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Business and Human Rights (Burma/Myanmar-related)
See also "Debate on Investment in Burma" (in Main Library > Economy > Foreign Investment in Burma > Debate on...)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Business and Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar
Description/subject: Opinion and analysis on business and human rights issues in Myanmar....."Welcome to Business and Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar, a Blog dedicated to monitoring and analysing business and human rights issues in a time of transition. Myanmar is undergoing political, social and legal transformation, opening its doors to international investment of all kinds. Abundant natural and human resources have made investment an attractive prospect. Yet, ethnic conflict and widespread human rights abuses cause instability and uncertainty for investors. Companies operating in Myanmar risk involvement in conflict and human rights abuse and therefore must be aware of their responsibilities... This blog aims to provide relevant legal and policy analysis for both investors and human rights advocates. It will also highlight benchmarks achieved and human rights concerns raised by the activities of national companies or multinational corporations based in Myanmar. This blog will bring an international perspective on business and human rights, and draw on developments taking place at the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as regionally and in national contexts... This site is run by Dr. Daniel Aguirre. All views, opinions and information expressed or presented is his own and does not reflect any organisation to which he may be associated... Daniel can be contacted at: kdanielaguirre@gmail.com ... Images used on the blog are not subject to copyright. They are private or are sourced from sites such as Wikimedia Commons.
Author/creator: Dr. Daniel Aguirre
Language: English
Source/publisher: Business and Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2015

Title: Business and Human Rights, a resource website: Burma (Myanmar)
Description/subject: A rich seam of news items, articles and long reports on Burma from 1996. Go to the Home page for more general material. "information from: · United Nations & ILO · companies · human rights, development, labour & environmental organisations · governments · academics · See the section on the UNOCAL case in "Lawsuits against companies: Selected major cases", journalists · etc..."
Author/creator: Chris Avery
Language: English
Source/publisher: Business and Human Rights
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Company responses (and non-responses) to "The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy" published by EarthRights International in March 2011
Description/subject: "On 29 March 2011 EarthRights International released a report, entittled "The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy" [PDF], which "link[ed] major Chinese and Korean companies to widespread land confiscation, and cases of forced labor, arbitrary arrest, detention and torture, and violations of indigenous rights connected to the Shwe natural gas project and oil transport projects in Burma." The companies named in the report are: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Daewoo International [part of POSCO], GAIL (India), Korean Gas Corporation (KOGAS), ONGC Videsh, and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE)"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2011

Title: Multi-year Project in Myanmar (Burma)
Description/subject: " The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) has embarked on a multi-year project to help ensure that existing and new investments in Myanmar are consistent with international human rights standards and best practices. As a result of political and economic changes in the country, the European Union, the United States, and other industrialised countries have eased sanctions on Myanmar. Trade and investment delegations have visited the country in recent months to explore economic opportunities. Myanmar’s President, Thein Sein, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have both stressed in public remarks that investments in the country should abide by local laws, uphold high standards, respect labour rights and the environment, and support democracy and human rights. In the past, insufficient clarity concerning expected business conduct in countries emerging from periods of sanctions has created uncertainty. The unanimous endorsement in 2011 of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights marks a significant step forward in providing necessary guidance for all stakeholders. The UN framework affirms the duty of all States to protect peoples from rights abuses involving non-state actors, including business; the independent responsibility for all business enterprises to respect human rights; and the importance of ensuring access to effective remedies for those whose rights have been abused. IHRB is working with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the British Council, and other local and international partners to undertake activities in support of responsible investment in Myanmar consistent with the UN Guiding Principles and other relevant standards. These include: ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2013

Title: Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business
Description/subject: "The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business is a new initiative to encourage responsible business activities throughout Myanmar. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR). Based in Yangon, it aims to provide a trusted, impartial forum for dialogue, seminars, and briefings to relevant parties as well as access to international expertise and tools. Vicky Bowman is the first Director of the Centre. She draws on seven years of living in Yangon, is fluent in the Myanmar language and has many years' experience of working on responsible business issues, within the private sector and government. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were unanimously endorsed in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, are key to the Centre’s mission and activities..."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 May 2014

Title: Search results for "Myanmar" on the EITI Site
Language: English
Source/publisher: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 October 2014

Individual Documents

Title: Ministry reveals CSR history for country’s largest oil and gas firms
Date of publication: 26 August 2015
Description/subject: "The corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions made by international oil companies operating in Myanmar have been made public for the first time, with France’s Total E&P Myanmar at the top of the list. The Ministry of Energy (MoE) has released figures dating back to 1998, on the CSR programs carried out by international oil companies working onshore and offshore in cooperation with the government..."
Author/creator: Aung Shin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2015

Title: Human Rights and Business Country Guide - Myanmar
Date of publication: April 2015
Description/subject: "The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)...published an online “Myanmar Human Rights and Business Country Guide” concerning how businesses operating in Myanmar can impact human rights...The Country Guide is primarily intended for local and foreign businesses operating in Myanmar that want to improve their practices and those interested in entering the country. The report is also intended to be used by government officials, international institutions, investors and civil society organisations that want to support or incentivize responsible business...The main issues highlighted in the Myanmar report are: Myanmar is experiencing significant changes to the legal environment for business, especially in areas related to labour, environment and land...Trade unions were only legalized in Myanmar in 2012. The capacity to support this change, including among workers, government officials and trade unions themselves, is not yet in place...Working conditions, especially overtime and wages, as well as health and safety, represent ongoing human rights risks for companies operating in, or sourcing from, Myanmar...Land is an issue with major implications for human rights, development and the private sector...Protests are still met at times with use of force by public security forces and some protesters are detained...Parts of Myanmar remain vulnerable to conflict..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (1.5-reduced version; 3.5MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://hrbcountryguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Human-Rights-and-Business-Country-Guide-Myanm...
Date of entry/update: 09 April 2015

Title: Myanmar: Human Rights Council must address the need for stronger safeguards to ensure business respects rights 1
Date of publication: 27 February 2015
Description/subject: Summary: "Foreign investment in Myanmar has been increasing since 2012, after political and economic reforms by the Myanmar government led Western States to ease sanctions that had previously been imposed on the country. Such investment can improve the lives of the people of Myanmar. However, Amnesty International and other civil society groups have major concerns that basic legal safeguards are not yet in place to ensure that investment projects – especially large extractive projects – do not infringe on the human rights of persons living in communities in the vicinity. Amnesty International has conducted a detailed investigation into illegality and related serious human rights abuses linked to the Monywa copper mining project.2 These include forced evictions to make way for mining operations; violent repression of protests by Myanmar authorities; and environmental impacts posing a threat to local people’s health and access to safe drinking water. The corporate actors involved, which include Canadian, Chinese, and Myanmar companies, have profited from and in some cases colluded with the Myanmar authorities in these abuses – yet the governments of China, Canada and Myanmar have failed to carry out proper investigations and hold the companies to account. These concerns are not unique to the Monywa project. Amnesty International urges the Human Rights Council to address corporate abuses in any forthcoming resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. The Government of Myanmar should investigate and remedy past abuses at Monywa, and impose stronger legal safeguards to protect people from corporate human rights abuses. The organisation also calls for specific action by the home State governments of companies involved in the Monywa project, and for all governments to require companies entering Myanmar to carry out enhanced human rights due diligence...".....Written NGO statement to the 28th Session of UN Human Rights Council.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International via UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/28/NGO/160)
Format/size: pdf (251.7K)
Alternate URLs: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?c=125&su=129 (check for new documents)
Date of entry/update: 15 September 2015

Date of publication: 10 February 2015
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report is the culmination of a one year investigation by Amnesty International into alleged human rights abuses by companies, including multinational companies, operating in Myanmar. The report focuses on the Monywa copper mine project and highlights forced evictions, substantial environmental and social impacts, and the repression, sometimes brutal, of those who try to protest. It also raises serious questions about opaque corporate dealings and possible infringements of economic sanctions on Myanmar. The report calls on the Government of Myanmar to urgently introduce strong measures for the protection of human rights, and on multinational companies and the home governments of those companies to ensure that due diligence is carried out to international standards for all investment in Myanmar...This report examines the issues in relation to one major mining operation - the Monywa project - made up of the Sabetaung and Kyisintaung (S&K) and the Letpadaung copper mines. During an extensive one-year investigation, Amnesty International examined incidents that are specific to the Monywa project as well as some of the wider structural issues – such as the processes for acquisition of land and environmental protection – that will affect other extractive projects in Myanmar. The organization found that, since its inception and throughout its various changes in ownership, the Monywa project has been characterised by serious human rights abuses and a lack of transparency. Thousands of people have been forcibly evicted by the government with the knowledge, and in some cases the participation, of foreign companies. Environmental impacts have been poorly assessed and managed, with grave long-term implications for the health and livelihoods of people living near the mine. Protests by communities have been met with excessive force by police...".....CONCLUSION: The Government of Myanmar is responsible for the serious human rights violations that have taken place at the Monywa project over many years. It has forcibly evicted people and has failed to put in place safeguards to protect mine-affected communities from environmental pollution which can im- pact their rights to water and health, amongst other rights. It has shown an unwillingness to monitor corporate activity or to hold companies accountable for the harm their operations cause. The companies involved also bear responsibility. Despite a history of human rights violations sur- rounding the mine, a Canadian company, and subsequently a Chinese company, have invested without undertaking appropriate due diligence to ensure that past abuses were remediated and future abuses prevented. They have profited from abuses that they knew or should have known were happening, and have, in certain cases, themselves abused rights by participating in forced evictions or failing to remediate environmental pollution. The system that enabled the transfer of the Monywa project to a business venture that involved My- anmar military interests, without any transparency as to how such a sale occurred, is emblematic of the lack of accountability that exists around allocations of concessions and contracts in the extractive industry in Myanmar. The people of Myanmar must not see a resource curse unfold as it has done in so many other countries where powerful economic interests profit from a context in which regulation is weak, the government is unwilling to hold powerful political interests accountable and there is little or no transparency. The home states of multinational corporations must ensure that these corporations do not unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of Myanmar’s poorest people. The home states of companies involved in the Monywa project – Canada and China – have failed to do this...".....The report also contains critical analyses of Myanmar's land legislation.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: pdf (3.1MB-reduced version; 3.8MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/003/2015/en/12a4143a-ee84-4ce1-8d32-a72a916e29f7/asa1...
Date of entry/update: 11 February 2015

Title: The shell starts to crack? - Real owners of Myanmar’s oil and gas blocks come forward
Date of publication: October 2014
Description/subject: "Corrupt politicians all over the world use companies and trusts with hidden ownership to seize public property worth billions of dollars. This deprives ordinary citizens of money that should be spent on development and empowers unaccountable elites, often helping them gain and maintain power at the expense of democracy, human rights and peace. Revealing the real people behind companies is critical to achieving genuine reform in Myanmar, where military families and crony tycoons have long benefited from control of natural resources like gas and gemstones. This is a critical time—in July 2014, Myanmar became a candidate member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global transparency standard which recommends that the identities of individuals who own and control oil, gas and mining companies are published. If Myanmar can meet the standard, it will go a long way to addressing the question of who really owns the companies that control the country’s most valuable natural assets. To test the waters, Global Witness asked each of the companies granted oil and gas blocks in Myanmar over the past 12 months to declare their ultimate beneficial ownership. These blocks were awarded in the wake of a public commitment by the Ministry of Energy to manage Myanmar’s energy sector in line with international best practices, and alongside the engagement of leading energy companies in Myanmar’s EITI process. As such, the willingness of block winners to open up their ownership is an important yardstick for progress on reform of Myanmar’s extractive industries..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB-reduced version; 2.29MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org/sites/default/files/Global%20Witness%20-The%20shell%20starts%20to%20cr...
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2014

Title: Business & human rights in Myanmar: A round-up of recent developments, August 2013
Date of publication: 05 August 2013
Description/subject: Introduction: "This briefing summarises major business and human rights developments in Myanmar (Burma) from November 2010, when the country held its first elections after 20 years and pro - democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from hous e arrest, to the present. It covers the positive and negative impacts of companies operating in the country, and is based on reports from a range of sources that the Resource Centre has featured on its website and in its Weekly Updates. It also refers to responses we received from companies when we asked them to reply to concerns raised by civil society, and refers to the failure of certain companies to respond. This briefing provide s an overview of major issues, cases, developments and trends ; it is no t intended to be comprehensive . For more detail and more cases, see our website section: “ Myanmar ”. Part 3 presents key cases in the sectors that have ha d major impacts on human rights, namely oil & gas, construction, hydropower, mining and manufacturing. It summarises allegations of human rights impacts of specific projects, presents company responses to these allegations where available, and outlines co mmunity, NGO, and government actions. It also draws attention to freedom of association and child labour concerns. The briefing show s how Myanmar people affected by business activities have made use of newfound freedoms to raise their concerns before com panies and the Myanmar G overnment. It also shows that in some cases people have suffered retaliation for their efforts to protect human rights. Part 4 tracks key relevant domestic and international policy and legislative developments, and refers to civil society inputs and reactions. Part 5 presents a selection of commentaries and reports that provide guidance for companies in Myanmar and for those considering entry to Myanmar . These materials were developed in response to the easing and lifting of inte rnational trade sanctions"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Format/size: pdf (154K, press release, 63K)
Alternate URLs: http://business-humanrights.org/media/documents/press-release-myanmar-briefing-aug-2013.pdf (press release)
Date of entry/update: 05 August 2013

Title: Thaton Situation Update: Hpa-an Township, January to June 2012
Date of publication: 31 May 2013
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in June 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Thaton District, during the period between January to June 2012. Specifically, it describes villagers' education, their livelihood and explains how some of the villagers who have to go and work in other countries because of the lack of opportunities in their area. This report also presents detailed information about companies that have cooperated with KSDDP leaders (formerly DKBA) and BGF Battalion #1014 soldiers to confiscate land for rubber and teak plantations and, consequently, have forced the civilians to clear and plant tress in the plantation without providing wages. Also reported, is forced recruitment committed by one former DKBA leader, Moe Nyo. This report describes changes in the activity of the Tatmadaw and contains information on the villagers' concerns about Tatmadaw troop movement following the 2012 ceasefire.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (54K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b28.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013

Title: Incident Report: Forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012
Date of publication: 28 May 2013
Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on April 24th 2012, where soldiers from BGF Battalion #1014 ordered the villagers of T---, W---, V--- and X---, in Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, to do forced labour on plantation land that they had confiscated for private companies, for three weeks without providing any pay, food or tools. The information was learned when the community member interviewed Saw B---, a 36 year-old chairman from W--- village. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: “Border Guard #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012,” KHRG, May 2013."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (118K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b27.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013

Title: Incident Report: Land confiscation and forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012
Date of publication: 27 May 2013
Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses, which describes an incident that occurred on April 25th 2012, when BGF soldiers forced villagers from T--- village, Meh K'Na Hkee village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, to clear plantations owned by Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, which were located on land confiscated from the villagers. The report identifies the perpetrators as Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, KSDDP and a company affiliated with BGF Battalion #1014, commanded by Tin Win and based out of Law Pu village in Hpa-an Township. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf(125K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b24.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013

Title: Burma: Investors Need Robust Rights Safeguards - US Reporting Requirements Take Effect, More Needed
Date of publication: 25 May 2013
Description/subject: "American companies investing in Burma should not let new US government reporting requirements lull them into complacency on human rights concerns. The US “Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment” in Burma went into effect on May 23, 2013. Doing business in Burma involves various human rights risks that the US rules do not fully address, Human Rights Watch said. These include the lack of rule of law and an independent judiciary, major tensions over the acquisition and use of land, and disregard of community concerns in government-approved projects. The military’s extensive involvement in the economy, use of forced labor, and abusive security practices in business operations heightens concerns. Corruption is pervasive throughout the country..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2013

Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, November 2012 to January 2013
Date of publication: 24 May 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, during the period between November 2012 and January 2013. The community member discusses abuses that happened during the period, such as how private construction workers collected stones near P--- villagers' farmland without the consent of the local community. Consequently, there is an increased threat of flooding that could affect more than 20 or 30 acres of farmland from the damage to natural water barriers caused by the stone collection. Also discussed, is how frontline soldiers from Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #434, which is based at Pa Heh army camp, forced four villagers from H--- village to porter unknown cargo between Papun town and Hsaw Bgeh Der. The community member also raised problems regarding destruction of the natural environment, such as how irregular rainfall and pests are damaging paddy crops."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (270K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b23.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013

Title: Reforming Telecommunications in Burma - Human Rights and Responsible Investment in Mobile and the Internet
Date of publication: 19 May 2013
Description/subject: "In January 2013, the Burmese government announced plans to liberalize the country’s telecommunications sector and invited bids for two nationwide telecommunications licenses. Successful bidders will be allowed to provide a range of services, including mobile and Internet services. The Burmese government has promised to significantly reduce the cost of mobile phones and has set an ambitious goal of 50 percent mobile penetration by 2016, a remarkable increase from current penetration estimated at 5-10 percent. Human Rights Watch has long believed that Internet and mobile technologies have an enormous potential to advance human rights. Developing Burma’s information and communications technology (ICT) and telecommunications sectors could enhance economic growth and civic participation in a country that has been closed for decades. Email, social media, and cell phones have become essential tools for journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society groups worldwide because these technologies support instant communication, access to information, and effective organization on the ground. However, these benefits may be jeopardized unless governments and corporations safeguard the ability of people to use new technologies freely and without fear of reprisal. Improved telecommunications networks can become powerful tools for censorship and illegal surveillance, absent protections for human rights and other critical measures. Yet Burma’s democratic reforms remain incomplete and the government and its security forces continue to commit serious human rights violations. Companies entering Burma face a significant risk of contributing to abuses, particularly in sectors, such as telecommunications and the Internet, that have been linked with past abuses and where rights-based reforms to date have been inadequate. Opening up these sectors to international investment raises the risk that the government may seek to involve technology companies in illegal surveillance, censorship, and other abuses. In this report, Human Rights Watch has outlined several steps necessary to promote adequate human rights protections for Internet and mobile phone users in Burma, and the actions needed to foster responsible investment in Burma’s telecommunications and Internet sectors. Telecommunications and ICT companies should not move forward in Burma until such measures are in place, in view of the human rights risks. The analysis and recommendations contained in this report are based on research conducted from February to April 2013. The report’s analysis focuses on laws most relevant to Burma’s telecommunications and ICT sectors, and does not provide a comprehensive treatment of Burma’s laws, legal system or constitution...To respect the rights of the people of Burma, international telecommunications and ICT companies should take meaningful steps at the outset to assess the human rights impact and address any harm that may result from their operations. They should conduct what is often referred to as “human rights due diligence” and adopt robust safeguards to prevent and address abuses, including with respect to the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (295K-OBL version; 474K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma'>http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/05/19/reforming-telecommunications-burma
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2013

Title: Conducting Meaningful Stakeholder Consultation in Myanmar
Date of publication: April 2013
Description/subject: "The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights include guidance on the role of meaningful consultation by companies with their stakeholders, particularly those groups that their operations may impact directly. Meaningful consultation can assist companies both to gauge and to mitigate their risk of involvement with human rights impacts…Shift’s report is designed to assist companies with this challenge, as they consider or commence operations in Myanmar. The report (1) provides a survey of stakeholder views regarding the entry of companies into Myanmar; and (2) sets out key elements for companies to consider in their stakeholder engagement strategies. The report describes the high expectations interviewees have of the benefits that companies can bring to Myanmar, from building workers’ skills in labor-intensive sectors, to improving working conditions and reducing poverty. It also highlights their fears that their lands will be taken from them, their environment degraded, and their livelihoods destroyed…" (from the Business & Human Rights entry on this report)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shift
Format/size: pdf (646K)
Alternate URLs: http://shiftproject.org
Date of entry/update: 06 May 2013

Title: Business and Human Rights in Burma (Myanmar) - Testimony of Marco Simons
Date of publication: 28 February 2013
Description/subject: Testimony of Marco Simons to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission: "This submission describes the emerging landscape as U.S. businesses reengage in Burma and identifies specific human rights concerns associated with current and prospective corporate activities in Burma (Myanmar). A number of companies, including General Electric, have already invested in Burma, and U.S. oil supermajors are considering participation in upcoming auctions for oil blocks. Increased foreign investment has already been linked to large-scale displacement of local communities and loss of traditional livelihoods in Burma. The legal framework for land rights is inadequate to protect the fundamental human rights of those whose homes and fields stand in the way of economic development; indeed, it facilitates arbitrary and inadequately compensated alienation of land. Moreover, violence and gross human rights abuses continue to occur in association with natural resource development projects, as at the Letpadaung Copper Mine at Monywa, and in Shan State along the Shwe Gas Pipeline corridor. Having decided that public disclosure, rather than regulation, is a more appropriate tool to address the human rights and environmental concerns associated with Western investment in Burma, the U.S. Government has proposed Reporting Requirements for Responsible Investment in Burma that are expected to take effect prior to April 2013. While they may assist government and civil society to monitor the human rights implications of the relaxation of U.S. sanctions on Burma, these Reporting Requirements have a number of troubling weaknesses that may allow serious human rights risks to avoid detection. Moreover, while the U.S. is now allowing the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to extend loans to Burma, such projects are already being met with complaints over lack of transparency and consultation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Format/size: pdf (4,7MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2013

Title: Burma an ‘Extreme Risk’ for Business and Rights Abuse
Date of publication: 19 December 2012
Description/subject: "Just two weeks after the violent police crackdown on peaceful copper mine protests, an international business investment assessor has included Burma in a top-10 league of countries at “extreme risk” for human rights abuses. Burma was ranked sixth in the bad league behind only Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the UK business advisory company Maplecroft said in its “Human Rights Risk Atlas 2013.” Despite reforms of the past 18 months in Burma, the risk to foreign investors concerned about their public image remains extremely high, Maplecroft said. The warning comes as Western and Japanese multinational businesses weigh up prospects for investing in Burma, especially in infrastructure development and mining, oil and gas exploration. So far, recorded abuses such as land confiscations and forced labor have been linked to Burmese military-connected firms or Chinese companies such as China National Petroleum Corporation, which is building controversial oil and gas pipelines through the length of the country. But as pressure mounts for economic growth, more cases are coming to light..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2012

Title: Joint Comment on the Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma
Date of publication: 04 October 2012
Description/subject: "After submitting a detailed comment [MAIN URL] to the US Department of State expressing concern over weak reporting requirements for US companies considering investing in Burma, EarthRights International, Freedom House, Physicians for Human Rights, U.S. Campaign for Burma and United to End Genocide issued the following statement: “We continue to be deeply concerned by the US government’s decision to lift all remaining sanctions, and allow corporations unrestricted investment access to Burma despite widespread corruption, ongoing human rights violations and a total lack of rule of law. Although US companies will be required to report on their investments, the current requirements lack specificity about enforcement and consequences for non-compliance. Furthermore, existing loopholes enable companies to designate information as ‘confidential’ as a way to avoid public scrutiny. The US government should take immediate steps to ensure that there is a strong regulatory framework that can effectively promote accountability and transparency..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) et al
Format/size: pdf (135K; html)
Alternate URLs: http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/deplorable-weak-reporting-requirements-for...
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2012

Title: Responsible Investment in Myanmar: The Human Rights Dimension
Date of publication: September 2012
Description/subject: About this Paper: "This is the first in a series of Occasional Papers by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB). Papers in this series will provide independent analysis and policy recommendations concerning timely subjects on the business and human rights agenda from the perspectives of IHRB staff members and research fellows. This paper was prepared by IHRB Policy Director, Salil Tripathi with input from IHRB's South East Asia Programme Manager, Donna Guest. Over the past year in particular, IHRB has been studying Myanmar's re-emergence in the global economy and believes political changes in the country represent an important opportunity in the area of business and human rights. IHRB staff members have visited Myanmar, most recently in July 2012 at the invitation of the British Government to present a round-table on business and human rights with Myanmar government and opposition leaders, as well as local and international business representatives. In collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, IHRB is working with local and international partners to establish a responsible investment resource centre in Myanmar and will be developing a number of activities aimed at fostering trade and investment in the country consistent with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other international corporate responsibility standards. The resource centre will be open to all actors: local business, international business, government, parliamentarians, investors, civil society, trade unions and communities. From September 2012 a local co-ordinator is in place, based at the British Council in Yangon, to establish the resource centre and also to organize a series of thematic workshops on many of the issues discussed in this paper." For more details contact: myanmar@ihrb.org
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) - Occasional Paper series, No. 1
Format/size: pdf (2.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2013

Title: Building sustainable investment in Myanmar: institutional investors report back EU guidelines for companies active in Burma expected shortly.
Date of publication: 07 May 2012
Description/subject: "...Extractive companies will be tempted by Myanmar’s rich reserves of oil, gas, minerals, and teak. In talks with another multinational company, we were reminded that it is possible to combine activities in the extractive industry with sound sustainable practices such as environmental and social impact assessments, grievance mechanisms and strategic social investments. Since extractive companies inevitably have to work closely with the government, they should leverage government relations to pursue sustainable development and the protection of human rights..."
Author/creator: Kris Douma
Language: English
Source/publisher: responsible-investor.com
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2012

Title: As Country Opens, Myanmar Businesses Embrace the Global Compact
Date of publication: 01 May 2012
Description/subject: (Yangon, 1 May 2012) – "Speaking to more than 200 participants at a ceremony in Yangon, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chaired the launch of the UN Global Compact in Myanmar today, underscoring heightened interest in corporate responsibility as the country is going through a process of political and economic reforms. “In order to deliver prosperity and opportunity widely, Myanmar needs strong and inclusive markets,” the Secretary-General said in his keynote remarks to participants, which also included nearly 50 representatives of the international community, including foreign investors. “Business has to be the backbone of growth. However, investment and business activity must be sustainable and responsible – upholding the highest standards of business ethics.” The meeting with business and government representatives came on the last day of the Secretary-General’s three-day visit to Myanmar. At the event, 14 companies and the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce formally joined the Global Compact in a signing ceremony..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Global Comact
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2012

Title: The Burma-China Pipelines: Human Rights Violations, Applicable Law, and Revenue Secrecy
Date of publication: 29 March 2011
Description/subject: "...This briefer focuses on the impacts of two of Burma’s largest energy projects, led by Chinese, South Korean, and Indian multinational corporations in partnership with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Burmese companies, and Burmese state security forces. The projects are the Shwe Natural Gas Project and the Burma-China oil transport project, collectively referred to here as the “Burma-China pipelines.” The pipelines will transport gas from Burma and oil from the Middle East and Africa across Burma to China. The massive pipelines will pass through two states, Arakan (Rakhine) and Shan, and two divisions in Burma, Magway and Mandalay, over dense mountain ranges and arid plains, rivers, jungle, and villages and towns populated by ethnic Burmans and several ethnic nationalities. The pipelines are currently under construction and will feed industry and consumers primarily in Yunnan and other western provinces in China, while producing multi-billion dollar revenues for the Burmese regime. This briefer provides original research documenting adverse human rights impacts of the pipelines, drawing on investigations inside Burma and leaked documents obtained by EarthRights and its partners. EarthRights has found extensive land confiscation related to the projects, and a pervasive lack of meaningful consultation and consent among affected communities, along with cases of forced labor and other serious human rights abuses in violation of international and national law. EarthRights has uncovered evidence to support claims of corporate complicity in those abuses. In addition, companies involved have breached key international standards and research shows they have failed to gain a social license to operate in the country. New evidence suggests communities in the project area are overwhelmingly opposed to the pipeline projects. While EarthRights has not found evidence directly linking the projects to armed conflict, the pipelines may increase tensions as construction reaches Shan State, where there is a possibility of renewed armed conflict between the Burmese Army and specific ethnic armed groups. The Army is currently forcibly recruiting and training villagers in project areas to fight. EarthRights has obtained confidential Production Sharing Contracts detailing the structure of multi-million dollar signing and production bonuses that China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is required to pay to MOGE officials regarding its involvement in two offshore oil and gas development projects that, at present, are unrelated to the Burma- China pipelines. EarthRights believes the amount and structure of these payments are in-line with previously disclosed resource development contracts in Burma, and are likely representative of contracts signed for the Burma-China pipelines; contracts that remain guarded from public scrutiny. Accordingly, the operators of the Burma- China pipeline projects would have already made several tranche cash payments to MOGE, totaling in the tens of millions of dollars..."
Language: English, Korean
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
Format/size: pdf (1.23 - English; 1.9MB - Korean)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/sites/default/files/documents/the-burma-china-pipelines-korean.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011

Title: Dam Nation
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: "Burma and China prepare to build seven hydroelectric dams in Kachin State that will not provide the people of Burma with jobs, security or even electricity Large-scale hydroelectric dams have long been decried for the immense damage they do to the environment and rural communities. Not everyone agrees, however, that the problems associated with mega-dams outweigh their benefits. After all, say pragmatists, dams are a reliable supply of electricity, without which no country can hope to survive in the modern world. (Illustration: Harn lay / The irrawaddy) But in Burma, such arguments fall flat. Not only do massive dam-building projects take an especially high toll on people’s lives—besides destroying villages and the environment, they result in intensifying human rights abuses and make diseases such as malaria more prevalent—they also come without a payoff for the general population. At the end of the day, the electricity they generate—the only benefit the Burmese people can expect to get from them—remains as scarce as ever..."
Author/creator: David Paquette
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010

Title: Resisting the Flood: Communities taking a stand against the imminent construction of Irrawaddy dams
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: Message from KDNG: "As a network of residents of Kachin State, we, the Kachin Development Networking Group, have been monitoring plans by the stateowned China Power Investment Corporation and Burma’s military regime to build seven dams on the Irrawaddy River and its two main tributaries. In 2007 we published the report, "Damming the Irrawaddy" which surveyed the environment and peoples in the affected area and analyzed the negative impacts of these dams. Today construction of the 2,000-megawatt Chibwe Dam on the N’Mai River is already underway. The forced relocation of 15,000 people to clear out the flood zone of the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam has also begun. In August 2009 villagers were informed that they must begin to move out within two months. There have been no public assessments of the projects, no consultation with affected people within the flood zone or downstream, and no consent from local residents or the larger population of Burma. As a result, public resistance to the dams is growing. Despite the risks of arrest, torture or death for dissent in military-ruled Burma, brave people are demanding a halt to the dams. Mass prayer ceremonies calling for the protection of the rivers have been held along the river banks and in churches up and downstream. Posters, open letters, and graffi ti from students, elders and prominent leaders have objected to the dams. In a face-to-face meeting with the Burma Army’s Northern Commander, local residents made it clear that no amount of compensation will make up for the losses these dams will bring to their community and future generations. We stand with the people of Kachin State and throughout Burma who oppose these dams. The demand to stop this project has been made clear to our military rulers and now we specifically appeal to China Power Investment Corporation and the government of China to stop these dams..."
Language: English, Burmese, Chinese
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: pdf (1.37MB - English; 2.42MB - Burmese; 1.21MB - Chinese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/ResistingtheFlood-Burwebsite.... (Burmese)
http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/chinese/ResistingtheFloodChinese.pdf (Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2009

Title: Under The Boot - A Village's Story of Burmese Army Occupation to Build a Dam on the Shweli River
Date of publication: 03 December 2007
Description/subject: "At night the Shweli has always sung sweet songs for us. But now the nights are silent and the singing has stopped. We are lonely and wondering what has happened to our Shweli?" ... "Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restriction on movement ever since, and a five kilometer diversion tunnel has been blasted through the hill on which the village is situated. Photos in the report show soldiers carrying out parade drills, weapons assembly, and target practice in the village. "This Chinese project has been like a sudden military invasion. The villagers had no idea the dam would be built until the soldiers arrived," said Mai Aung Ko from the Palaung Youth Network Group (Ta'ang), which produced the report. Burma's Ministry of Electric Power formed a joint venture with Yunnan Joint Power Development Company, a consortium of Chinese companies, to build and operate the project. Electricity generated will be sent to China and several military-run mining operations in Burma. As the project nears completion, plans are underway for two more dams on the Shweli River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy..."
Language: English, Burmese, Chinese
Source/publisher: Palaung Youth Network Group
Format/size: pdf (4.76MB - English; 1.35MB - Chinese; 4.41MB - Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.salweenwatch.org/images/stories/downloads/brn/underthebootchinesewithcover_2.pdf (Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 04 December 2007

Title: Chevron's links to Burma stir critics to demand it pull out
Date of publication: 04 October 2007
Description/subject: Chevron Corp. of San Ramon is drawing harsh criticism for its business ties to Burma, the Asian nation conducting a brutal military crackdown. The company owns part of a natural gas project in Burma, where soldiers crushed pro-democracy protests last week and killed at least 10 people. U.S. sanctions prevent most U.S. companies from working in Burma, but Chevron's investment there existed before the sanctions were imposed and continues under a grandfather clause. As a result, the company is one of the few large Western companies left in the country.
Author/creator: David R. Baker
Language: English
Source/publisher: San Francisco Bay Area
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/04/MNNBSIK4D.DTL&type=printable
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010

Title: Teak statt Menschenrechte
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: Bis vor kurzer Zeit war Burma (Myanmar) das Land mit mehr intaktem Tropenwald als irgendein anderes Land auf dem südostasiatischen Festland. Es liefert das wertvollste Teakholz, das weltweit auf dem Markt ist - Holz aus den letzten primären Teakwäldern der Erde. Nachdem in den letzten Jahrzehnten die Primärwälder Indiens, Thailands und Kambodschas weitgehend geplündert wurden, sind seit einigen Jahren die Teakwälder Burmas an der Reihe. Vom Ausverkauf dieser bedeutenden (und extrem artenreichen) Wälder profitiert allein das burmesische Militärregime, das mit den Profiten aus dem Holzhandel den Krieg gegen die aufständischen Minderheiten im Süden des Landes finanziert. keywords: Logging, teak, military regime, human rights, forced labour
Author/creator: Sabine Genz
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Robin Wood Magazin Jg. 98 Nr. 2; S.20
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2010