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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Discrimination > Race or Ethnicity: Discrimination based on > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations against specific groups > Discrimination against the Chin (Zo) > Discrimination against the Chin (Zo) -- websites and reports

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Discrimination against the Chin (Zo) -- websites and reports

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO)
Description/subject: " Welcome to Chin Human Rights Organization Chin Human Rights Organization is working to protect and promote the rights of the Chin people." Violation of the rights of women and children, forced labour, political suppression, racial discrimination religious persecu-tions committed by the Burmese military regime results thousands of Chin to flee from their home country. CHRO aims: * To promote Human Rights and democratic principles among Chin people. * To empower the people, especially the victims of human rights violations, who have been suffering so long under the Burmese military regime; * To provide accurate and reliable information about human rights situation in Chin state and western part of Burma to the international community. The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) was established in 1995, and registered as not for profit organization in Canada as it is impossible to legally register in Burma or its neighboring countries India or Bangladesh. As part of its efforts to restore democracy and human rights to Burma, the CHRO has been independently documen-ting human rights violations perpetrated by Burma's military regime against the Chin of Burma. Abuses such as racial discrimination, forced labour, rape, and religious persecution are commonplace for the Chin as well as many other peoples in Burma. CHRO produces a news bulletin six times a year, which is disseminated to human rights institutions and individual supporters around the world. Accordingly, CHRO has become a key advocate internationally for the support of the Chins and people from Western Burma, those living in Burma as well as those living as refugees in other countries."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 December 2003

Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar's Economy Needs Human Rights Reforms
Date of publication: 27 November 2013
Description/subject: "After decades of political and economic isolation, Myanmar is making economic strides to address "underdevelopment," and companies, consultants, and cronies are rushing to help realize the dream. But in Myanmar's ethnic states, underdevelopment is not only an economic problem. It's also a human rights problem, and now is the time to address it. Last month, with Fortify Rights and others I traveled through the remote and newly unrestricted mountains of Chin State to participate in a series of human rights workshops and town-hall style meetings, undeniable indicators of positive changes unfolding in the country. Home to dozens of ethnic sub-tribes, Chin State is predominantly Christian, and for decades the Chin suffered violent abuses by a string of military regimes..."
Author/creator: Matthew Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: " The Huffington Post" via Fortify Rights
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014

Title: Life Under the Junta: Evidence of Crimes Against Humanity in Burma’s Chin State
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: "...Our data reveal that Government authorities have perpetrated human rights violations against the ethnic Chin population in Western Burma. Although other researchers have posited that a prima facie case exists for crimes against humanity in Burma, the current study provides the first quantitative data on these alleged crimes. At least eight of the violations that we surveyed fall within the purview of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and may constitute crimes against humanity. The ICC has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, including murder, extermination, enslavement, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, torture, rape, group persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, and other inhumane acts. For acts to be investigated by the ICC as crimes against humanity, three common elements must be established: (1) Prohibited acts took place after 1 July 2002 when the ICC treaty entered into force. (2) Such acts were committed by government authorities as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population. (3) The perpetrator intended or knew that the conduct was part of the attack. Our research demonstrates that the human rights violations we surveyed in Chin State meet these necessary elements. All reported human rights violations in our study occurred during the immediate 12 months before the interview in 2010 and thus fall within the temporal jurisdiction of the ICC. Additionally, our data show that 1,768 attacks were directed against a relatively large body of civilian victims. And although there is no threshold definition of what constitutes widespread, these data provide evidence that these reported abuses occurred on a large scale with numerous victims. Coupled with qualitative information that our team of investigators gathered, this quantitative data reveal patterns of abuse that constitute systematic targeting and executing of human rights violations against an ethnic and religious minority. While our data imply knowledge that would satisfy the third element of the definition of a crime against humanity, further evidence is needed to establish individual culpability. This evidence would likely stem from a U.N. Commission of Inquiry or another thorough investigation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB - OBL version; (2.63MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/documents/reports/Burma-full-rpt-Chin-state.pdf
Date of entry/update: 22 January 2011

Title: On the Edge of Survival: The Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis in Chin State, Burma
Date of publication: 24 September 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary" "Since late 2007, the people of Chin State have been struggling with massive food shortages and hunger after the vast bamboo forests that cover the mountainous landscape of Chin State began to flower and die- a process that occurs twice every century. Already struggling for their survival due to decades of severe economic repression and human rights abuses, this natural disaster has left the Chin people on the edge of survival. This report is a follow-up to CHRO’s July 2008 report, “Critical Point: Food Scarcity and Hunger in Burma’s Chin State,” which first brought worldwide attention to the dire humanitarian conditions facing the Chin people. This report provides an update on the current conditions in Chin State, the effects of the food crisis, and responses taken to assist people in the affected areas of Chin State. The bamboo of Chin State began to flower in late 2006. Attracted to the fruit produced by the bamboo, the flowering process triggered an explosion in the rat population. After exhausting the fruit supply, the rats turned on people’s crops and food supplies, causing massive food shortages for local villagers dependent on farming for their livelihood and subsistence. In 2008, CHRO estimated that as many as 200 villages were affected by severe food shortages associated with the bamboo flowering, and no less than 100,000 people, or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State, were in need of immediate food aid. CHRO now believes those figures are much higher. Since CHRO first reported on the crisis, food shortages spread to seven townships in Chin State as well as parts of Sagaing Division. Up to 82 percent of the farmland has been destroyed in certain affected regions of Chin State. In several villages, each and every household is in need of immediate food aid. The consequences of the food crisis are also more apparent now. Over 54 people are known to have died due to the effects of extreme malnourishment and famine-related disease; children comprise the majority of recorded deaths. As access to affected regions is limited, this number is likely to be an underestimate. Disease and malnourishment is widespread, particularly among women, children, and the elderly. Children with little ability to concentrate on studies due to hunger have been forced to drop out of school in order to help their families forage for food: school enrollment rates are down 50 to 60 percent from last year. Several thousand Chin have fled their villages to search for food elsewhere. More than 4,000 have already arrived to the India and Thailand border. Villagers are now struggling with hunger and severe malnutrition due to food shortages in Chin State. Children are particularly at risk of malnourishment. (© CHRO, 2007) Up to 82 percent of the farmland has been destroyed in certain affected regions of Chin State. (© CHRO, 2009) The situation has been made more acute by the ruling military regime’s utter neglect of the suffering, compounded by policies and practices of abuse and repression against Chin civilians. As thousands struggle with hunger, starvation, and disease, the SPDC continues practices of forced labor, extorting excessive amounts of money from villagers, confiscating people’s land and property, in addition to other severe human rights abuses. Such actions have strained the Chin people’s ability to cope with the impacts of the natural disaster. Since the food shortages were first reported by CHRO, efforts have been made to respond to the food crisis. After initially dismissing the situation in Chin State, the WFP conducted a follow-up investigation and eventually acknowledged the existence of food shortages in Chin State. During a recent mission to the area, WFP reported “food consumption *to be+Â…worse than any other region visited by the Mission.” WFP and their coordinating partners initiated relief programs in early 2009 that continue to be implemented in various affected areas of Chin State. Chin community-based groups in India have also organized relief teams to deliver food aid to remote villages in Chin State. These teams are responsible for delivering over 30,000 kilograms of rice to 54 villages in six townships from May to July 2009 alone. Despite concerted efforts from multiply fronts to assist the affected population, Burma’s military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), continues to do nothing to respond to the food crisis in Chin State. Rather, the SPDC has exacerbated the crisis through sustained human rights abuses and economic repression, further undermining the livelihoods and food security of the Chin people. Forced labor, extortion, and confiscations of land and property continue unabated within the affected areas. SPDC has denied repeated requests for food aid, even as it reports a rice surplus. Local authorities have banned villagers from receiving foreign aid, threatening reprisals against anyone who accepts foreign aid. Government neglect and continued abuse; inadequately supported relief efforts; and pervasive hunger and food shortages have the potential for catastrophic humanitarian consequences. The effects of the bamboo flowering and rat infestation are expected to last three to five years. During the last bamboo cycle, half a century ago, 10,000 to 15,000 people reportedly died due to the associated effects of hunger and disease in neighboring Mizoram State. The people of Chin State today struggling with the same natural disaster have the added burden of military repression, abuse, and neglect. They are on the edge of survival now; but their struggle is far from over."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)
Format/size: pdf (2.38MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/On_The_Edge_of_Survival-2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 September 2009

Title: Waiting on the Margins - An Assessment of the Situation of the Chin Community in Delhi, India
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: The steep mountain chains and deep valley gorges in Burma’s northwestern Chin State is the homeland of some 1.5 million ethnic Chin. Due to ongoing human rights abuses, severe restrictions on basic freedoms, and widespread poverty within Chin State, only 500,000 ethnic Chin remain in Chin State. More than two-thirds of the Chin population have fled to other parts of Burma and neighboring countries in a quest for protection and survival. Some 100,000 Chin are currently living in uncertain conditions in India’s northeastern state of Mizoram, which shares a border with Burma’s Chin State. Another 4,200 Chin have made their way to Delhi with the hope of obtaining protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Another 30,000 Chin have fled to Malaysia also with the hope of finding some form of protection and security. This report examines the lack of protection and adequate living conditions of Chin refugees and asylum-seekers in Delhi. As India is not a party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, few protections are available to Chins living in Delhi. Although UNHCR is currently registering and recognizing refugees in Delhi, the Chin face long wait times due to processing delays. Resettlement is unduly slow and opportunities are limited. Although the Indian government allows UNHCR-recognized Chin refugees to obtain residential permits to stay in Delhi, the process to obtain such permits is complicated by redundant documentation requirements, corruption, and unnecessary delays. While protection and permanent solutions are long in coming for the Chin community in Delhi, their wait is made more urgent by untenable living conditions, a lack of adequate and acceptable livelihoods, poor health, an inability for their children to receive an education, and the impossibility of integrating with the local community. Although UNHCR supports several programs to provide for and improve the welfare of Chin refugees, many of these programs are inadequate and ineffective to meet the needs of the community. Access to such programs are limited to UNHCR-recognized Chin refugees, excluding those not yet registered with UNHCR and those with cases pending before UNHCR. Considering the human rights situation in Burma and ongoing violations against basic human rights and freedoms in Chin State, the Chin people of Burma will continue to require protection and accommodation in neighboring countries in the foreseeable future. For this reason, the Chin Human Rights Organization urges the Indian government and the UNHCR to: • Ensure Chin refugees and asylum-seekers have unhindered access to effective and expedient protection mechanisms. • Minimize processing delays and corruption that hinder members of the Chin community from obtaining protection and access to crucial benefits and services. • Ensure Chin refugees and asylum-seekers have access to: acceptable and appropriate accommodations; stable and adequate sources of income and job opportunities; and quality and affordable healthcare and education. • Promote, expand, and improve current humanitarian programs that benefit and serve members of the Chin community.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)
Format/size: pdf (3MB)
Date of entry/update: 07 April 2009

Title: "We Are Like Forgotten People" -- The Chin People of Burma: Unsafe in Burma, Unprotected in India
Date of publication: 28 January 2009
Description/subject: "In the 93-page report, “‘We Are Like Forgotten People’: Unsafe in Burma, Unprotected in India,” Human Rights Watch documents a wide range of human rights abuses carried out by the Burmese army and government officials. The abuses include forced labor, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, religious repression and other restrictions on fundamental freedoms. In Mizoram state, India, Chin people remain at risk of discrimination and abuse by local Mizo groups and local authorities, and of being forced back across the border into Burma... Burma’s military government regularly arrests and imprisons ethnic Chin to stifle political dissent and intimidate them. The army places restrictions on many aspects of life for the Chin, including: curtailing their freedom of movement; regularly confiscating and extorting money, food, and property; exacting forced labor, and coercing them to plant certain crops. One Chin man told Human Rights Watch, “We are like slaves, we have to do everything [the army] tells us to do.” “We Are Like Forgotten People” also documents abuses committed by the opposition Chin National Front and its armed branch, the Chin National Army, such as harassment, beatings and extortion from Chin villagers. One Chin church leader now living in Mizoram said, “These underground groups, rather than being a help, make life even more difficult for us.” Human Rights Watch called on both the Burmese army and armed groups to end abuses, and for Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to allow humanitarian agencies unfettered access to Chin State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (3.8MB; 2.6MB - no cover)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/01/27/we-are-forgotten-people
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2010

Title: Critical Point - Food Scarcity and Hunger in Burma’s Chin State _ 2008 (Special Reports)
Date of publication: July 2008
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The military regime of Burma has been consistent in their inability and unwillingness to protect and provide for the people of Burma. Burma’s human rights record provides testimony of decades of widespread violations and abuses perpetrated largely at the hands of Burma’s military rulers and their agents against the Burmese people. Dissent is regularly silenced and opponents brutalized. In a country once known as the “rice-bowl of Asia,” Burma is now one of the poorest countries of Asia due to steady economic deterioration driven by the regime’s mismanagement. Many in Burma live without access to proper schools, healthcare facilities, reliable electricity, safe drinking water, and stable food supplies. Cowed by policies of extreme oppression and tactics of intimidation, life for much of the population in Burma is a struggle for daily survival. Add to that a natural disaster- and survival in Burma reaches a critical point. Western Burma’s Chin State is at such a point. Since 2006, the region has been plagued by a severe food crisis following a steep reduction in the local harvest and food production. The year 2006 marked the beginning of a new cycle of bamboo flowering, which occurs about every 50 years in the region, triggering an explosion in the population of rats and resulting in the destruction of crops. This has caused a severe shortage of food for local communities primarily dependent on subsistence farming through shifting cultivation. The phenomenon has been documented three times since 1862, and each past event ended in a disastrous famine for the communities in the area. Compounding the impending food crisis in Chin State due to the bamboo flowering is the continuation of severe human rights violations and repressive economic policies of the military regime, which serve to further undermine the livelihoods and food security of the Chin people. The use of unpaid civilian forced labour is widespread throughout Chin State, which consumes the time and energy of local farmers and reduces their crop yields. The regime also forcibly orders farmers to substitute their staple crops for other cash crops, and has confiscated thousands of acres of farmland from local farmers for tea and jatropha plantations. Meanwhile, arbitrary taxes and mandatory “donations” collected from Chin households by the Burmese authorities total up to as much 200,000 Kyats a year in major towns.2 This includes the unofficial collection of money from the Chin public by officials in various government departments at the local level to support such programs as tea and bio-fuel plantations; and extortion and confiscation of money, properties, and livestock by military units stationed at 33 locations across the state. The rising cost of living and skyrocketing food prices is also adding to the already dire humanitarian situation in Chin State. In the last four years, the price of rice has quintupled from 6,000 Kyats a bag in 2004 to as much as 30,000 Kyats today, an amount equivalent to the monthly salary of entry level public servants. The humanitarian consequences stemming from the dying bamboo and exacerbated by conditions imposed by the regime are enormous, and there are clear indications that unless urgent action is taken to address the crisis, the situation could soon turn into a large-scale catastrophe affecting all parts of Chin State. The hardest hit areas are in the southern townships of Matupi and Paletwa where bamboo grows heavily, but reports suggest that severe food shortages are a state-wide phenomenon with many villages in the northern townships of Tonzang and Thantlang, for example, having already run out of food supplies. Based on the latest field surveys conducted in the affected areas, Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) estimates that as many as 200 villages may be directly affected by severe food shortages associated with the bamboo flowering, and no less than 100, 000 people or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State may be in need of immediate food aid.3 Food scarcity is more severe in remote areas, where families are being reduced to one meal a day or have nothing left to eat at all. CHRO recently visited four border villages in India’s Mizoram State where it found 93 families from 22 villages in Paletwa Township, Chin State who fled across the border in search of food. To date, Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has done nothing positive to counter the food scarcity, nor has the SPDC provided any kind of help to communities affected by the food crisis. Repeated requests by affected communities for food aid were denied, even as 100,000 metric tonnes of rice was exported to Sri Lanka.4 Rather, Burma Army soldiers have seized food aid donated by private donors and church groups.5 In contrast to the situation in Burma, India’s Mizoram and Manipur States, both adjacent to Chin State, are facing a similar food crisis related to the bamboo flowering, and have received millions of dollars in aid from the central government as well as international aid agencies, including USAID of the United States government, to support emergency programs to combat and manage the food crisis.6 In early May, when Cyclone Nargis ripped through lower Burma and the Irrawaddy delta destroying entire regions of land and leaving thousands homeless, hungry, and helpless, the regime clearly demonstrated their complete indifference to the plight of the Burmese people. In response to this natural disaster, they did shamefully little to ease the suffering of the victims and much to hamper relief efforts. As a result, the people of Burma paid a heavy price in the loss of life and continue to struggle under a regime that fails to protect or provide for its people. As another natural disaster unfolds in western Burma without hope of internal protections or provisions, the Chin people, like the cyclone victims, will be sure to pay a heavy toll unless action is taken immediately. The critical point for action is now."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)
Format/size: pdf (731K, 640K)
Date of entry/update: 09 July 2008

Title: Ethnische Minderheiten im Würgegriff
Date of publication: 01 May 2008
Description/subject: Die ethnischen Minderheiten stellen rund 30 Prozent der 50 Millionen Bewohner Burmas. Sie leben überwiegend in den Bergregionen an den Grenzen zu den Nachbarländern. Seit 1948 ringen sie um mehr Selbstverwaltung und Menschenrechte. Während sich die internationale Gemeinschaft nun für die Freilassung der bei der Niederschlagung der Proteste in Rangun Festgenommenen einsetzt, nimmt kaum jemand wahr, dass in den Minderheitengebieten seit Jahren schwerste Menschenrechtsverletzungen andauern; Menschenrechtsverletzungen vor und nach 2007; Chin; Karen; Biosprit; Human rights violations before and after 2007; natural ressources, bio-fuels
Author/creator: Ulrich Delius
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008

Title: Religious Persecution: Ethnocide Against Chin Christians in Burma
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "This report was prepared with the aim of bringing to light the decades-long systematic denial and violation of religious rights of Chin Christians who inhabit Burma's western territory of Chin State or Chinland by the country's ruling military junta known as the State Peace and Development Council. The report is a compilation of more than eight years of field documentation by Chin Human Rights Organization, and is the first comprehensive report by CHRO on the situation of Chin Christians who have been suffering persecutions under Burma's ruling military regime due to their religious and ethnic identity. More than 90 percent of Chin people are Christians. This report reveals that Burma's ruling military regime is systematically persecuting Chin Christians as part of a program to Burmanize the Chin. Despite Burma's complex ethnic composition, the Chin people are a relatively homogenous society. A predominantly Christian State, the Chin today strongly identify themselves with Christianity. And as a prominent Chin scholar puts it "Christianity is the pillar of today's Chin society." As this report reveals, Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council is committing an act of ethnocide against Chin Christians by trying to destroy the Chin religious and cultural identity..."
Author/creator: Salai Za Uk Ling & Salai Bawi Lian Mang
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organization
Format/size: pdf (461K)
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2004

Title: Ashes and Tears
Date of publication: March 2001
Description/subject: Interviews with Refugees from Burma on Guam, including recent interviews with Chin and Kachin refugees. "During the past year, nearly a thousand refugees from Burma have arrived on the island of Guam, a United States territory in the Pacific Ocean. They are seeking asylum in the US, having fled extraordinary levels of persecution in their homeland. Most are from northern Burma, especially the Chin State... This report consists of interviews with a small cross section of the Guam asylum seekers. It is to some extent representative of their demographics, in terms of ethnicity and gender. The interviewees have given us a great bounty of significant new information and details about recent conditions in Burma... Numerous topics are covered in these 17 interviews. There is front-line information about the AIDS epidemic which is making its grim progress into the remote mountains of Burma, and the efforts to evade the regime’s denial about it..."
Author/creator: Edith Mirante
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: pdf (329K), Text (184K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.projectmaje.org/txt/guam_rep.txt
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: All Quiet on the Western Front?
Date of publication: January 1998
Description/subject: "This report attempts to illustrate that the primary effect of the Burmese junta's expansion program in north-western Burma has been the complete devastation of countless communities in both Chin State and Sagaing Division. The military's practices of forced labour and extortion have meant that many villagers are no longer able to grow enough food or otherwise earn enough income to support their families. The local people have been impoverished to such an extent that tens of thousands of villagers have fled from this area to India and Bangladesh during the last five years seeking a means of survival..." (from the Executive Summary)
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia, Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) , Open Society Inst. (Burma Project)
Format/size: html (185K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: A Chin Compendium
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: 20 articles and reports about the Chin, 1996-97
Author/creator: Edith Mirante
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Terror Campaign in Chin State
Date of publication: January 1997
Description/subject: Bearing the same complaints as ethnic groups in other parts of the country, Chin guerrillas are striking back at military targets. Chin soldiers, once loyal recruits for the Rangoon government, are stepping up their war of resistance against the govenrment in Chin state on the western border of Burma, say residents and aid workers in and near the area.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: SLORC Abuses in Chin State
Date of publication: 15 March 1995
Description/subject: TOPIC SUMMARY: Torture (Stories #1,2,3), Forced Labour (#1,3), Threatening massacres (#1,2), People fleeing to become refugees (#1,2,3), Unlawful conviction & sentencing (#3), Jail conditions (#3), Death in custody (#3), Interrogation drugs & torture (#3), State stealing of ethnic children (#4), Burmanization & religious persecution (#4).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-09)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg95/khrg9509.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003