access to humanitarian agencies The report argues that governments must seize the opportunity presented by the roadmap to push for genuine negotiations between the government, the National League for Democracy and ethnic minority organisations which can bring out a just and lasting peace..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Christian Aid
Format/size: pdf (760K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2004/chraid-mmr-24may.pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2010

Title: State-induced violence and poverty in Burma
Date of publication: April 2004
Description/subject: "...The objective of this research paper is to describe specific ways in which the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) deprives the people of Burma of their land and livelihood. Confiscation of land, labour, crops and capital; destruction of person and property; forced labour; looting and expropriation of food and possessions; forced sale of crops to the military; extortion of money through official and unofficial taxes and levies; forced relocation and other abuses by the State..."
Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
Language: English
Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, National Council of Union of Burma (NCUB), Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)
Format/size: pdf (448K)
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007

Date of publication: 13 November 2003
Description/subject: Compilation of the information available in the Global IDP Database of the Norwegian Refugee Council (as of 13 November, 2003)..." PROFILE SUMMARY: Summary (November 2003):- "Notorious across the world for its suppression of Aung San Suu Kyi’s democracy movement, the military regime in Burma is less known for displacing hundreds of thousands of its own people. Between 600,000 and one million people remain internally displaced in Burma because of the military regime’s brutal policies to control border areas populated by ethnic minorities. Exposed to ongoing violence and systematic human rights abuses at the hands of government troops, these people are without protection from either their government or the international humanitarian community. This has affected the eastern border areas in particular, and especially the Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon ethnic groups. In western Burma, the Muslim Rohingya people and other minority groups along the Bangladesh and India borders have also suffered from the military campaign. In addition, thousands more have been displaced in schemes to resettle the urban poor and the building of large-scale infrastructure projects. With their traditional livelihoods ruined and humanitarian assistance blocked by the army, the situation of Burma’s displaced people is desperate. In order to improve both the democratic process and the humanitarian situation, more active international diplomacy, and attention towards the situation in the ethnic minority areas is required from the UN, its agencies and international NGOs..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global IDP Database (Norwegian Refugee Council)
Format/size: pdf (974K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idpproject.org
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2004

Title: "I Will Not be Forced From My Own Land" - internal displacement in Burma
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "In a nation of 50 million people there are estimates that up to 1 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). Despite the relatively recent use of the phrase internally displaced people in the context of Burma, there is evidence that the practices that lead to this displacement have been in place for a long period of time. While discussion of IDP’s tends to revolve around immediate assistance to concerns of health, housing and food, the sustained existence of this problem needs future efforts to take into account the root cause and structural patterns that often instigate the displacement as well as resolutions on how to offer and implement humanitarian assistance. This article will discuss further some of the root causes of displacement caused by Burmese military operations and look at the outcomes of displacement. The second part of this article will look at future resolutions and how long-term structural assistance needs to compliment immediate humanitarian assistance..."
Author/creator: R Sharples
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues" Newsletter Volume 13, Number 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2003

Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: TABLE OF CONTENTS:- 1. Food Security from a Rights-based Perspective; 2. Local Observations from the States and Divisions of Eastern Burma:- 2.1 Tenasserim Division (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 2.2 Mon State (Mon Relief and Development Committee); 2.3 Karen State (Karen Human Rights Group) 2.4 Eastern Pegu Division (Karen Office of Relief and Development); 2.5 Karenni State (Karenni Social Welfare Committee); 2.6 Shan State (Shan Human Rights Foundation)... 3. Local Observations of Issues Related to Food Security:- 3.1 Crop Destruction as a Weapon of War (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 3.2 Border Areas Development (Karen Environmental & Social Action Network); 3.3 Agricultural Management(Burma Issues); 3.4 Land Management (Independent Mon News Agency) 3.5 Nutritional Impact of Internal Displacement (Backpack Health Workers Team); 3.6 Gender-based Perspectives (Karen Women’s Organisation)... 4. Field Surveys on Internal Displacement and Food Security... Appendix 1 : Burma’s International Obligations and Commitments... Appendix 2 : Burma’s National Legal Framework... Appendix 3 : Acronyms, Measurements and Currencies.... "...Linkages between militarisation and food scarcity in Burma were established by civilian testimonies from ten out of the fourteen states and divisions to a People’s Tribunal in the late 1990s. Since then the scale of internal displacement has dramatically increased, with the population in eastern Burma during 2002 having been estimated at 633,000 people, of whom approximately 268,000 were in hiding and the rest were interned in relocation sites. This report attempts to complement these earlier assessments by appraising the current relationship between food security and internal displacement in eastern Burma. It is hoped that these contributions will, amongst other impacts, assist the Asian Human Rights Commission’s Permanent People’s Tribunal to promote the right to food and rule of law in Burma... Personal observations and field surveys by community-based organisations in eastern Burma suggest that a vicious cycle linking the deprivation of food security with internal displacement has intensified. Compulsory paddy procurement, land confiscation, the Border Areas Development program and spiraling inflation have induced displacement of the rural poor away from state-controlled areas. In war zones, however, the state continues to destroy and confiscate food supplies in order to force displaced villagers back into state-controlled areas. An image emerges of a highly vulnerable and frequently displaced rural population, who remain extremely resilient in order to survive based on their local knowledge and social networks. Findings from the observations and field surveys include the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (804K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2003-idp-english.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003

Title: FMO Research Guide: Burma
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: "Historically underdeveloped and divided, Burma today is politically isolated, increasingly militarised, economically mismanaged by its own authorities, and socially and culturally divided along ethnic, religious, and language lines. Following independence from Britain in 1948, parties representing the ethnic minority population have been struggling for greater autonomy from the central Burmese regime. Following nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) staged a coup to take over the governing of Burma, reinstating martial law and imposing restrictions on opposition to the government. Thousands of people were killed during this uprising. Elections held in 1990 whereby the National League for Democracy (NLD), headed by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory have never been honoured. The contemporary military regime does not allow access to the country for research purposes, and therefore research on displacement is largely carried out by interviewing people fleeing the country. However, consistent accounts of human rights violations are available over a number of years. Displacement in Burma results mostly from systematic patterns of human rights abuses associated with militarisation and conflict in ethnic minority areas. Human rights violations, carried out with impunity, include numerous acts of arbitrary executions, killings, torture, rape, forced labour, forced relocation, use of child soldiers, and violations of religious freedoms. These have been documented over the years and have increased in intensity since 1988. Muslims and Christians are often persecuted directly because of their minority status. Recent development efforts to encourage tourism have led to forced labour and further displacement. It has been reported that the islands off the coast of Burma being developed for tourism have had their populations relocated under conditions of extreme brutality, including killings. There are refugees from Burma in Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and China. It is also thought that the Lao PDR has refugees from Burma, but nothing is known about this population. Contemporary Burma is a highly mine-affected country and in 2002 was the world's largest producer of illicit opium..."
Author/creator: Patricia Hynes
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forced Migration Online (FMO)
Format/size: html, pdf (488K)
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2003

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: Pushing Past the Definitions: Migration From Burma to Thailand
Date of publication: 19 December 2002
Description/subject: Important, authoritative and timely report. I. THAI GOVERNMENT CLASSIFICATION FOR PEOPLE FROM BURMA: Temporarily Displaced; Students and Political Dissidents ; Migrants . II. BRIEF PROFILE OF THE MIGRANTS FROM BURMA . III REASONS FOR LEAVING BURMA : Forced Relocations and Land Confiscation ; Forced Labor and Portering; War and Political Oppression; Taxation and Loss of Livelihood; Economic Conditions . IV. FEAR OF RETURN. V. RECEPTION CENTERS. VI. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS.... "Recent estimates indicate that up to two million people from Burma currently reside in Thailand, reflecting one of the largest migration flows in Southeast Asia. Many factors contribute to this mass exodus, but the vast majority of people leaving Burma are clearly fleeing persecution, fear and human rights abuses. While the initial reasons for leaving may be expressed in economic terms, underlying causes surface that explain the realities of their lives in Burma and their vulnerabilities upon return. Accounts given in Thailand, whether it be in the border camps, towns, cities, factories or farms, describe instances of forced relocation and confiscation of land; forced labor and portering; taxation and loss of livelihood; war and political oppression in Burma. Many of those who have fled had lived as internally displaced persons in Burma before crossing the border into Thailand. For most, it is the inability to survive or find safety in their home country that causes them to leave. Once in Thailand, both the Royal Thai Government (RTG) and the international community have taken to classifying the people from Burma under specific categories that are at best misleading, and in the worst instances, dangerous. These categories distort the grave circumstances surrounding this migration by failing to take into account the realities that have brought people across the border. They also dictate people’s legal status within the country, the level of support and assistance that might be available to them and the degree of protection afforded them under international mechanisms. Consequently, most live in fear of deportation back into the hands of their persecutors or to the abusive environments from which they fled..." Additional keywords: IDPs, Internal displacement, displaced, refoulement.
Author/creator: Therese M. Caouette and Mary E. Pack
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International and Open Society Institute
Format/size: html (373K) pdf (748K, 2.1MB) 37 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Caouette&Pack.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma�s Internally Displaced: No Options for a Safe Haven
Date of publication: 10 October 2002
Description/subject: "Refugees International Advocate Veronika Martin and human rights lawyer Betsy Apple recently completed an assessment mission to the Thai-Burmese border. There are few fates worse than being an internally displaced person (IDP) in Burma. IDPs inside Burma are divided into two categories: those living under the strict control of the Burmese government in �relocation sites,� and those living in hiding in the jungle from the Burmese army. Both options present a high risk of human rights abuses, a lack of food, and limited or no access to healthcare and education. According to a recent report compiled by the Burma Border Consortium (BBC), more than 2,500 villages have been either destroyed, relocated, or abandoned, affecting 633,000 individuals over the last five years in eastern Burma. Since 1996, an estimated minimum of one million people living in the ethnic states that border Thailand have been displaced. This year has seen a marked increase in the frequency of counter-insurgency operations in ethnic minority areas, leading in turn to an increase in the level of internal displacement..."
Author/creator: Veronika Martin, Betsy Apple
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International via Asian Tribune
Format/size: html (1 page)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002: Internally Displaced People and Forced Relocation
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "The situation of Internally Displaced People (IDPs), in Burma remained critical throughout 2001. The US State Department estimates that there could be up to1 million members of ethnic minority groups who the SPDC has forcibly relocated from their villages and districts, and who are currently living along the Thai border. Reports from NGOs also estimate that an additional 1 million IDPs are living a precarious existance in other locations throughout the country..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Internally Displaced People and Relocation Sites in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Perhaps one million people living in the States and Divisions of Burma adjacent to the Thailand border have been displaced since 1996. At least 150,000 have fled as refugees or joined the huge “illegal” migrant population in Thailand.[2] Countless others have moved away to other villages and towns in Burma. This report estimates that at least 632,978 displaced people are still currently either living in hiding (approximately 268,000 people), or in more than 176 forced relocation sites (approximately 365,000 people), in these border areas. It also identifies 2,536 ‘affected villages’, which are known to have been destroyed (usually burnt) and/ or relocated en masse, or otherwise abandoned due to Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) activity...The actual number of relocation sites and residents, and of IDPs in hiding, is probably significantly higher than that estimated here..." IDPs in Hiding or Temporary Settlements; Number of Relocation Sites; IDPs in Relocation Sites; Affected Villages (destroyed, abandoned, or relocated); Total IDP Population. Tenasserim; Mon State; Karen State; Karenni State; Shan State.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Compiled by Burma Border Consortium
Format/size: html (main text 217K) 15 pages incl. maps; pdf (6.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/resources/2002-09-11-BBC-Relocation_Site_Report.pdf

http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC_Relocation_Site%20Report_(11-9-02).doc (Original Word version -- no links to maps or photos)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: US Committee for Refugees, Burma Report 2002
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Situation to end 2001
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Alternate URLs: http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/easia_pacific/burma.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000: Internally Displaced People and Forced Relocation
Date of publication: October 2001
Description/subject: "The plight of Internally Displaced People, or IDPs, in Burma was a continuing problem over the year 2000. Burma contributes over an estimated 1 million IDPs to the estimated world IDP population of 21 million and estimated Asian IDP population of 5 million. (The CIDKP put the IDP number at 2 million in 2000.) Internally displaced persons in Burma live under conditions of severe deprivation and hardship. All but few of these people are without adequate access to food or basic social, health and education services. A large number of this group are women and children. As no legal instruments for IDPs exist in todays world, this mass population group in Burma has been left vulnerable because of the lack of international protection and assistance available to them. IDPs in Burma have been displaced by similar factors, which although are many, are all related to SPDC presence and policy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit, NCGUB
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: Yearbook main page: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/yearbooks/Main.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: A Village on Fire: the Destruction of Rural Life in Southeastern Burma
Date of publication: 31 October 2000
Description/subject: "...Under military control, rural Burma's subsistence farming village is losing its viability as the basic unit of society. Internally displaced people are usually thought to have fled military battles in and around their villages, but this paradigm doesn't apply to Burma. In the thousands of interviews conducted by the Karen Human Rights Group with villagers who have fled their homes, approximately 95 percent say they have not fled military battles, but rather the systematic destruction of their ability to survive, caused by demands and retaliations inflicted on them by the SPDC military. Where there is fighting, it is fluid and sporadic, and most villagers can avoid it by hiding for short periods in the forest. Once the SPDC occupies the area around their village, however, the suffering is inescapable. Villages, rooted to the land, are defenseless and vulnerable, and villages can be burned -- destroying rural life in southeastern Burma. "
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Cultural Survival Quarterly" Issue 24.3
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/a-village-fire-the-destruction-rural-li...'>http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/a-village-fire-the-destruction-rural-li...
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Refugees, Returnees and IDPs in Burma
Date of publication: 24 May 2000
Description/subject: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Seminar on IDPs in Burma,
Author/creator: Ms. Kathleen Newland
Language: English
Source/publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010

Title: Total Denial Continues - Earth rights abuses along the Yadana and Yetagun pipelines in Burma
Date of publication: May 2000
Description/subject: "Three Western oil companies -- Total, Premier and Unocal -- bent on exploiting natural gas , entered partnerships with the brutal Burmese military regime. Since the early 1990's, a terrible drama has been unfolding in Burma. Three western oil companies -- Total, Premier, and Unocal -- entered into partnerships with the brutal Burmese miltary regime to build the Yadana and Yetagun natural gas pipelines. The regime created a highly militarized pipelinecorridor in what had previously been a relatively peaceful area, resulting in violent suppression of dissent, environmental destruction, forced labor and portering, forced relocations, torture, rape, and summary executions. EarthRights International co-founder Ka Hsaw Wa and a team of field staff traveled on both sides of the Thai-Burmese border in the Tenasserim region to document the conditions in the pipeline corridor. In the nearly four years since the release of "Total Denial" (1996), the violence and forced labor in the pipeline region have continued unabated. This report builds on the evidence in "Total Denial" and brings to light several new facets of the tragedy in the Tenasserim region. Keywords:, human rights, environment, forced relocation, internal displacement, foreign investment. ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Earthrights International
Format/size: pdf (6MB - OBL ... 20MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/files/Reports/TotalDenialCont-2ndEdition.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Fear and Hope: Displaced Burmese Women in Burma and Thailand
Date of publication: March 2000
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The impact of decades of military repression on the population of Burma has been devastating. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese have been displaced by the government�s suppression of ethnic insurgencies and of the pro-democracy movement. As government spending has concentrated on military expenditures to maintain its control, the once-vibrant Burmese economy has been virtually destroyed. Funding for health and education is negligible, leaving the population at the mercy of the growing AIDS epidemic, which is itself fueled by the production, trade and intravenous use of heroin, as well as the trafficking of women. The Burmese people, whether displaced by government design or by economic necessity, whether opposed to the military regime or merely trying to survive in a climate of fear, face enormous challenges. Human rights abuses are legion. The government�s strategies of forced labor and relocation destroy communities. Displacement, disruption of social networks and the collapse of the public health systems provide momentum for the spreading AIDS epidemic�which the government has barely begun to acknowledge or address. The broader crisis in health care in general and reproductive health in particular affects women at all levels; maternal mortality is extremely high, family planning is discouraged. The decay�and willful destruction�of the educational system has created an increasingly illiterate population�without the tools necessary to participate in a modern society. The country-wide economic crisis drives the growth of the commercial sex industry, both in Burma and in Thailand. Yet, international pressure for political change is increasing and nongovernmental organizations and some UN agencies manage to work within Burma, quietly challenging the status quo. The delegation met with Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, who is considered by much of the international community as the true representative of the Burmese people. Despite her concerns that humanitarian aid can prop up the SPDC, she was cautiously supportive of direct, transparent assistance in conjunction with unrelenting international condemnation of the military government�s human rights abuses and anti-democratic rule. The delegation concluded that carefully designed humanitarian assistance in Burma can help people without strengthening the military government. And, until democracy is restored in Burma, refugees in Thailand must receive protection from forced repatriation, and be offered opportunities for skills development and education to carry home. On both sides of the border, women�s groups work to respond to the issues facing their communities; they are a critical resource in addressing the critical needs for education, reproductive health and income generation." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Women's Commission on Refugee Women and Children
Format/size: pdf (182.54 K)
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: CHR 2000: Food Scarcity in Myanmar
Date of publication: 08 February 2000
Description/subject: Written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC). "1. The right to food is a fundamental human right. It is guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 25 (1)) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 11). 2. In the Union of Myanmar, people are being denied the right to food by the overwhelming military domination of that country. Substantial evidence suggests that the Government of Myanmar is systematically denying food to the civilian population through a range of practices implemented to ensure perpetuation of its undemocratic rule. 3. Food scarcity exists in Myanmar neither because of a natural disaster nor through mere administrative incompetence, but rather as a result of pervasive militarization. The Government has not only failed to meet its positive obligations to ensure conditions of food security, but it must also be held responsible for administrative and military practices that have resulted in widespread denial of food to civilian populations. In coming to these conclusions, the Asian Legal Resource Centre agrees with the findings of the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma, which was invited to examine the issue by the Asian Human Rights Commission. The People's Tribunal released its findings in a report entitled "Voice of the Hungry Nation" (Asian Human Rights Commission, October 1999)..."
Author/creator: Asian Legal Resource Centre
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations (E/CN.4/2000/NGO/61)
Format/size: pdf, MS Office
Date of entry/update: 05 January 2011

Title: Hard Cases: Internal Displacement in Turkey, Burma (Myanmar) and Algeria
Date of publication: December 1999
Description/subject: "In some countries, the internally displaced are beyond the reach of international humanitarian organizations. Although the displaced populations concerned may be in dire need of assistance and protection, and could benefit immeasurably from outside support, few or no steps are taken, or strategies developed, to gain access to them. Whereas conflict is the inhibiting factor in some cases, in others, the governments concerned do not request aid and by and large reject any that is offered. Only rarely does the United Nations Security Council deem such situations to be threats to international peace and security and demand entry. Leading examples of governments that successfully bar international involvement with their displaced populations are Turkey, Burma, and Algeria. The situations in the three countries are, of course, quite different. In Turkey and Burma, governments have deliberately uprooted people in order to destroy their possible links to insurgency movements. In Algeria, displacement is a by-product of conflict, primarily between the government and Islamist insurgent groups..."
Author/creator: Roberta Cohen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010

Title: Internally Displaced People: Refugees in their own land
Date of publication: October 1999
Description/subject: The Regional Consultation on the Situation of Internally Displaced Peoples, hosted by Forum Asia, was held in Bangkok at SASA International House on October 21 and 22, 1999. There were 43 participants over the two days, with interests in seven countries in the region. The backgrounds of the participants were diverse: while the majority represented NGOs working directly with displaced peoples and displaced peoples' organisations, there were also representatives from the UNHCR, academics and Forum Asia.
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Voice of the Hungry Nation
Date of publication: October 1999
Description/subject: This document presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma. The Tribunal’s work will appeal to all readers interested in human rights and social justice, as well as anyone with a particular interest in Burma. The Asian Human Rights Commission presents this report in order to stimulate discourse on human rights and democratization in Burma and around the world.
Language: English
Source/publisher: People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma
Format/size: English version
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/fall99bttm.html#hungry
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Voice of the Hungry Nation
Date of publication: September 1999
Description/subject: an edited version of a report by the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma, which was published by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in October 1999.
Author/creator: People
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. VI, No. 3
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/fall99bttm.html#hungry
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Internal Displacement in Myanmar
Date of publication: July 1999
Description/subject: Urban and rural displacement in Myanmar
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG)
Format/size: html (146K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: US Committee for Refugees Burma Report 1999
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: Situation to end 1998
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Alternate URLs: http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/easia_pacific/1999/burma.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: US Committee for Refugees, Burma Report 1998
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: Situation to end 1997
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Alternate URLs: http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/easia_pacific/1998/burma.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Rip: Rest in Pieces
Date of publication: January 1997
Description/subject: Urban Development. On Nov 14th 1996, the Slorc posted a notice at the gate of Kyandaw Cemetery giving relatives one month's notice to move the remains to a new site at Shwe Nyaung-bin, two hours drive from Rangoon. Kyandaw cemetery is located on 50-70 acres of what has become prime real estate in downtown Rangoon, near Hantha-waddy intersection. Both Burmese and foreigners are buried there of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths. Rumours abound in Rangoon as to what the military government wants the land for; a casino to be built by Khun Sa, a hotel to be built with foreign investment, or, a Japanese shopping center.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 1
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=188
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: US Committee for Refugees Burma Report 1997
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: Situation to the end of 1996
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Alternate URLs: http://www.refugees.org/world/countryrpt/easia_pacific/1997/burma.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 1994: 16 - Internally Displaced Persons
Date of publication: September 1995
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html (48K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 1994: 17 - Forced Relocation
Date of publication: September 1995
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
Format/size: html (81K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Flüchtlinge innerhalb Burmas
Description/subject: Innerhalb Burmas, dem heutigen Myanmar, leben 2 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht, Internally Displaced People (IDP) genannt. Auch viele Karen leben in den unzugänglichen Dschungelgebieten nahe der Grenze zu Thailand.
Author/creator: N.a.
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Helfen ohne Grenzen
Format/size: Html (13k)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007