(28/07(2017). (Report from International Labour Organization (ILO)). Labour migration has been an important factor supporting the growth and development of the South-East Asian region, filling labour shortages in countries of destination and providing much needed employment opportunities for workers in countries of origin. However, in spite of the vital role women and men migrant workers play in increasing the region’s labour market efficiency, they are often subjected to abuses during recruitment and employment and are unable to make use of the social protection benefits to which they are entitled.
Despite important progress at the 24-29 May 2017 round of peace talks, the path toward a negotiated end to Myanmar’s conflicts remains fraught with difficulties. All sides must redouble their engagement to broaden armed groups’ participation in the talks, and improve the implementation of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
Index number: ASA 16/6429/2017. Over the last seven months, fighting has intensified between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups in Kachin and northern Shan States, areas with longrunning conflicts as ethnic minorities have sought greater autonomy and respect for their rights. This report documents war crimes and other human rights violations by the Myanmar Army, including extrajudicial executions, torture, forced labour, and indiscriminate shelling. Most victims are civilians from ethnic minorities in the region, continuing a legacy of abuse that has rarely led to accountability for the soldiers or commanders responsible.
Index number: ASA 16/5564/2017. This briefing examines the current human rights situation at Myanmar’s largest copper mine, the Letpadaung mine. The operating company, a subsidiary of China’s Wanbao Mining, intends to extend the mine’s perimeter, putting hundreds of people at risk of forced eviction from their homes and farmland. The company has also failed to undertake an adequate environmental assessment of the mine, putting the safety of the neighbouring communities at risk. The risks are extremely serious as the giant mine is in a region prone to both earthquakes and floods. If either of these strike the mine, they could result in contaminated waste spreading into the surrounding environment with catastrophic results. In addition, the Myanmar authorities continue to use repressive laws to harass villagers who protest against Letpadaung and the nearby S&K mine.
This report documents a campaign of violence by the Myanmar security forces against Rohingya since 9 October 2016. Soldiers and police have randomly fired on and killed civilians, raped women and girls, torched whole villages and arbitrarily arrested Rohingya men without any information about their whereabouts or charges. These actions have been a form of collective punishment targeting Rohingya in northern Rakhine state, and may amount to crimes against humanity.
The deadly attacks on Border Guard Police (BGP) bases in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State on 9 October 2016 and the days following, and a serious escalation on 12 November when a senior army officer was killed, signify the emergence of a new Muslim insurgency there. The current violence is qualitatively different from anything in recent decades, seriously threatens the prospects of stability and development in the state and has serious implications for Myanmar as a whole. The government faces a huge challenge in calibrating and integrating its political, policy and security responses to ensure that violence does not escalate and intercommunal tensions are kept under control. It requires also taking due account of the grievances and fears of Rakhine Buddhists.
In the summer of 2015, Myanmar experienced massive floods and associated landslides that affected nine million people. Since then, the country has seen dramatic political change, while confronting a litany of ongoing humanitarian crises. As the government strives to juggle humanitarian needs with longer-term development issues, it must confront its extreme vulnerability to disasters and climate change.
In July 2015 a draft Prisons Law was introduced in Myanmar’s Parliament, with the objective to “safeguard peace in the community and the rule of law”; prevent “repeat offending”; and provide for the rehabilitation of prisoners with a view to their release. The draft Prisons Law is set to replace Myanmar’s outdated legal framework. Amnesty International welcomes this legislative initiative. A prisons law which is comprehensive, detailed, and fully in line with international human rights law and standards will be an important tool to improve conditions of detention in Myanmar. However, the latest draft made available to the public falls far short of international standards. In this detailed legal analysis, Amnesty International makes specific recommendations as to how the draft Prisons Law should be amended to bring it in line with international human rights law and standards.
The report, “‘The Farmer Becomes the Criminal’: Land Confiscation in Burma’s Karen State,” documents human rights violations by militias, police, and government officials in Karen State for the confiscation of land from ethnic Karen farmers, many of whose families had farmed the land for generations.
After almost 70 years of armed conflict, Myanmar has a rare but fading opportunity to finalise a broad-based, federal settlement. The government must adopt a more flexible approach that allays opposition concerns, and armed groups need to go beyond preliminaries and engage in meaningful…