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Food Security

  • Food Security - general

    • Right to Food - standards, definitions and mechanisms

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Food Security - Wikipedia
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Wikipedia
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
      Description/subject: Reports, resolutions etc.
      Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: The right to food in situations of armed conflict: The legal framework
      Date of publication: 31 December 2001
      Description/subject: [For Burma, the most relevant section is that dealing with non-international armed conflict]. "War is one of the primary obstacles to realization of the right of all people to have adequate food. This article examines the relevant provisions, belonging to human rights law or international humanitarian law, of the various international law treaties The author concludes that the body of rules codified by the instruments of international humanitarian law in force today are sufficient to ensure adequate food for persons affected by armed conflict. Unlike the human rights treaties, the humanitarian law conventions do not create subjective rights for the persons concerned, but binding obligations for States."...Résumé de l'article: "La guerre est l’un des obstacles majeurs à la réalisation du droit de chacun à une alimentation adéquate. Cet article examine les dispositions pertinentes des différents traités de droit international, qu’elles appartiennent au droit des droits de l’homme ou au droit international humanitaire. L’auteur conclut que les instruments de droit international humanitaire en vigueur ont codifié un corps de règles suffisant pour assurer une alimentation adéquate aux personnes touchées par un conflit armé. Contrairement aux traités relatifs aux droits de l’homme, les conventions de droit humanitaire ne créent pas des droits subjectifs pour les personnes concernées, mais des obli-gations qui lient les États."
      Author/creator: Jelena Pejic
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ICRC: International Review of the Red Cross No. 844, p. 1097-1110.
      Format/size: PDF (86K) Full text
      Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jrlg.htm
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010


      Title: Commission on Human Rights Resolution E/CN.4/Res/2000/10
      Date of publication: 17 April 2000
      Description/subject: Establishing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
      Date of publication: 03 January 1976
      Description/subject: See especially Article 11... Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 entry into force 3 January 1976, in accordance with article 27
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See especially Article 25
      Language: Burmese/ မြန်မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (39K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Pwo-Karen)
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Pwo-Karen
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (82K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - English
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (116K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Falam (Chin)
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Falam (Chin)
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (30K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Hakha (Chin)
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Hakha (Chin)
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (32K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - S'gaw-Karen
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: S'gaw-Karen
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (91K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Shan
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Shan
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (61K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Thai
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Thai
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (658K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Right to Food: Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Tiddim (Chin)
      Date of publication: 10 December 1948
      Description/subject: See Article 25
      Language: Tiddim (Chin)
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (31K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


    • Food Security - international and regional reports

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: FAO Food Security statistics
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Food Security - Eldis
      Description/subject: Useful links
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Eldis
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Improving Food Security Research and Analysis Capacity in Burma (Myanmar)
      Description/subject: Project Overview...Research Reports...Policy Presentations...MDRI Background and Papers ...Data [not much there]...Links [useful set of links to individual articles and papers, web portals with onward links to information on Myanmar (Burma)and networks]
      Source/publisher: Michigan State University
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Title: Misereor's Publications on "Food security and agriculture"
      Description/subject: Rural development...Sustainable agriculture...Patents on life...Water...Biodiversity...Access to markets...Ecofair trade
      Language: Deutsch, German, English, French, Spanish
      Source/publisher: Misereor
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://www.misereor.org
      Date of entry/update: 24 February 2014


      Title: Publications on "Food security and agriculture"
      Description/subject: Who feeds the world?...Rural development...Sustainable agriculture...Patents on life...Water...Biodiversity...Right to food...Access to markets...Ecofair trade
      Language: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese
      Source/publisher: Misereor
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 March 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: 2012 Global Hunger Index
      Date of publication: November 2012
      Description/subject: The Challenge of hunger: ensuring sustainable food security under land, water and energy stresses..."World hunger, according to the 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI), has declined somewhat since 1990 but remains “serious.” The global average masks dramatic differences among regions and countries. Regionally, the highest GHI scores are in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. South Asia reduced its GHI score significantly between 1990 and 1996—mainly by reducing the share of underweight children—but could not maintain this rapid progress. Though Sub-Saharan Africa made less progress than South Asia in the 1990s, it has caught up since the turn of the millennium, with its 2012 GHI score falling below that of South Asia. From the 1990 GHI to the 2012 GHI, 15 countries reduced their scores by 50 percent or more. In terms of absolute progress, between the 1990 GHI and the 2012 GHI, Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Niger, and Vietnam saw the largest improvements in their scores. Twenty countries still have levels of hunger that are “extremely alarming” or “alarming.” Most of the countries with alarming GHI scores are in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (the 2012 GHI does not, however, reflect the recent crisis in the Horn of Africa, which intensified in 2011, or the uncertain food situation in the Sahel). Two of the three countries with extremely alarming 2012 GHI scores—Burundi and Eritrea—are in Sub-Saharan Africa; the third country with an extremely alarming score is Haiti. Its GHI score fell by about one quarter from 1990 to 2001, but most of this improvement was reversed in subsequent years. The devastating January 2010 earthquake, although not yet fully captured by the 2012 GHI because of insufficient availability of recent data, pushed Haiti back into the category of “extremely alarming.” In contrast to recent years, the Democratic Republic of Congo is not listed as “extremely alarming,” because insufficient data are available to calculate the country’s GHI score. Current and reliable data are urgently needed to appraise the situation in the country. Recent developments in the land, water, and energy sectors have been wake-up calls for global food security: the stark reality is that the world needs to produce more food with fewer resources, while eliminating wasteful practices and policies. Demographic changes, income increases, climate change, and poor policies and institutions are driving natural resource scarcity in ways that threaten food production and the environment on which it depends. Food security is now inextricably linked to developments in the water, energy, and land sectors. Rising energy prices affect farmers’ costs for fuel and fertilizer, increase demand for biofuel crops relative to food crops, and raise the price of water use. Agriculture already occurs within a context of land scarcity in terms of both quantity and quality: the world’s best arable land is already under cultivation, and unsustainable agricultural practices have led to significant land degradation. The scarcity of farmland coupled with shortsighted bioenergy policies has led to major foreign summary investments in land in a number of developing countries, putting local people’s land rights at risk. In addition, water is scarce and likely to become scarcer with climate change. To halt this trend, more holistic strategies are needed for dealing with land, water, energy, and food, and they are needed soon. To manage natural resources sustainably, it is important to secure land and water rights; phase out inefficient subsidies on water, energy, and fertilizers; and create a macroeconomic environment that promotes efficient use of natural resources. It is important to scale up technical solutions, particularly those that conserve natural resources and foster more efficient and effective use of land, energy, and water along the value chain. It is also crucial to tame the drivers of natural resource scarcity by, for example, addressing demographic change, women’s access to education, and reproductive health; raising incomes and lowering inequality; and mitigating and adapting to climate change through agriculture. Food security under land, water, and energy stress poses daunting challenges. The policy steps described in this report show how we can meet these challenges in a sustainable and affordable way."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, Welthungerhilfe and Green Scenery:
      Format/size: pdf (3MB)
      Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


      Title: Sustainable agriculture and Food Security in Asia and the Pacific
      Date of publication: April 2009
      Description/subject: "The sixty-fourth session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific took place at a time when rocketing prices of both food and oil were causing serious hardship. In response, the Commission decided that the theme topic for the sixty-fifth session in 2009 should be on food security and sustainable agriculture. Since then, the picture has been transformed. The global economy has sunk into recession – and prices for food, oil and other commodities have fallen back sharply. From this, you might conclude that the food emergency has passed – that we should concentrate only on the financial and economic crises. In fact, however, the economic crisis makes it even more urgent that we tackle food insecurity now. For millions of people across the Asia-Pacific region, the economic crisis will also be a food crisis. The prices they pay may have fallen, but their incomes have fallen further still. As governments face up to the current economic storms, they must ensure that everyone, everywhere, has enough to eat. This is a clear humanitarian and development priority, but it is also a political imperative; food insecure people make angry citizens. The first priority, therefore, is to check the resilience of social safety nets – and, if necessary, bolster them to meet the immediate crisis. But the region also needs to look to the future. As this study emphasizes, the world’s food system has become increasingly fragile. Food prices have dipped, but they will surely surge again when the global economy and the demand for food starts to recover. On present trends, the region will be hard pressed to meet that demand. Food security is being threatened from many directions, not least from unsustainable forms of agriculture that are degrading the soil, water and biological diversity – problems that will be exacerbated by climate change. Time to turn again, therefore, to sustainable agriculture – ensuring that farmers, and particularly small producers, have the support they need to grow nutritious food in ways that meet human needs today, while protecting vital environmental resources for future generations. Time also to capitalize on our efforts in regional cooperation – ensuring that we avoid food protectionism and, instead, use our regional strengths to build flexible and resilient systems of food security."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNESCAP
      Format/size: pdf (2.8MB)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Ensuring Food Security – A Case for ASEAN Integration
      Date of publication: December 2005
      Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "The ASEAN member countries can be grouped into three sub-groups, each of which exhibits a distinct pattern with respect to food security issues. The first group is made up of the relatively food-secure countries of Singapore and Brunei. The second group consists of Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In these countries, except for Vietnam, agriculture has contributed a declining share in GDP, employment, and international trade. In addition, food habits in these countries have changed dramatically in recent decades. The third group is composed of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar—economies in transition that require special attention. A simple exercise shows that the area can collectively achieve food security via trade in rice and maize. Trade facilitation measures and the harmonization/equivalency of food regulation and control standards will reduce the cost of trade in food products. While specialization and revealed comparative and competitive indices point to complementarities between trade patterns among the ASEAN member countries, intra-ASEAN trade in agriculture is quite small. However, integration could address this problem. Further, if integration is to be used as a venue for ensuring food security, the member countries must agree on what food security collectively means to them, and what food items are important to each of them and the region, in general, so that regional integration and cooperation under the auspices of ASEAN can be promoted."
      Author/creator: Amelia L. Bello
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development", Vol. 2, Nos. 1&2
      Format/size: pdf (548K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 January 2010


      Title: Publications on "Access to land"
      Description/subject: "Appetite for land" (pdf, 225 KB) Large-Scale Foreign Investment in Land Available in German (pdf, 265 KB) and French (pdf, 270 KB) Promoting the right to food. Experience gained at the interface of human rights and development work, with particular focus on Central America This publication was compiled by a work group on land rights in Central America who have been studying the issue for a number of years and have supported local initiatives engaged in activities to promote the right to food in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Collaborating in this work group are MISEREOR, Bread for the World, FIAN International, EED, Terre des Hommes, and Christliche Initiative Romero. The document takes stock of 10 years of experience gained in activities to advance the right to food. Available in German: "Das Recht auf Nahrung fördern" (pdf, 3,8 MB) and Spanish: "Promover el derecho a la alimentación" (pdf, 4 MB) Discussion paper "Access to land as a food security and human rights issue" (pdf, 3,7 MB) A Misereor discussion paper for dialogue with its partners The policy paper identifies several problems involved, such as the lack of access to productive resources, including land, water, forests, biological diversity etc. and the diverse problems concerning ownership which may even evolve in violent conflicts. Not only the growing concentration of land and the failure of land reform processes, but also the fragmentation of land and the overuse of existing natural resources have a tremendous impact on the scarcity of land. A dialogue with partners on "Access to land as a food security and human rights issue - a dialogue process" (pdf, 18 KB)
      Language: English, German, French
      Source/publisher: Misereor
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 25 March 2014


  • Food Security in Burma/Myanmar

    • Food Security in Burma - specialised groups, general reports and statistics

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Permanent People’s Tribunal on the Right to Food and the Rule of Law in Asia
      Date of publication: April 2003
      Description/subject: "Which is more important: a full stomach or equal protection under the law? Most people would hesitate to answer. It’s a false choice that ignores the interdependence of economic and civil rights, which proposes that the hungry will be nourished by law and order, while the well-fed are fortified against dysfunctional courts. This May 2003, the Asian Legal Resource Centre announced the launch of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on the Right to Food and the Rule of Law in Asia. The Tribunal comes at a time when many governments still assert that economic and social rights can be addressed separately from civil and political rights. In fact, no rights are guaranteed without effective laws to secure them and ensure redress for victims. Without equitable and enforceable laws, the product of a farmer’s plough is no more secure than the product of a journalist’s pen... Read more..." This page also contains specific reports on violations of the right to food in Burma.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asian Legal Resource Centre
      Format/size: pdf (672K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Agriculture, Livelihoods & Food Security
      Description/subject: "Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. The broad aim of the Thematic Group on Food Security and Agriculture in Myanmar (TGFSA) will be to intensify efforts towards achieving MDG 1 and the World Summit Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015. The aim of the Delta Livelihoods Working Group is to create a forum for discussion on livelihoods issues and facilitate the formulation of complementary Cyclone Nargis Recovery Programmes in order to support and ensure livelihoods of people in the Delta are restored and improved."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: Center of Globalisation and Sustainable Development
      Description/subject: "The world has witnessed significant, exciting and sudden political changes in Myanmar over the past couple years. The country is at a critical phase in its social and economic transformation, and there is enormous opportunity for development economic growth. CGSD is building a Sustainable Development Program to provide policy support for the government, local NGOs and the donor community, accelerating growth that is both socially inclusive, sustainable and mindful of climate risks and opportunities..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Earth Institute | Columbia University
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2013


      Title: Food Security Working Group (Myanmar)
      Description/subject: Established in 2002 the FSWG has provided an effective forum for the networking, capacity building & knowledge sharing for organizations and individuals interested in working on food security and livelihood related issues...ONLINE PUBLICATIONS ON FOOD SECURITY IN VARIOUS LANGUAGES OF BURMA
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 24 April 2012


      Title: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN (WFP)
      Description/subject: Regular publication
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme (Yangon)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


      Title: Improving Food Security Research and Analysis Capacity in Burma (Myanmar)
      Description/subject: Project Overview...Research Reports...Policy Presentations...MDRI Background and Papers ...Data [not much there]...Links [useful set of links to individual articles and papers, web portals with onward links to information on Myanmar (Burma)and networks]
      Source/publisher: Michigan State University
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Individual Documents

      Title: WFP Food Security Update, September 2012: Key Events and Early Warning - Myanmar
      Date of publication: September 2012
      Description/subject: Continuing concerns from previous Updates: Paddy harvest Ayeyarwady, Kayin and Bago: Local and regional rice prices are still being monitored after significant flooding severely affected 126,000 acres of paddy land and completely destroyed 55,000 acres. While the success of the harvest could be mitigated to an extent by post-flood seed distributions (for replanting), the harvest this year will likely be lower than normal in these areas, potentially impacting prices and rice exports..... Sesame, pigeon pea and groundnut harvest - Dry Zone: Harvests are being monitored after drought-like conditions damaged crops in August, leading to as much as a 25% reduction in yield. While replanting was possible, the success of this replanting may have been impacted by another dry spell in September (as pointed out above). Prices of groundnut oil and sesame oil are also being monitored as prices in August were reportedly 70% higher than normal.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme (WFP)
      Format/size: pdf (167K)
      Date of entry/update: 12 October 2012


      Title: Diagnosis: Critical – Health And Human Rights in Eastern Burma
      Date of publication: 19 October 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians..."Diagnosis: Critical" demonstrates that a vast area of eastern Burma remains in a chronic health emergency, a continuing legacy of longstanding official disinvestment in health, coupled with protracted civil war and the abuse of civilians. This has left ethnic rural populations in the east with 41.2% of children under five acutely malnourished. 60.0% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are from preventable and treatable diseases, including acute respiratory infection, malaria, and diarrhea. These losses of life would be even greater if it were not for local community-based health organizations, which provide the only available preventive and curative care in these conflict-affected areas. The report summarizes the results of a large scale population-based health and human rights survey which covered 21 townships and 5,754 households in conflict-affected zones of eastern Burma. The survey was jointly conducted by the Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team and ethnic health organizations serving the Karen, Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Palaung communities. These areas have been burdened by decades of civil conflict and attendant human rights abuses against the indigenous populations. Eastern Burma demographics are characterized by high birth rates, high death rates and the significant absence of men under the age of 45, patterns more comparable to recent war zones such as Sierra Leone than to Burma’s national demographics. Health indicators for these communities, particularly for women and children, are worse than Burma’s official national figures, which are already amongst the worst in the world. Child mortality rates are nearly twice as high in eastern Burma and the maternal mortality ratio is triple the official national figure. While violence is endemic in these conflict zones, direct losses of life from violence account for only 2.3% of deaths. The indirect health impacts of the conflict are much graver, with preventable losses of life accounting for 59.1% of all deaths and malaria alone accounting for 24.7%. At the time of the survey, one in 14 women was infected with Pf malaria, amongst the highest rates of infection in the world. This reality casts serious doubts over official claims of progress towards reaching the country’s Millennium Development Goals related to the health of women, children, and infectious diseases, particularly malaria. The survey findings also reveal widespread human rights abuses against ethnic civilians. Among surveyed households, 30.6% had experienced human rights violations in the prior year, including forced labor, forced displacement, and the destruction and seizure of food. The frequency and pattern with which these abuses occur against indigenous peoples provide further evidence of the need for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes against Humanity. The upcoming election will do little to alleviate the situation, as the military forces responsible for these abuses will continue to operate outside civilian control according to the new constitution. The findings also indicate that these abuses are linked to adverse population-level health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the community—mothers and children. Survey results reveal that members of households who suffer from human rights violations have worse health outcomes, as summarized in the table above. Children in households that were internally displaced in the prior year were 3.3 times more likely to suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition. The odds of dying before age one was increased 2.5 times among infants from households in which at least one person was forced to provide labor. The ongoing widespread human rights abuses committed against ethnic civilians and the blockade of international humanitarian access to rural conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mean that premature death and disability, particularly as a result of treatable and preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, will continue. This will not only further devastate the health of communities of eastern Burma but also poses a direct health security threat to Burma’s neighbors, especially Thailand, where the highest rates of malaria occur on the Burma border. Multi-drug resistant malaria, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are growing concerns. The spread of malaria resistant to artemisinin, the most important anti-malarial drug, would be a regional and global disaster. In the absence of state-supported health infrastructure, local community-based organizations are working to improve access to health services in their own communities. These programs currently have a target population of over 376,000 people in eastern Burma and in 2009 treated nearly 40,000 cases of malaria and have vastly increased access to key maternal and child health interventions. However, they continue to be constrained by a lack of resources and ongoing human rights abuses by the Burmese military regime against civilians. In order to fully address the urgent health needs of eastern Burma, the underlying abuses fueling the health crisis need to end."
      Language: Burmese, English, Thai
      Source/publisher: The Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team
      Format/size: pdf (OBL versions: 5.3MB - English; 4.4MB Thai; 3.5MB-Burmese) . Larger, original versions on BPHWT site
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(th)-red.pdf
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(bu)-red.pdf
      http://www.backpackteam.org/?page_id=208
      Date of entry/update: 05 September 2011


      Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 8: Deprivation of Livelihood
      Date of publication: 23 November 2009
      Description/subject: "Once considered to be the rice bowl of Asia, in 2008 Burma continued to languish and suffer under the corrupt military rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Burma’s authoritarian military regime. Burmese citizens faced countless human rights violations aimed at destabilising and destroying livelihoods and building up the military, the junta’s wealth and the wealth of state affiliated businessmen. As a result, the country remained among the worst in the world in terms of inflation, poverty, health and education. While approximately 40 percent of Burma’s annual spending goes toward funding the military, only three percent is spent healthcare.1 (For more information, see Chapter 11: Right to Health). The ruling junta has demonstrated a complete lack of will to implement basic, sound economic principles, and maintains a system that continues to deny many social and human rights to its people. The consequences of such negligence have been dire, bringing the once prosperous nation another year closer to economic and social collapse. In a report released in December of 2008, Burma ranked 135th out of 179 countries on the Human Development Index, down three places from the year before. Moreover, the United Nations estimated that more than a third of Burmese children are malnourished and more than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
      Format/size: pdf (886K)
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


      Title: Improving the Food Security, Nutritional Status and Livelihoods of Vulnerable Populations in Myanmar -- Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations -Myanmar 200032
      Date of publication: 14 October 2009
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar has a population of 52 million divided among 135 ethnic groups; it is a food-surplus country with significant agricultural potential. But unfavourable economic policies, extreme weather, protection issues, poor social cohesion and marginalized population groups adversely affect livelihood opportunities, resulting in inadequate access to food. A recent nationwide household survey revealed that a third of the population live below the poverty line. National prevalence of underweight and stunting among children under 5 is 32 percent. The proposed operation provides food assistance for the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations. It is based on assessments, results monitoring, a WFP mid-term review of protracted relief and recovery operation 100663 and a formulation mission. This operation is designed to respond to shocks and enhance vulnerable households' resilience and coping capacity through food assistance. The objectives are to: > respond to the immediate food needs of people affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 1); > support and re-establish the livelihoods of the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 3); > increase levels of education and maintain and/or improve the nutrition status of targeted women, girls and boys (Strategic Objective 4); and > increase food purchases from small farmers and improve their marketing opportunities while building government and partner capacity to address food insecurity (Strategic Objective 5). The operation is also in line with Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. WFP will implement activities directly or through its cooperating partners. It will continue its partnerships with United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to complement food assistance and maximize the benefit of its activities. Strategies adapted to different contexts will support the hand-over of WFP assistance. As food security improves in operational areas, WFP will scale its assistance down. Increasing national capacity remains a challenge for the sustainability of the hand-over of WFP-supported activities..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (278K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


      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+…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: Myanmar: Chin State - Rodent Infestation Area (2008-09 Monsoon Crops) (map)
      Date of publication: 05 August 2009
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: MIMU
      Format/size: pdf (605K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt ? - The Future of Opium Bans in the Kokang and Wa Regions
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: "In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended over a century of poppy cultivation. The bans have had dramatic consequences for local communities. They depended on opium as a cash crop, to buy food, clothing, and medicines. The bans have driven poppy-growing communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security. Very few alternatives are being offered to households for their survival... Conclusions & Recommendations: • The opium bans have driven communities into chronic poverty and have adversely affected their food security and access to health care and education. • The Kokang and Wa authorities have promoted Chinese investment in mono-plantations, especially in rubber. These projects are unsustainable and do not significantly profit the population. • Ex-poppy farmers mainly rely on casual labour and collecting Non-Timber Forest Products as alternative source of income. • Current interventions by international NGOs and UN agencies are still limited in scale and can best be described as “emer-gency responses”. • If the many challenges to achieving viable legal livelihoods in the Kokang and Wa regions are not addressed, the reductions in opium cultivation are unlikely to be sustainable. The Kokang and Wa cease-fire groups have implemented these bans following international pressure, especially from neighbouring China. In return, they hope to gain international political recognition and aid to develop their impoverished and war-torn regions. The Kokang and Wa authorities have been unable to provide alternative sources of income for ex-poppy farmers. Instead they have promoted Chinese invest-ment in monoplantations, especially in rubber. These projects have created many undesired effects and do not significantly profit the population. The Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has also been unwilling and unable to provide assistance. The international community has provided emergency aid through inter-national NGOs and UN agencies. However, current levels of support are insufficient, and need to be upgraded in order to provide sustainable alternatives for the population. The international community should not abandon former opium-growing communities in the Kokang and Wa regions at this critical time..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute (Drug Policy Briefing Nr 29)
      Format/size: pdf (217K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/briefing/golden-triangle-rubber-belt

      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Golden_Triangle_to_Rubber_Belt.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Rural Households' Food Security Status and Coping Strategies to Food Insecurity in Myanmar
      Date of publication: February 2009
      Description/subject: "...This study will examine the food (rice) availability at the national level using the official and FAO data. Second, a case study in the rice deficit region (Dry Zone) will present the characteristics and food security status of the farm and non-farm rural households (landless) and the determinants of food security. The Dry Zone was chosen to study because the EC & FAO (2007) classified this region as the most vulnerable area of the country. Furthermore, the FAO projected that the Net Primary Production would be decreased significantly in the Dry Zone in the next two decades. It is essential to collect the primary and secondary data on food availability, access, stability and utilization for understanding the current reality of food security at both macro and micro level... Objectives of the Study: > To assess the food (rice) availability at the national level by using indicators of trend of production index, growth rate of sown area, production and yield, average availability of rice, average per capita rice consumption, rice surplus, dietary energy supply of rice, share of food expenditure in total budget, self-sufficiency ratio, trends in domestic prices of rice and the estimated effects of the Nargis cyclone on rice self-sufficiency. > To investigate the rural household's access to food in terms of human capital, food production, household income, asset ownership, and income diversification of farm and non-farm (landless) households. > To examine the farm and non-farm household's food security status by applying the national food poverty line and the index of coping strategies method along with some indicators such as food share in the household budget, percentage of food expenditure in the total household income, and nutrition security indicators of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, diseases, and number of children death.
      Author/creator: Dolly Kyaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (V.R.F. Series No. 444)
      Format/size: pdf (656K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


      Title: FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO MYANMAR: SPECIAL REPORT
      Date of publication: 22 January 2009
      Description/subject: Mission Highlights: • During the 2008 monsoon season, agricultural production suffered a significant decline in areas severely affected by Cyclone Nargis, as a result of poor quality seeds, salinity and iron toxicity, lack of agricultural labour and draught animals. Compared to the previous year, average paddy production is estimated to have decreased by 32 percent in 7 affected townships in the Ayeyarwady Division and by 35 percent in 3 affected townships of Yangon Division. At the divisional level, 2008 monsoon paddy output was down by 13 percent in Ayeyarwady, and 9 percent in Yangon. • Overall, aggretate food production in Myanmar is satisfactory, with positive outputs expected in most states/divisions, reflecting favourable weather and increasing use of F1 and HYV rice seeds. The Mission forecasts a 2008/09 (2008 monsoon and 2009 summer) cereal output of 21 million tonnes (rice at 19.8 million tonnes, maize at 1.11 million tonnes, and wheat at 0.147 million tonnes), 3.2 percent below the previous year, but approximately 10 percent above the five-year average. Cereal exports are expected to be high, with estimated rice exports of 477 000 tonnes and maize exports of 159 000 tonnes conversely, up to 64 000 tonnes of wheat are expected to be imported. • The cyclone-related damage to the livestock and fishing sectors in the Ayeyarwady Delta will continue to affect food supply and income generation in 2008/09. • Rats have damaged 685 hectares of rice and 400 hectares of maize in 121 villages of Chin State;localized food insecurity in these villages is expected. • Despite the increase in international rice prices, paddy prices in Myanmar remained low in 2008 due to domestic market and trade barriers. These low prices, combined with the rising cost of fertilizer and other major inputs, have significantly reduced farmers’ incentives profits, and may have negatively impacted agricultural productivity and the country’s agricultural exports. • The Mission received reports of high levels of malnutrition in northern Rakhine State and recommends that a joint UNICEF and WFP food security and nutrition survey be conducted to verify these reports and to plan appropriate interventions, if needed. • In areas with high percentages of food insecure and vulnerable populations, defined as people living below the food poverty line, baseline surveys are required to measure food security, vulnerability, and nutrition, and plan appropriate interventions. Chin and Rakhine States are of the highest priority for baseline surveys. • There are more than 5 million people below the food poverty line in Myanmar. States/divisions which the Mission found to be a priority for emergency food assistance are: cyclone-affected areas of Ayeyarwady Division (85 000 tonnes); Chin State (23 000 tonnes), particularly those areas affected by the rat infestation; Rakhine State (15 000 tonnes), particularly the north of the State; Kachin State (8 300 tonnes); north Shan State (20 200 tonnes); east Shan State (7 000 tonnes); and Magwe Division (27 500 tonnes). Most of the food commodities can be procured locally, with only a limited requirement for imported food aid. • The Mission recommends the following agricultural assistance in cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady and Yangon Divisions: distribution of seeds for the coming summer and next monsoon planting seasons; distribution of draught animals adapted to local climatic conditions; distribution of other livestock for increased meat availability; distribution of hand tractors with training on their usage and maintenance; distribution of fishing equipment; re-establishment of ice production plants; and training in boat-building, net-making and on drafting of fishery laws. • The Mission recommends the following actions in regard to national food policies: set up a market information and food security warning system; develop balanced food production and trade policies for both producers and consumers; remove domestic market/trade barriers; and improve market integration.
      Author/creator: Cheng Fang, Maung Mar, Aye Mon, Thanda Kyi, Bernard Cartella, Jan Delbaere, Michael Sheinkman, Nang Seng Aye, Aaron Charlop-Powers, Siddharth Krishnaswamy, Raul Varela
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: FAO, WFP
      Format/size: pdf (437K)
      Date of entry/update: 22 September 2010


      Title: Assessment of the Myanmar Agricultural Economy
      Date of publication: January 2009
      Description/subject: Overview: "During two weeks in January 2009 a team from the Asia Programs unit of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Institute, International Development Enterprises (IDE), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Union of Myanmar conducted a humanitarian assessment of food production and the agricultural economy in Myanmar. We focused on paddy production, because rice is the country’s staple crop. Based on fieldwork in cyclone-affected areas of the Ayeyarwady River Delta and in Upper Myanmar, we conclude that paddy output is likely to drop in 2009, potentially creating a food shortage by the third quarter. Our estimates are based on imperfect data, and this scenario may not materialize, but the avoidance of a food shortage this year would represent a temporary reprieve, not a recovery. Myanmar’s rural sector is stretched to the breaking point and the natural resilience that has sustained it is leaching away. This paper recommends a set of interventions to avert this looming crisis: 1) an increase in credit for farmers and other participants in the rice economy including traders and millers, 2) steps to increase the farm gate price of paddy in order to create an incentive for farmers to produce more paddy, and 3) a program to finance small-scale village infrastructure projects to increase demand for wage labor for the rural poor who are most at risk. This paper proceeds as follows. Section I describes the study’s rationale and methodology. Section II presents the research team’s key findings. Section III offers an analytical framework for considering how and why food markets fail. The next two sections consider the implications of our finding, examining income loss, crop production, and land concerns. Section VI recommends a three-pronged policy response. Section VII concludes by considering the distinction between humanitarian responses and development strategy. Appendix I discusses Myanmar’s likely actual GDP growth rate. Appendix II summarizes the policy options available to the government in the face of continued deterioration of conditions in rural areas."
      Author/creator: David Dapice, Tom Vallely, Ben Wilkinson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Development Enterprises
      Format/size: pdf (177.13 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ash.harvard.edu/content/download/1201/26734/version/1/file/myanmar.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


      Title: Food Security and National Disaster
      Date of publication: 10 December 2008
      Author/creator: Dr Toe Aung, Director-General, Department of Agricultural Research [Myanmar]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNESCAP
      Format/size: Powerpoint presentation
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


      Title: Food Security and Natural Disasters: [Myanmar] Country Status Paper
      Date of publication: 10 December 2008
      Description/subject: "Myanmar has a total land area of 676,577 sq km with a population of 57.50 million. Total net sown area is 11.67 ml ha with the cropping intensity of 157.1%. Forest cover, 33.44 ml ha accounted for nearly half of Myanmar's land area. Presently, only 60% of the 17.19 ml ha classified for agricultural production is being exploited. Myanmar has a predominantly agricultural economy and agriculture sector contributed 45% of GDP, 11% of export earning and employed 63% of its labour force..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNESCAP
      Format/size: pdf (35K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


      Title: Food Security Profile WA Special Region
      Date of publication: November 2008
      Description/subject: This Report summarizes the findings of the Food Security Profiling assessment carried out across the Wa area in September 2008.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme (WFP)
      Format/size: pdf (364K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


      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)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.chro.ca/publications/special-reports.html
      Date of entry/update: 09 July 2008


      Title: Labor Contracts, Incentives, and Food Security in Rural Myanmar
      Date of publication: January 2006
      Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper develops an agency model of contract choice in the hiring of labor and then uses the model to estimate the determinants of contract choice in rural Myanmar. As a salient feature relevant for the agricultural sector in a low income country such as Myanmar, the agency model incorporates considerations of food security and incentive effects. It is shown that when, possibly due to poverty, food considerations are important for employees, employers will prefer a labor contract with wages paid in kind (food) to one with wages paid in cash. At the same time, when output is responsive to workers' effort and labor monitoring is costly, employers will prefer a contract with piecerate wages to one with hourly wages. The case of sharecropping can be understood as a combination of the two: a labor contract with piecerate wages paid in kind. The predictions of the theoretical model are tested using a crosssection dataset collected in rural Myanmar through a sample household survey which was conducted in 2001 and covers diverse agroecological environments. The estimation results are consistent with the theoretical predictions: wages are more likely to be paid in kind when the share of staple food in workers' budget is higher and the farmland on which they produce food themselves is smaller; piecerate wages are more likely to be adopted when work effort is more difficult to monitor and the farming operation requires quick completion... JEL classification codes: J33, Q12, O12. Keywords: contract, incentive, selection, food security, Myanmar.
      Author/creator: Takashi Kurosaki
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Hitotsubashi University Research Unit for Statistical Analysis in Social Sciences
      Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008


      Title: "Health Messenger" Magazine No. 26 -- special issue on Nutrition
      Date of publication: December 2004
      Description/subject: General Health: Underlying causes of malnutrition -- Why health workers should feel concerned by nutritional issues? Misconceptions Concerning Nutrition: Voices of Community Health Educators and TBAs along the Thai-Burmese Border; Micronutrients: The Hidden Hunger; Iron Deficiency Anaemia; The Vicious Circle of Malnutrition and Infection; Treatment: IDENTIFYING MALNUTRITION; MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE SEVERE MALNUTRITION; GROWTH MONITORING: THE BEST PREVENTION; Fortified Flour for Refugees living in the camp; Making Blended Flour at Local Level; The example of MISOLA Flour in Africa. Health Education: Pregnancy and Nutrition; Breastfeeding; WHEN RICE SOUP IS NOT ENOUGH: First Foods - the Key to Optimal Growth and Development; BUILDING A BALANCED DIET FOR GOOD HEALTH; From the Field: How Sanetun became a malnourished child?
      Language: Burmese, English
      Source/publisher: Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI)
      Format/size: pdf (5.2MB)
      Date of entry/update: 01 July 2007


      Title: Promoting household food and nutrition security in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: "Myanmar has a policy of promoting food and nutrition security and, at the national level, food production is more than that required to meet the country’s needs. Nevertheless, food and nutrition surveillance has revealed that malnutrition still exists in the country, despite economic growth and national food self-sufficiency. The National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, formulated in 1994 and adopted in 1995, accorded priority to household food and nutrition security. Accordingly, in 1996, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Nutrition Centre embarked on a study of household food and nutrition security in Myanmar. A preliminary situation analysis revealed that transitional changes in the economic, demographic and social sectors have driven dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles, behaviour and practices and that these changes affect food and nutrition security. The present paper explores household and intrahousehold determinants of nutrition problems in Myanmar.".....Results Preliminary descriptive analysis demonstrated more acute malnutrition in the urban area than in the rural area for both the pre- and post-harvest periods. Furthermore, nutritional problems were more acute in both the urban and rural areas during the preharvest period than during the post-harvest period. Urban children consumed fewer calories than rural children during both the pre- and post-harvest times, while children in both rural and urban areas consumed fewer calories during the preharvest period than during the postharvest period, although all the differences were not statistically significant......Keywords: care of the vulnerable, food security, malnutrition, Myanmar, National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.
      Author/creator: Aye Thwin MPH (NUTRITION), DFs&N, MB, BS
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2001) 10(Suppl.): S34–S39
      Format/size: pdf (231`K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2009


      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's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. VI, No. 3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN (WFP)

      Individual Documents

      Title: JULY 2010: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: July 2010
      Description/subject: "This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon. Data was collected with the help cooperating partners, including ADRA, World Vision, WHH, REAM, CARE, KMSS, OISCA, AMDA, PACT Myanmar, Save the Children, Metta, NAG, Shalom foundation and Field Staff from eight WFP sub-offices and two field offices. Market data related to household access to rice is collected on a monthly basis from WFP's current operational areas: Northern Rakhine State, Dry Zone-Magway, Northern Shan State: Lashio Areas, Kokang Special Region, Wa Special Region; Kachin State, Taunggyi area; and Yangon as shown in the adjacent map. The data collected includes rice prices, other commodities, and daily wages and employment opportunities."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (2.67MB)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: MARCH 2010: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: March 2010
      Description/subject: "This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon. Data was collected with the help cooperating partners, including ADRA, World Vision, WHH, REAM, CARE, KMSS, OISCA, AMDA, PACT Myanmar, Save the Children, Metta, NAG, Shalom foundation and Field Staff from eight WFP sub-offices and two field offices. Market data related to household access to rice is collected on a monthly basis from WFP's current operational areas: Northern Rakhine State, Dry Zone-Magway, Northern Shan State: Lashio Areas, Kokang Special Region, Wa Special Region; Kachin State, Taunggyi area; and Yangon as shown in the adjacent map. The data collected includes rice prices, other commodities, daily wages and employment opportunities..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (1.33MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp219600.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: DECEMBER 2009: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: December 2009
      Description/subject: "...This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (3,6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: AUGUST 2009: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: August 2009
      Description/subject: This edition of the Food Basket Bulletin attempts to provide detailed analysis on food prices, casual labor employment and wages for the time period May – August 2009. * Section A is a summary of trends for the above mentioned four month period. This section attempts to identify areas / locations that have seen the highest increase or decrease in 3 food security performance indicators – rice prices, wage labor rates and employment. * Section B consists of a more detailed analysis at the village tract level for the period May-August 2009. This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: MAY 2009: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: May 2009
      Description/subject: "This edition of the Food Basket Bulletin attempts to provide detailed analysis on food prices, casual labor employment and wages for 2 time periods: * Section A is based on an analysis of trends over relatively longer time-period. This period being the last week of September 2008 – March 2009. This section is divided into two parts with Part 1 dealing with rice price trends and Part 2 with labor and wage trends. A brief analysis of data from April has also been included at the conclusion of Part 1 and 2. * Section B consists of a more detailed analysis at the village tract level for the period January – March 2009 This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (752K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: AUGUST-DECEMBER 2008: HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: December 2008
      Description/subject: This report describes the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs1, based on information up to December 2008. The report is produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon....Highlights August to December 2008: - Poor food access in Rakhine State is a cause for serious concern. Although rice prices decreased; fewer job opportunities and larger average HH size meant that the gap between income and expenditure grew. - In NRS it is estimated that current average wages and rice prices require that an average of 1.4 earners per household must work 6 days/week to earn the minimum necessary income for purchasing food. - In the Magway area (of Dry Zone) female-headed HH reported spending 100% of their income on food, but later in the year both genders were able to save - The price of rice in Kokang increased in August but plateaued in September and October. After the harvest, because of an increase in supply, prices decreased.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (854MB)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: JUNE - JULY 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: July 2008
      Description/subject: This report attempts to describe the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs1, based on information up to 31st of July 2008. The coverage, which has been extended to the Delta Region after Cyclone Nargis, is based on monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon....Highlights June and July 2008 - The general trend in the price of food is still rising, though at a slower rate since Cyclone Nargis in May; - The price of rice increased significantly in the Delta in July, after a decrease in mid-May and June; - June saw the price of “cheap quality rice” diminish in Yangon from mid-May to July, but this trend is beginning to reverse, and the quality of this rice (which needed to be dried after rice stores were soaked during the cyclone) is improving; - Rising salt prices nationwide are still affecting household food baskets (though not significantly, given the small quantities purchased), although areas that weren’t relying solely on Myanmarproduced salt have shown no change (Northern Special Region (SR)1 for instance); - Cash crop field preparation has been delayed in Magway Division due to the heavy rainfall that has resulted in the postponement of land preparation for greengram cultivation; - Fuel prices in Wa region are still increasing, though few effects have been reported on the price of food in general; - Food access in Rakhine State is cause for serious concern (wages are down and rice prices are up) as the gap between income and expenditures is widening at an alarming rate.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (572K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: MAY 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: May 2008
      Description/subject: This report attempts to describe the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar to meet their basic food needs1, based on information up to 31st of May 2008. The coverage, which has been extended to the Delta Region after Cyclone Nargis, is based on monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon....Highlights May 2008 - Rice prices generally increased locally in May(from 5 to 25%), not only as an effect of Nargis: the seasonal trend is usually for prices to increase during the lean season (April-August); - As a direct result of the cyclone, the price of rice increased in Yangon (city) by at least 20%, after a shock increase in the first week; - In the Delta, the rice price has returnedto normal, even lower than usual (though one may wonder about household purchasing capacity), due to the massive arrival of commodities via humanitarian aid; - Salt prices were affected by the cyclone nationwide(hiccup in the price detected in Kokang SR1)due to damage to the salt industry in the Delta area; - Fuel costs have almost returnedto normal in Eastern Shan State; - The field preparation period has started in Lashio area, providing better wages (up 25-35%, to 3,300 Kyats per day in Mone Koe)and higher employment (4-6 days minimum); - Rakhine State’s poor households are falling rapidlyinto poverty and destitution (the gap between income and expenditures widened in May from 5,700 to 5,800 Kyats weekly).
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (584K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: APRIL 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: April 2008
      Description/subject: This report aims to describe the ability of poor and vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar in meeting their basic food needs1 during the month of April, 2008. It is based on monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit at WFP Yangon....Highlights April 2008 ¾ Certain areas show deterioration in terms of employment and wages, but with little effect on household economy, as accumulated savings from previous months have allowed for survival (Kokang, most of Lashio and Taunggyi areas). Other regions show increased distress due to a rise in rice prices and a decrease in employment (NRS, certain locations of Lashio and Taunggyi area); ¾ Yenanchaung, in the Dry Zone, which was heavily affected after the flood of July 2007, seems to have recovered now. Pakhangyi, though less affected and more agriculture-oriented, is entering a lean period of lower wages and reduced employment; ¾ Due to petrol supply cuts in Wa Special Region 2, fuel prices in certain areas are the underlying cause for an increase in the price of goods (15 Yuan for a liter of diesel resulted in a 60% increase of the price rice of 60%); ¾ With the exception of Rathedaung Township, which shows higher wages than in 2007, Northern Rakhine State is faring worse now than in April 2007: all three townships are in an exceptionally worrying state due to low wages, low employment and no assets to rely on.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (540K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: MARCH 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: March 2008
      Description/subject: This report attempts to describe the ability of poor vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar in meeting their basic food needs1 during the month of March 2008. It is based on the monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) Unit in WFP Yangon....Highlights March 2008 * Rice prices continue to remain high following the sharp increase in December 2007. In some areas where the prices have eased, wages have also fallen, maintaining the pressure felt by poor households. * Food security in NRS continues to be in a precarious state. Most of the landless households have had insufficient income to cover their food needs and have relied heavily on alternative coping mechanisms in the past several months. Severe hardship during the coming lean season is now almost a certainty. * In Kokang Special Region 1, employment opportunity decreased thus did the average income. Despite this, most of the poor households are still able to cover the basic food cost. * In Magway area, Yenanchaung finally shows a sign of recovering from the devastating effects of flooding. Female-headed households, however, remain below the survival line and need close monitoring. * New data collection in Kachin State provides a snap-shot of what could be a positive picture of income vs. expenditures balance; rice price is relatively steady and wages are higher than the national average. * In Mandalay, the increase in rice price is pushing more female-headed households below survival thresholds.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (470K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: FEBRUARY 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: February 2008
      Description/subject: This report attempts to describe the ability of poor vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar in meeting their basic food needs1 during the month of February 2008. It is based on the monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) unit in WFP Yangon....Highlights February 2008 * Rice price remains high in NRS, showing average 27% or 3600 K/household/week of increase compared withJanuary 2008. Poor households in Rathedaung and Buthidaung continue to face a large gap between their income and the cost of covering basic rice needs in the last two months, forced to adopt negative coping strategies such as taking loans. Increasing indebtedness early in the year may have a negative impact on further availiablity of credit for poor vulnerable households later in the year. There is a need to keep close monitoring in upcoming months. * Households in remote areas in Southern Shan State(Hsi Hsaing, Seik Kaung, Moe Bye) continue to be confronted by scarce employment opportunities and low wages, coupled with increased rice prices. * Food security Rural Dry Zone is still under severe pressure from increased rice price and decreased wages. Yenanchaung area needs particular attention, as it seems to suffer from chronic food insecurity. * In most of Kokang SR1 and Lashio area, households are able to manage to accrue much needed savings thanks primarily to high employment rateand lower prices. * Urban areas (Yangon and Mandalay) fare better since employment opportunities seem more stable.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (816K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Title: JANUARY 2008: MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD FOOD BASKET BULLETIN
      Date of publication: January 2008
      Description/subject: This report attempts to describe the ability of poor vulnerable households in selected areas in Myanmar in meeting their basic food needs1 during the month of January 2008. It follows the monthly periodic reports produced by the Vulnerability Analysis & Mapping (VAM) unit in WFP Yangon....Highlights January 2008 ¾ Rice price increases up to 37% in Maungdaw forces many NRS households to adopt negative coping strategies. There is anecdotal evidence of out migration to Bangladesh. Increasing indebtedness early in the year could jeopardize future availability of credit. Covering basic rice needs costs between 70-87% more than last year in January ’07. There is a need to closely monitor the situation in upcoming months ¾ Households in remote areas in Lashio (Man Tone and Mon Koe areas) and Taunggyi (Bikin) continue to face difficulties in covering their rice needs, often spending up to 100% or more of their expenditures only on food. ¾ Households in Kokang and Lashio fare better in terms of meeting their basic rice needs in January primarily due to increased employment opportunities and lower rice prices. ¾ Households in Yenanchaung faced withincreases in rice prices and scarce employment opportunities experienced a downward trend in their ability to meet their rice needs. This report includes three additional areas where market information is being collected, namely, Kachin State where WFP has just started new operations, Yangon and Mandalay urban markets....
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (805K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


    • Combatting food insecurity in Burma

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Action Contre la Faim - Birmanie
      Language: Francais
      Source/publisher: Action Contre la Faim
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Agriculture, Livelihoods & Food Security
      Description/subject: "Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. The broad aim of the Thematic Group on Food Security and Agriculture in Myanmar (TGFSA) will be to intensify efforts towards achieving MDG 1 and the World Summit Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015. The aim of the Delta Livelihoods Working Group is to create a forum for discussion on livelihoods issues and facilitate the formulation of complementary Cyclone Nargis Recovery Programmes in order to support and ensure livelihoods of people in the Delta are restored and improved."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Individual Documents

      Title: Improving the Food Security, Nutritional Status and Livelihoods of Vulnerable Populations in Myanmar -- Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations -Myanmar 200032
      Date of publication: 14 October 2009
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar has a population of 52 million divided among 135 ethnic groups; it is a food-surplus country with significant agricultural potential. But unfavourable economic policies, extreme weather, protection issues, poor social cohesion and marginalized population groups adversely affect livelihood opportunities, resulting in inadequate access to food. A recent nationwide household survey revealed that a third of the population live below the poverty line. National prevalence of underweight and stunting among children under 5 is 32 percent. The proposed operation provides food assistance for the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations. It is based on assessments, results monitoring, a WFP mid-term review of protracted relief and recovery operation 100663 and a formulation mission. This operation is designed to respond to shocks and enhance vulnerable households' resilience and coping capacity through food assistance. The objectives are to: > respond to the immediate food needs of people affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 1); > support and re-establish the livelihoods of the most vulnerable and food-insecure populations affected by shocks (Strategic Objective 3); > increase levels of education and maintain and/or improve the nutrition status of targeted women, girls and boys (Strategic Objective 4); and > increase food purchases from small farmers and improve their marketing opportunities while building government and partner capacity to address food insecurity (Strategic Objective 5). The operation is also in line with Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. WFP will implement activities directly or through its cooperating partners. It will continue its partnerships with United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to complement food assistance and maximize the benefit of its activities. Strategies adapted to different contexts will support the hand-over of WFP assistance. As food security improves in operational areas, WFP will scale its assistance down. Increasing national capacity remains a challenge for the sustainability of the hand-over of WFP-supported activities..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Programme, Myanmar
      Format/size: pdf (278K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


      Title: Improved Food and Livelihood Security for Displaced Ethnic Minority Villages in Former Poppy growing Areas of Wa Region, Shan State, Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2007
      Description/subject: "Welthungerhilfe is implementing two Food Security Projects (FSP) in former poppy growing areas in Wein Kao District, Wa Special Region 2 in north-east Myanmar. The objective is to develop alternative livelihoods of the formerly poppy-growing population. This is to be achieved by establishing and strengthening village committees, by intensifying plant and animal production, by increasing technical capacities of the beneficiaries and by improving basic social services. The projects are implemented in neighbouring townships. Together 3000 households are targeted. Budget amounts to. 2,4 Mio EUR for both projects. Welthungerhilfe is implementing both projects itself. Food aid programs are supplementing project activities..."
      Author/creator: Monika Ellinger
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Welt Hunger Hilfe
      Format/size: pdf (451K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


      Title: Promoting household food and nutrition security in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: "Myanmar has a policy of promoting food and nutrition security and, at the national level, food production is more than that required to meet the country’s needs. Nevertheless, food and nutrition surveillance has revealed that malnutrition still exists in the country, despite economic growth and national food self-sufficiency. The National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, formulated in 1994 and adopted in 1995, accorded priority to household food and nutrition security. Accordingly, in 1996, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Nutrition Centre embarked on a study of household food and nutrition security in Myanmar. A preliminary situation analysis revealed that transitional changes in the economic, demographic and social sectors have driven dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles, behaviour and practices and that these changes affect food and nutrition security. The present paper explores household and intrahousehold determinants of nutrition problems in Myanmar.".....Results Preliminary descriptive analysis demonstrated more acute malnutrition in the urban area than in the rural area for both the pre- and post-harvest periods. Furthermore, nutritional problems were more acute in both the urban and rural areas during the preharvest period than during the post-harvest period. Urban children consumed fewer calories than rural children during both the pre- and post-harvest times, while children in both rural and urban areas consumed fewer calories during the preharvest period than during the postharvest period, although all the differences were not statistically significant......Keywords: care of the vulnerable, food security, malnutrition, Myanmar, National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.
      Author/creator: Aye Thwin MPH (NUTRITION), DFs&N, MB, BS
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2001) 10(Suppl.): S34–S39
      Format/size: pdf (231`K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2009


    • Destruction/theft of crops and food stores, killing/theft of livestock

      Individual Documents

      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin Township, January to March 2012
      Date of publication: 20 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in March 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District. It provides information on rations resupply operations by Tatmadaw MOC #9 along the vehicle road from Kler La army camp to Bu Hsa Hkee army camp from January to March 2012, in which soldiers from MOC #9 and LID #66 burnt the vehicle road and the roadside in order to clear vegetation for security purposes, resulting in the destruction of villagers' cardamom and betelnut plantations. The community member also described attacks on villagers' livelihoods and food supply, with the burning of 177 acres of villagers' cardamom plantations by LID #66 alone at the end of March 2012. Recent evidence of abuse by IB #35, under the control of LID #66, in forced relocation sites, such as using villagers for forced labour to clear weeds around military camps, is also provided. In one instance, Y--- villagers responded to the burning of the vehicle road by clearing away dry leaves in order to prevent the fire from spreading to their adjacent plantations, however, MOC #9 soldiers proceeded to burn the villagers' plantations nonetheless."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (185K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b43.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 June 2012


      Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011 to January 2012
      Date of publication: 02 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2012 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an District between September 2011 and January 2012, and contains updated information concerning military activity in the area, specifically Border Guard Battalion #1017's use of forced labour and their planting of landmines. In September 2011, over 200 villagers from Th---, Sh---, G--- and M--- were forced to harvest beans and corn, an incident which is also described in the report "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011", published by KHRG on November 25th 2011. Villagers are also described as being forced to porter rations, ammunition and landmines, and carry out various tasks at Battalion #1017's camp. The pervasive presence of landmines has resulted in the deaths of two villagers and injuries to eight others in Sh--- and K--- village tracts, as well as the deaths of villagers' livestock. Information is also provided on the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ceasefire with the Tatmadaw and their subsequent transformation into the Border Guard, and how this has reduced the capacity of soldiers to engage in mining and logging enterprises. The subsequent increase in pressure on villagers by DKBA and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) troops to resist Border Guard military recruitment demands had meant that village heads often fled, rather than serve their one-year term. Villagers' perspectives on the January 2012 ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma government are also outlined, as are villagers' responses to abuses, including the introduction of a village head system that rotates on a monthly basis..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (242K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b40.html
      Date of entry/update: 10 May 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interview Transcript: Saw B---, December 2011
      Date of publication: 19 April 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in W--- village, Daw Hpa Hkoh Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 50-year-old Saw B---, a church leader in W--- village, who described demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #378 in November 2011, including cutting and portering bamboo poles for the rebuilding of LIB #378 military camp near W--- village, and portering food and performing messenger duty. Saw B--- raised concerns regarding food and livelihood security due to the destruction of W--- villagers' cardamom and coffee plantations by rats. He also explained how the Tatmadaw accused villagers of providing assistance to the Karen National Liberation Arm (KNLA) and placed explicit restrictions on the movement of villagers going to work in their cardamom and coffee plantations, which negatively impacts harvests and food security, in addition to restrictions on the transportation of batteries and medicine. Saw B--- also described the death of one villager due to the lack of medical facilities in the village. Other concerns raised include the absence of accessible education beyond grade seven, an insufficient number of teachers, and the omission of the Karen language from the W--- village school curriculum. Saw B--- noted that since the 2010 General Elections in Burma, the Tatmadaw began to increasingly frame demands for forced labour in terms of loh ah pay; a term traditionally referring to voluntary service for community projects. Saw B--- explained that villagers have responded to such concerns by deciding amongst themselves to only send those villagers who are available to go for forced labour, as well as by sharing food and lending money during times of hardship, and teaching the Karen language in church on Sundays."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (133K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b38.html
      Date of entry/update: 21 April 2012


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: August to October 2011
      Date of publication: 17 April 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District between August and October 2011. It contains information concerning military activity in the district, specifically demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #375. Villagers from D--- and A--- were reportedly forced to clear vegetation surrounding their camp and some A--- villagers were also used to sweep for landmines. Villagers in the A--- area faced demands for bamboo poles and some villagers from P--- were ordered to undertake messenger and portering duties for the Tatmadaw. The situation update provides information on two incidents that occurred on September 21st 2011, in which several villagers from Y--- were shot, and four other Y--- villagers were arrested by Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #73 and detained until the Y--- village head paid 300,000 kyat (US $366.75) to secure their release. It also provides details of the arrest of five villagers from D--- village by LIB #375 in August 2011, who remained in detention as of November 2011. It documents the killing of two villagers from E--- village by Military Operations Command (MOC) #9, and the shooting of 54-year-old A--- villager, Saw O---, by LIB #375 for violating movement restrictions. Information was also given concerning a mortar attack on W--- village by LIB #603 and IB #92, which was previously reported in the KHRG News Bulletin "Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District, November 2011", in which shells hit the village church and destroyed five villagers’ houses. Tatmadaw soldiers also shot the statue of Mother Mary in W--- village and damaged pictures on the church walls; stole villagers' belongings, including money and staple foods; and destroyed villagers’ household supplies, livestock, and food."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (132K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b36.html
      Date of entry/update: 21 April 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interview Transcript: Saw L---, December 2011
      Date of publication: 04 April 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Day Loh Muh village tract, Daw Pa Ko Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw L---, who described the destruction of Y--- villagers' cardamom and coffee fields in 2006 for the construction of a Tatmadaw camp. He also noted the forced portering of building materials and food rations, the forced construction of a food storage building, and demands for bamboo poles in the period between 2006 and 2007. Saw L--- described how in 2010 and 2011, villagers from Y--- and surrounding villages were forced by Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #306 to clear vegetation from the road between Lay Loh Day village and the military camp. Saw L--- also talked about the torture of A--- village heads for failing to comply with orders for food from LIB #306. He also detailed an incident in which a villager, Saw P--- from B--- village, was killed by Tatmadaw soldiers. Other concerns noted include food shortages, exacerbated by the rising price of food; the cost of medical treatment; and the prohibition on the transportation of medicine. The absence of accessible education beyond grade four, and the omission of the Karen language from the Y--- village school curriculum were also raised."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (381K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b33.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


      Title: Pa’an Interview Transcript: Naw D---, November 2011
      Date of publication: 14 March 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during November 2011 in Dta Greh Township, Pa’an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 70-year-old Naw D---, a dry paddy hill field farmer from M--- village, who described an incident that took place on October 29th 2011, during which a mortar was fired towards M--- village, and Tatmadaw soldiers from IB #230 looted a full sack of rice costing 750 baht (US $25) and 5,000 baht (US $166) in cash, as well as betelnuts and betel leaves whilst she was in her hill field and the rest of her family had fled their home and were hiding from the mortar fired in M--- village. Naw D--- discussed how this theft has considerably undermined her family’s economic and food security, and described how she threatened to inform the soldiers’ commander about the incident..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (134K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b25.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw T---, September 2011
      Date of publication: 28 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Than Daung Township by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 46 year old betelnut and cardamom plantation farmer who described movement and trade restrictions during 2011, specifically the closure of a vehicle road, that disrupted the transport of staple food supplies, as previously reported by KHRG in "Toungoo Situation Update: May to July 2011". Saw T--- described past instances of the theft and looting of food supplies and the burning of cardamom plantations and noted that the sale price of villagers' agricultural outputs has fallen, while the cost of basic commodities has risen. He also described previous incidents in which a villager portering for Tatmadaw soldiers was shot whilst attempting to escape, and one villager was killed and another seriously injured by landmines, providing insight into the way past experience with violence continues to circumscribe villagers' options for responding to abuse. Saw T---nonetheless described how villagers hide food to prevent theft, and covertly trade in food staples and other commodities to evade movement and trade restrictions. Saw T--- also noted that villagers have introduced a monthly rota system in order to share village head duties."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (388K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b19.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 February 2012


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, December 2011 - Robbery and extortion in Shan State
      Date of publication: December 2011
      Description/subject: Commentary: Stealing and Extortion of Livestock; Random shooting and stealing of cattle; Villager’s cows shot and stolen, tractor conscripted for forced labour, in Kae-See and Si-Paw; A draught buffalo shot and stolen, a truck taken for forced labour, in Kae-See; A pig extorted, a cow shot and stolen, in Murng-Nai; A buffalo shot and stolen, porters conscripted, in Murng-Kerng; A cow killed, its legs cut and stolen, in Murng-Nai; Shooting and stealing of pigs; A pig shot and stolen in Lai-Kha; A pig forcibly taken away in front of its owner, in Murng-Nai; A pig shot and stolen while the owners were away, in Kun-Hing; A pig stolen, villagers forced to serve as guides and porters, in Kae-See; Extortion of chickens; Extortion of chickens in Murng-Nai; Extortion of chickens and other food stuff, conscription of vehicles, in Murng-Kerng.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: July to October 2011
      Date of publication: 29 November 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District during the period between July and October 2011. It details incidents of violence against civilians, including: shooting and killing by Tatmadaw LIB #540 of two villagers hunting monkeys in an area adjacent to a Tatmadaw camp; arbitrary detentions of eight civilians, of whom only three have been released by LIB #539 and IB #73; and the beating of a village head following a KNLA attack against Tatmadaw troops. The villager also cites examples of a range of abuses affecting villagers' livelihoods, including: forced labour repairing a road and producing and delivering bamboo poles to a Tatmadaw camp; theft and damage of villagers' possessions by patrolling Tatmadaw troops, including destruction of villagers' durian and dogfruit trees; the imposition of movement restrictions preventing villagers from sleeping in their field huts, backed by an explicit threat of violence against villagers violating the ban; de facto movement restrictions on villagers due to Tatmadaw activity; and arbitrary demands for payment by Tatmadaw troops. This report also raises concerns about the health situation in Tantabin Township following the 2011 monsoon, including an outbreak of cholera that interfered with the harvest of cardamom, durian and paddy crops, and may have adverse consequences on villagers' food and financial security during the coming year. The report also notes that some villagers access health services from the KNU Health Department and other relief groups in response to constraints on access to health care in areas of Tantabin Township outside consolidated Tatmadaw control."
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (349K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b49.html
      Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


      Title: Pa'an Situation Update: June to August 2011
      Date of publication: 17 October 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an District between June 2011 and August 2011. It details recent Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guard activity, including camp locations and troop strength, and incidents related to a forced relocation order issued to eight villages in Lu Pleh Township by Tatmadaw Border Guard units on July 15th 2011. After the July 20th deadline for relocation, Tatmadaw and Border Guard forces commenced joint attacks against six of the villages ordered to relocate, including multiple days of heavy shelling and machine gun fire which the villager who submitted this report described as indiscriminate. On July 20th 2011 Border Guard troops also deliberately killed villagers' livestock and fired mortars into civilian areas of R--- village, injuring a 50-year-old woman, while retreating from an attack by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) on the Border Guard camp in R---. This report further documents Tatmadaw Border Guard demands for forced labour and forced porters. The villager who submitted this update raises villagers' concerns related to flooding along the Dta Greh [Hlaing Bwe] River during the 2011 monsoon season, and the abandonment of schools and loss of trade and livelihood opportunities due to forced relocation. This report notes that, in response to the abuses and concerns mentioned above, villagers in Pa'an District adopt strategies that include: moving to areas beyond Tatmadaw control, monitoring local security conditions, and hiding food stores in the jungle."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (404K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b40.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: April to July 2011
      Date of publication: 13 October 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District between April and July 2011. It describes a May 2011 attack on villages and the destruction of paddy and rice stores in the Maw Thay Der area of Tantabin Township, previously reported by KHRG, and relates the following human rights abuses by Tatmadaw forces: restrictions on movement and trade; including regular closure of vehicle roads and levying of road tolls; forced production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced portering of military rations; and the theft and looting of villagers' livestock. This report also explains how community members share food when confronting food insecurity, and attempt to ensure that children receive education despite financial barriers and teacher shortages."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (175K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b37.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August 2011
      Date of publication: 12 October 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Kawkareik, Kya In and Waw Raw (Win Yaw) townships of Dooplaya District between April and August 2011. The villager describes human rights abuses committed by soldiers from at least three Tatmadaw battalions, including: shelling of villages, resulting in civilian injuries and destruction of houses and food supplies; demands for the fabrication and delivery of thatch and bamboo, and for the provision of food; restrictions on villagers; detention, physical abuse, and killing of villagers; shooting of villagers; and a demand for villagers, including children, to clear the perimeter of a Tatmadaw camp. The villager also expresses concern that these abuses disrupt villagers' livelihoods and the provision of education for children."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (210K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b36.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw P---, Received in May 2011
      Date of publication: 01 October 2011
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during May 2011 in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw P---, the 36-year-old head of a village in which Tatmadaw soldiers maintain a continuous presence. Saw P--- described the disappearance of a male villager who has not been seen since February 2010 when he was arrested by Tatmadaw soldiers as he was returning from his hill plantation, on suspicion of supplying food assistance to Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) troops. Saw P--- also described human rights abuses and livelihoods difficulties faced regularly by villagers, including: forced labour, specifically road construction and maintenance; taxation and demands for food and money; theft of livestock; and movement restrictions, specifically the imposition of road tolls for motorbikes and the prohibition against travel to villagers’ agricultural workplaces, resulting in the destruction of crops by animals. Saw P--- also expressed concerns about disruption of children’s education caused by the periodic commandeering of the village school and its use as a barracks by Tatmadaw soldiers. He explained how villagers respond to abuses and livelihoods challenges by avoiding Tatmadaw soldiers, harvesting communally, sharing food supplies and inquiring at the local jail to investigate the disappearance of a fellow villager."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (243K) html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b33.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


      Title: Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District
      Date of publication: 11 May 2011
      Description/subject: "At least 8,885 villagers in 118 villages in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District have either exhausted their current food supplies or are expecting to do so prior to the October 2011 harvest. The 118 villages are located in nine village tracts, where attacks on civilians by Burma's state army, the Tatmadaw, have triggered wide scale and repeated displacement since 1997. As tens of thousands of civilians in northern Karen State have been displaced, over-population in hiding areas where civilians can more effectively avoid attacks has created shortages of arable land, depleted soil fertility and reduced potential crop yields. Civilians forced to cultivate land or live near Tatmadaw camps, meanwhile, have faced recent attacks, including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on food supplies, buildings and livelihoods. These existing obstacles to food security were compounded by an unusually dry rainy season in 2010, coupled with other environmental factors, causing the 2010 harvest to fail. The impact of acute food shortages on the civilian population is magnified by budgetary constraints of local relief organisations, which can access the affected area but are currently unable to provide emergency assistance to many of those facing food shortages. This regional report is based on research conducted by KHRG researchers in Lu Thaw Township in February and March 2011, including 41 interviews with villagers and village and village tract leaders in the affected areas. This research was augmented by interviews with members of local relief organisations in February, March and April 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (1.31MB), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101.html
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101%20-%20Briefer.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


      Title: Tatmadaw attacks destroy civilian property and displace villages in northern Papun District
      Date of publication: 08 April 2011
      Description/subject: "Tatmadaw forces continue to deliberately target civilians, civilian settlements and food supplies in northern Papun District. On February 25th 2011 shelling directed at communities in Saw Muh Bplaw, Ler Muh Bplaw and Plah Koh village tracts in Lu Thaw Township displaced residents of 14 villages as they sought temporary refuge at hiding sites in the forest. After villagers fled, Tatmadaw troops looted civilians' possessions, burned parts of settlement areas and destroyed buildings and food stores in Dteh Neh village. No civilian deaths or injuries were reported to result from this shelling; local village heads confirmed that all villagers affected managed to flee to safe locations during the shelling, many because of warnings received through a locally-developed system to alert community members of attacks. This report is informed by KHRG photo documentation, as well as interviews with and written testimony from a total of nine village heads, village tract leaders and village officials from communities located or hiding in the affected area. An additional 41 interviews conducted during February and March 2011 in Lu Thaw Township were also drawn upon."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (1.35MB) html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b4.html
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


      Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, December 2010 - Robbery and extortion in Shan State
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: Commentary: Extortion and Stealing of Livestock... Situation of shooting and stealing of villagers’ cattle in Shan State... Villager’s buffalos shot for meat in Murng-Ton... Extortion and stealing of chickens and cattle in Kun-Hing... A farmer’s buffalo, used for ploughing rice field, shot and stolen, in Larng-Khur... Vegetables extorted, cow shot for meat, in Murng-Kerng... Villager’s Buffalo shot dead in Murng- Yai... Situation of extortion and stealing of pigs and chickens... Extortion and stealing of chickens and pigs in Murng-Kerng... Extortion of chickens, rice and money, in Loi-Lem... Stealing of chickens in Lai-Kha... Intimidation and extortion of chickens in Larng-Khur.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


      Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 09 August 2007
      Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
      Format/size: pdf (1.24 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f6.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Forced Labour, Extortion and Abuses in Papun District
      Date of publication: 29 July 2006
      Description/subject: "As the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) continues its Karen State offensive into the rainy season, villagers living in Lu Thaw township in northern Papun District have come under increasing pressure as a consequence of the military encroachment onto their land. KHRG field researchers have documented attacks on villages, destruction of crops and targeted killings in the area. Villagers residing in Dweh Loh and Bu Tho townships further south, outside the area of the systematic offensive against villages, confront a different pattern of abuse involving constant demands for labour, money, food and building supplies. These villagers are confronted with a situation of heightened insecurity as a consequence of the persistent demands of SPDC and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) forces..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F7)
      Format/size: pdf (511 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f11.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 August 2006


      Title: Photo Set 2005-A
      Date of publication: 27 May 2005
      Description/subject: "Over 900 photos taken by KHRG researchers in the field from mid 2002 to early 2005, documenting the human rights situation and responses to it by villagers in Karen areas of Burma. This Photo Set contains a photo essay from Nyaunglebin District as well as sections on Attacks on Villages & Village Destruction; Forced Relocation and Restrictions; Detention and Torture; Shootings and Killings; Forced Labour; Food and Livelihoods; Women; Children; Flight & Displacement; Landmines; and Soldiers... Preface; Terms and Abbreviations; Table of Contents: 1. A Short Story in Pictures: Village Destruction, Displacement and Survival in Nyaunglebin District; 2. Attacks on Villages and Village Destruction... 3. Forced Relocation and Restrictions... 4. Detention and Torture... 5. Shootings and Killings... 6. Forced Labour: 6.1 Portering; 6.2 Convict Porters; 6.3 Guides, Messengers, and Meetings; 6.4 Roads; 6.5 Forced Labour Maintaining Army Camps, Army Farms, and Securing Villages; 6.6 Supplying Materials... 7. Food and Livelihoods: 7.1 Destruction of Crops and Livelihoods; 7.2 Abandoned Fields; 7.3 Confiscation of Fields; 7.4 Restrictions on Access to Food; 7.5 Crop Quotas, Taxation and Extortion; 7.6 Looting; 7.7 The Work of Karen Relief Organisations... 8. Women: 8.1 Violence Against Women; 8.2 Women and Forced Labour; 8.3 Women, Livelihoods and Displacement; 8.4 Health... 9. Children: 9.1 Violence Against Children; 9.2 Children and Forced Labour; 9.3 Children and Internal Displacement; 9.4 Orphans; 9.5 Health; 9.6 Education: 9.6.1 Education for displaced children; 9.6.2 Education in SPDC-controlled villages; 9.7 Child Soldiers... 10. Flight and Displacement: 10.1 Life on the Run; 10.2 Food and Survival; 10.3 Health; 10.4 Education; 10.5 Flight to Thailand... 11. Landmines: 11.1 The Mines; 11.2 The Victims... 12. Soldiers... Appendix 1: KHRG Map of Burma... Appendix 2: Map of Karen Districts... Appendix 3: Map Room (more detailed maps).
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-P1)
      Format/size: jpeg, html
      Date of entry/update: 09 June 2005


      Title: Enduring Hunger and Repression: : Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labour in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: September 2004
      Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation faced by rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known as Taw Oo in Karen). Toungoo District is the northernmost district of Karen State, sharing borders with Karenni (Kayah) State to the east, Pegu (Bago) Division to the west, and Shan State to the north. To the south Toungoo District shares borders with the Karen districts of Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) and Papun (Mutraw). The westernmost portion of the district bordering Pegu Division consists of the plains of the Sittaung River, which are heavily controlled by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta which presently rules Burma. The rest of the district to the east is covered by steep and forested hills that are home to Karen villagers who live in small villages strewn across the hills. For years, the SPDC has endeavoured to extend its control through the hills, but their efforts thus far have been hampered by the continued armed resistance of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Within the areas that are strongly controlled by the SPDC, the villagers must live with constant demands for forced labour, food, and money from the SPDC battalions that are based in the area. Villages that do not comply with SPDC demands risk being relocated and burned. Many villages have been burned and their inhabitants forcibly relocated to sites where the SPDC may more easily control and exploit them. Those villagers who do not move to the relocation sites flee into the jungles where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Several thousand villagers now live internally displaced in the mountains of Toungoo District. These villagers live in almost constant fear of SPDC Army units, and must run for their lives if they receive word that a column of soldiers is approaching. SPDC Army columns routinely shoot displaced villagers on sight. The villagers here continue to suffer severe human rights violations at the hands of the SPDC Army soldiers, including, but not limited to summary arrest, torture, forced labour, extortion, extrajudicial execution, and the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies. Although a verbal ceasefire is in place between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the SPDC, not much has changed for the villagers in the district. KNLA and SPDC military units still occasionally clash. The SPDC has taken advantage of the ceasefire to move more troops into the area and to build new camps. These new camps and troops have meant that the villagers now have to do forced labour building the new camps and portering supplies up to the camps. There are also more troops and camps to demand food and money from the villagers. The many new camps have made it more difficult for internally displaced villagers work their fields or to go to find food..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (9.5MB), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2004/khrg0401a.html
      Date of entry/update: 16 November 2004


      Title: KNU Mergui-Tavoy District - Monthly Human Rights Situation Report June 2004
      Date of publication: June 2004
      Description/subject: FORCED LABOR; TORTURE; RAPE; LOOTING.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department, Karen National Union
      Format/size: html (22K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2004


      Title: Peace Villages and Hiding Villages: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 15 October 2000
      Description/subject: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District. Based on interviews and field reports from KHRG field researchers in this northern Karen district, looks at the phenomenon of 'Peace Villages' under SPDC control and 'Hiding Villages' in the hills; while the 'Hiding Villages' are being systematically destroyed and their villagers hunted and captured, the 'Peace Villages' face so many demands for forced labour and extortion that many ofthem are fleeing to the hills. Looks at forced labour road construction and its relation to increasing SPDC militarisation of the area, and also at the new tourism development project at Than Daung Gyi which involves large-scale land confiscation and forced labour. Keywords: Karen; KNU; KNLA; SPDC deserters; Sa Thon Lon activities; human minesweepers; human shields; reprisals against villagers; abuse of village heads; SPDC army units; military situation; forced relocation; strategic hamletting; relocation sites; internal displacement; IDPs; cross-border assistance; forced labour; torture; killings; extortion, economic oppression; looting; pillaging; burning of villages; destruction of crops and food stocks; forced labour on road projects; road building; restrictions on movment; lack of education and health services; tourism project; confiscation of land and forced labour for tourism project;landmines; malnutrition; starvation; SPDC Orders. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-05)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: False Peace: Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
      Date of publication: 25 March 1999
      Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation for rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known in Karen as Taw Oo), which is the northernmost region of Karen State in Burma. The western part of the district forms part of the Sittaung River valley in Pegu (Bago) Division, and this region is strongly controlled by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which rules Burma. Further east, the District is made up of steep and forested hills penetrated by only one or two roads and dotted with small Karen villages; in this region the SPDC is struggling to strengthen its control in the face of armed resistance by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). (Click here to see map) In the strongly SPDC-controlled areas, the villagers suffer from constant demands for forced labour and money from all of the SPDC military units based there, and from the constant threat of punishments should their village fail to comply with any order of the military. In the eastern hills, many villages have been forcibly relocated and partly burned as part of the SPDC’s program of attempting to undermine the resistance by attacking the civilian villagers. Here people are suffering all forms of serious human rights abuses committed by SPDC troops, including random killings, burning of homes, the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies, forced labour, looting and extortion..." Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #99-02)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Field Reports: Thaton District
      Date of publication: 25 January 1995
      Description/subject: "The following testimonies and information have been gathered by our human rights monitors from civilian villagers in the Bilin River area and eastward toward the Salween River, in Thaton District of Karen and northeastern Mon States. Names which have been changed to protect people are given in quotation marks. All other names are real. Some details have been omitted from stories to protect people. In the testimonies, SLORC soldiers sometimes mention ‘Ringworm’ and 'Kaw Thoo Lei' - they use both terms to mean 'Karen soldiers’. 'KNU' is short for Karen National Union, the Karen government. All numeric dates are written in dd-mm-yy format. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help the peoples of Burma, but do not forward it to any SLORC representatives. TOPIC SUMMARY Torture (Stories #1,2,3,4,5,6,8), Execution , (#2,3,4 5,6,7,11), Detention (#1,8,9), Shooting at villagers (#1,3,4,6,7,8,11), Forced labour (#5,7), Looting (#6,10,11), Extortion (#3,4), Burning homes (#6,10,11), Destroying food supplies (#9,10), Threatening a monk (#10), SLORC response when villagers report abuse (#2,3,4), People fleeing villages (#1,3,4,8)..." Bilin, Pa'an, Papun Townships, Thaton District. May-Dec 94; Karen M, F. IT (beating); torture; arbitrary detention; killing; extortion;depletion of village; looting (lists of some items); pillaging (looting and destruction of crops and foodstuffs -- lists); EO; burning of houses.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Food Security and displacement in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: PROTRACTED DISPLACEMENT AND CHRONIC POVERTY IN EASTERN BURMA / MYANMAR
      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: Starving them out: Food shortages and exploitative abuse in Papun District
      Date of publication: 15 October 2009
      Description/subject: "As the 2009 rainy season draws to a close, displaced villagers in northern Papun District's Lu Thaw Township face little prospect of harvesting sufficient paddy to support them over the next year. After four straight agricultural cycles disrupted by Burma Army patrols, which continue to shoot villagers on sight and enforce travel and trade restrictions designed to limit sale of food to villagers in hiding, villagers in northern Papun face food shortages more severe than anything to hit the area since the Burma Army began attempts to consolidate control of the region in 1997. Consequently, the international donor community should immediately provide emergency support to aid groups that can access IDP areas in Lu Thaw Township. In southern Papun, meanwhile, villagers report ongoing abuses and increased activity by the SPDC and DKBA in Dwe Loh and Bu Thoh townships. In these areas, villagers report abuses including movement restrictions, forced labour, looting, increased placement of landmines in civilian areas, summary executions and other forms of arbitrary abuse. This report documents abuses occurring between May and October 2009..."
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2009-F18)
      Format/size: pdf (861 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f18.html
      http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg09f18_karen_language.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2009


      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: pdf (850 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f16.html
      Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


      Title: Abuse, Poverty and Migration: Investigating migrants' motivations to leave home in Burma
      Date of publication: 10 July 2009
      Description/subject: "International reporting of the large-scale migration of those leaving Burma in search of work abroad has highlighted the perils for migrant during travel and in host countries. However, there has been a lack of research in the root causes of this migration. Identifying the root causes of migration has important implications for the assistance and protection of these migrants. Drawing on over 150 interviews with villagers in rural Burma and those from Burma who have sought employment abroad, this report identifies the exploitative abuse underpinning poverty and livelihoods vulnerability in Burma which, in turn, are major factors motivating individuals to leave home and seek work abroad..." _Thailand-based interviewees explained to KHRG how exploitative abuses increased poverty, livelihoods vulnerability and food insecurity for themselves and their communities in Burma. These issues were in turn cited as central push factors compelling them to leave their homes and search for work abroad. In some cases, interviewees explained that the harmful effects of exploitative abuse were compounded by environmental and economic factors such as flood and drought and limited access to decent wage labour.[17] While the individuals interviewed by KHRG in Thailand would normally be classified as 'economic migrants', the factors which they cited as motivating their choice to migrate make it clear that SPDC abuse made it difficult for them to survive in their home areas. Hence, these people decided to become migrants not simply because they were lured to Thailand by economic incentives, but because they found it impossible to survive at home in Burma. Clearly, the distinction between push and pull factors is blurred in the case of Burmese migrants. The concept of pull factors for migrants is further complicated because migrants are not merely seeking better jobs abroad, but are instead pulled to places like Thailand and Malaysia in order to access protection. For refugees and IDPs, protection is a service that is often provided by government bodies, UN agencies and international NGOs. For refugees in particular, protection is often primarily understood to mean legal protection against refoulement - defined as the expulsion of a person to a place where they would face persecution. Beyond legal protection against refoulement, aid agencies have implemented specific forms of rights-based assistance, such as gender-based violence programmes, as part of their protection mandates. However, for migrants from Burma the act of leaving home is overwhelmingly a self-initiated protection strategy through which individuals can ensure their and their families' basic survival in the face of persistent exploitative and other abuse in their home areas. This broader understanding of protection goes beyond legal protection against refoulement and the top-down delivery of rights-based assistance by aid agencies. It involves actions taken by individuals on their own accord to lessen or avoid abuse and its harmful effects at home.[18] KHRG has chosen to use the term self-initiated protection strategy, rather than a more generic concept like 'survival strategy', in order to highlight the political agency of those who choose such migration. By seeing this protection in political terms, one can better understand both the abusive underpinnings of migration from Burma as well as the relevance of such migration to the protection mandates of governments, UN agencies and international NGOs currently providing support to conventional refugee populations. Understanding protection in this way presents opportunities for external support for the many self-initiated protection strategies (including efforts to secure employment without exploitation, support dependent family members, enrol children in school and avoid arrest, extortion and deportation) which migrant workers regularly use._
      Language: English, Burmese, Thai
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2009-03)
      Format/size: pdf (English Version: 2.6 MB), (Burmese Version: 383 KB, Thai version 991K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0903.html
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/KHRG%20Migrant%20report-Thai%20translation.pdf
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0903_burmese_lang.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2009


      Title: IDP conditions and the rape of a young girl in Papun District
      Date of publication: 11 April 2009
      Description/subject: "This report describes SPDC operations in and around internally displaced person hiding sites in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. Villagers in this area continue to face constant physical threats and food insecurity caused by SPDC patrols-indeed, residents have been prevented from consistently accessing their farm fields for so long that they now face a dire food crisis. This report also details the rape of a 13-year-old girl by an SPDC soldier in Dweh Loh Township and the local military commander's attempt to cover up the incident. This report examines cases of SPDC abuse from December 2008 to March 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F8)
      Format/size: pdf (881 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f8.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Papun District
      Date of publication: 04 February 2009
      Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in the Lu Thaw and Dweh Loh townships of Papun District. Abuses have been particularly harsh in Lu Thaw, most of which has been designated a "black area" by the SPDC and so subject to constant attacks by Burma Army forces. Villagers who decide to remain in their home areas are often forced to live in hiding and not only face constant threats of violence by the SPDC, but also a worsening food crisis due to the SPDC's disruption of planting cycles. This report covers events in Papun District from August 2008 to January 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F2)
      Format/size: pdf (578 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f2.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Rural development and displacement: SPDC abuses in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 13 January 2009
      Description/subject: "The SPDC has continued to militarise larger and larger swaths of Toungoo District under the false banner of 'development', subjecting local villagers to forced labour and extortion and forcing others to flee into hiding. Life is hard for villagers both under and outside of SPDC control: villagers living within SPDC-controlled areas are often forced to work for the SPDC rather than focus on their own livelihoods while villagers in hiding continue to struggle with a shortage of food. Ultimately, many residents of Toungoo face a mounting food crisis that is a direct result of SPDC policy. This report discusses incidents that occurred between May and September 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F1)
      Format/size: pdf (850 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f1.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Attacks, forced labour and restrictions in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 01 July 2008
      Description/subject: "While the rainy season is now underway in Karen state, Burma Army soldiers are continuing with military operations against civilian communities in Toungoo District. Local villagers in this area have had to leave their homes and agricultural land in order to escape into the jungle and avoid Burma Army attacks. These displaced villagers have, in turn, encountered health problems and food shortages, as medical supplies and services are restricted and regular relocation means any food supplies are limited to what can be carried on the villagers' backs alone. Yet these displaced communities have persisted in their effort to maintain their lives and dignity while on the run; building new shelters in hiding and seeking to address their livelihood and social needs despite constraints. Those remaining under military control, by contrast, face regular demands for forced labour, as well as other forms of extortion and arbitrary 'taxation'. This report examines military attacks, forced labour and movement restrictions and their implications in Toungoo District between March and June 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F7)
      Format/size: pdf (880 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f7.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: The role of coercive measures in forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: 17 March 2008
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "Most relevant reports and surveys I have been able to access state essentially that people from all parts of Burma leave home either in obedience to a direct relocation order from the military or civil authorities or as a result of a process whereby coercive measures imposed by the authorities play a major role in forcing down household incomes to the point where the family cannot survive. At this point, leaving home may seem to be the only option. These factors, which include direct forced relocation, forced labour, extortion and land confiscation, operate in, are affected by and exacerbate a situation of widespread poverty, rising inflation and declining real incomes. In other words, people leave home due to a combination of coercive and economic factors. One has to consider the whole process leading to displacement rather than a single, immediate cause. Where coercive measures, as described in this article, are involved, the resulting population movement falls under the Guiding Principles even if the situation that actually triggers movement, frequently food insecurity, may also be described in economic terms."
      Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Andrew Bosson
      Format/size: pdf (47K)
      Date of entry/update: 17 March 2008


      Title: Increased roads, army camps and attacks on rural communities in Papun District
      Date of publication: 16 November 2007
      Description/subject: "Having initially begun construction a decade ago, the SPDC has this year completed the Papun section of a roadway which extends northwards from the east-west Kyauk Kyi to Saw Hta vehicle road towards the SPDC army camp at Buh Hsa Kee in southern Toungoo District. While still incomplete on the Toungoo side of the border the Papun section effectively cuts the northern half of Lu Thaw township into two east-west sections and forms a dangerous and difficult to cross barrier for those civilians fleeing from ongoing military attacks against their communities. Nevertheless villagers in Lu Thaw and other areas of Papun continue to evade SPDC forces and the district currently has the highest number of internally displaced people in hiding out of any area of eastern Burma. Notwithstanding the creative and courageous strategies which these villagers have adopted in order to avoid the army columns which continue to hunt them down, they remain in a precarious situation; one which has only heightened in its severity with the completion of the Papun section of the north-south vehicle road and the upgrading of other roadways further south..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F10)
      Format/size: pdf (517 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f10.html
      Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


      Title: Forced migration/internal displacement in Burma - with an emphasis on government-controlled areas
      Date of publication: May 2007
      Description/subject: This report is a preliminary exploration of forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar in two main areas. The first is the status in terms of international standards, specifically those embodied in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, of the people who leave home not because of conflict or relocation orders, but as a result of a range of coercive measures which drive down incomes to the point that the household economy collapses and people have no choice but to leave home. Some analysts describe this form of population movement as "economic migration" since it has an economic dimension. The present report, however, looks at the coercive nature of the pressures which contribute to the collapse of the household economy and argues that their compulsory and irresistible nature brings this kind of population movement squarely into the field of forced migration, even though the immediate cause of leaving home may also be described in economic terms... The second area is geographic. The report looks at those parts of Burma not covered by the IDP Surveys of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, which concentrate on the conflict and post-conflict areas of Eastern Burma. It hardly touches on conflict-induced displacement since most parts of Burma covered in these pages, including the major cities, are government-controlled, and there is little overt military conflict in these States and Divisions. Within these parts of the country, the report looks at the coercive measures referred to above. It also carries reports of direct relocation by government agents through which whole rural and urban communities are removed from their homes and either ordered to go to specific places, or else left to their own devices. The report annexes contain more than 500 pages of documentation on forced displacement and causes of displacement in Arakan, Chin, Kachin and Eastern and Northern Shan States as well as Irrawaddy, Magwe, Mandalay, West Pegu, Rangoon and Sagaing Divisions. It also has a section on displacement within urban and peri-urban areas.
      Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
      Format/size: pdf (717K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs4/IDMC-Burma_report_mai07.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 15 May 2007


      Title: RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO RICE: FOOD SECURITY AND INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN EASTERN BURMA
      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.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC-Reclaiming_the_Right_to_Rice.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003


      Title: Starving Them Out: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 31 March 2000
      Description/subject: "This report consists of an Introduction and Executive Summary, followed by a detailed analysis of the situation supported by quotes from interviews and excerpts from SPDC order documents sent to villages in the region. As mentioned above, an Annex to this report containing the full text of the remaining interviews can be seen by following the link from the table of contents or from KHRG upon approved request..." Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-02)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Food Security and human rights in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: Diagnosis: Critical – Health And Human Rights in Eastern Burma
      Date of publication: 19 October 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians..."Diagnosis: Critical" demonstrates that a vast area of eastern Burma remains in a chronic health emergency, a continuing legacy of longstanding official disinvestment in health, coupled with protracted civil war and the abuse of civilians. This has left ethnic rural populations in the east with 41.2% of children under five acutely malnourished. 60.0% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are from preventable and treatable diseases, including acute respiratory infection, malaria, and diarrhea. These losses of life would be even greater if it were not for local community-based health organizations, which provide the only available preventive and curative care in these conflict-affected areas. The report summarizes the results of a large scale population-based health and human rights survey which covered 21 townships and 5,754 households in conflict-affected zones of eastern Burma. The survey was jointly conducted by the Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team and ethnic health organizations serving the Karen, Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Palaung communities. These areas have been burdened by decades of civil conflict and attendant human rights abuses against the indigenous populations. Eastern Burma demographics are characterized by high birth rates, high death rates and the significant absence of men under the age of 45, patterns more comparable to recent war zones such as Sierra Leone than to Burma’s national demographics. Health indicators for these communities, particularly for women and children, are worse than Burma’s official national figures, which are already amongst the worst in the world. Child mortality rates are nearly twice as high in eastern Burma and the maternal mortality ratio is triple the official national figure. While violence is endemic in these conflict zones, direct losses of life from violence account for only 2.3% of deaths. The indirect health impacts of the conflict are much graver, with preventable losses of life accounting for 59.1% of all deaths and malaria alone accounting for 24.7%. At the time of the survey, one in 14 women was infected with Pf malaria, amongst the highest rates of infection in the world. This reality casts serious doubts over official claims of progress towards reaching the country’s Millennium Development Goals related to the health of women, children, and infectious diseases, particularly malaria. The survey findings also reveal widespread human rights abuses against ethnic civilians. Among surveyed households, 30.6% had experienced human rights violations in the prior year, including forced labor, forced displacement, and the destruction and seizure of food. The frequency and pattern with which these abuses occur against indigenous peoples provide further evidence of the need for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes against Humanity. The upcoming election will do little to alleviate the situation, as the military forces responsible for these abuses will continue to operate outside civilian control according to the new constitution. The findings also indicate that these abuses are linked to adverse population-level health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the community—mothers and children. Survey results reveal that members of households who suffer from human rights violations have worse health outcomes, as summarized in the table above. Children in households that were internally displaced in the prior year were 3.3 times more likely to suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition. The odds of dying before age one was increased 2.5 times among infants from households in which at least one person was forced to provide labor. The ongoing widespread human rights abuses committed against ethnic civilians and the blockade of international humanitarian access to rural conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mean that premature death and disability, particularly as a result of treatable and preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, will continue. This will not only further devastate the health of communities of eastern Burma but also poses a direct health security threat to Burma’s neighbors, especially Thailand, where the highest rates of malaria occur on the Burma border. Multi-drug resistant malaria, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are growing concerns. The spread of malaria resistant to artemisinin, the most important anti-malarial drug, would be a regional and global disaster. In the absence of state-supported health infrastructure, local community-based organizations are working to improve access to health services in their own communities. These programs currently have a target population of over 376,000 people in eastern Burma and in 2009 treated nearly 40,000 cases of malaria and have vastly increased access to key maternal and child health interventions. However, they continue to be constrained by a lack of resources and ongoing human rights abuses by the Burmese military regime against civilians. In order to fully address the urgent health needs of eastern Burma, the underlying abuses fueling the health crisis need to end."
      Language: Burmese, English, Thai
      Source/publisher: The Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team
      Format/size: pdf (OBL versions: 5.3MB - English; 4.4MB Thai; 3.5MB-Burmese) . Larger, original versions on BPHWT site
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(th)-red.pdf
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(bu)-red.pdf
      http://www.backpackteam.org/?page_id=208
      Date of entry/update: 05 September 2011


      Title: Attacks on cardamom plantations, detention and forced labour in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 13 May 2010
      Description/subject: This field report documents recent human rights abuses committed by SPDC soldiers against Karen villagers in Toungoo District. Villagers in SPDC-controlled areas continue to face heavy forced labour demands that severely constrain their livelihoods; some have had their livelihoods directly targeted in the form of attacks on their cardamom fields. In certain cases individuals have also been subjected to arbitrary detention and physical abuse by SPDC soldiers, typically on suspicion of having had contact with the KNU/KNLA after being caught in violation of stringent movement restrictions. Villagers living in or travelling to areas beyond SPDC control, meanwhile, continue to have their physical security threatened by SPDC patrols that practice a shoot-on-sight policy in such areas. This report covers incidents between January and April 2010.
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F4)
      Format/size: pdf (918K - English version; 1251K - Karen version)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10f4_karen_language.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


      Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008
      Date of publication: 23 November 2009
      Description/subject: TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Arbitrary Detention and Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances...2. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment...3. Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions...4. Landmines and Other Explosive Devices...5. Production and Trade of Illicit Drugs...6. Trafficking and Smuggling...7. Forced Labour and Forced Conscription...8. Deprivation of Livelihood...9. Environmental Degradation...10. Cyclone Nargis – From natural disaster to human catastrophe...11. Right to Health...12. Freedom of Belief and Religion...13. Freedom of Opinion, Expression and the Press...14. Freedom of Assembly, Association and Movement...15. Right to Education...16. Rights of the Child...17. The Rights of Women...18. Ethnic Minority Rights...19. Internal Displacement and Forced Relocation...20. The Situation of Refugees...21.The Situation of Migrant Workers...EACH OF THESE CHAPTERS CAN HE INDEPENDENTLY READ AND DOWNLOADED
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit of the NCGUB
      Format/size: html (21K - hyperlinked index ); pdf (13MB) 1092 pages - full pdf text
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/HRYB2008.pdf (full pdf text - 13MB)
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


      Title: Starving them out: Food shortages and exploitative abuse in Papun District
      Date of publication: 15 October 2009
      Description/subject: "As the 2009 rainy season draws to a close, displaced villagers in northern Papun District's Lu Thaw Township face little prospect of harvesting sufficient paddy to support them over the next year. After four straight agricultural cycles disrupted by Burma Army patrols, which continue to shoot villagers on sight and enforce travel and trade restrictions designed to limit sale of food to villagers in hiding, villagers in northern Papun face food shortages more severe than anything to hit the area since the Burma Army began attempts to consolidate control of the region in 1997. Consequently, the international donor community should immediately provide emergency support to aid groups that can access IDP areas in Lu Thaw Township. In southern Papun, meanwhile, villagers report ongoing abuses and increased activity by the SPDC and DKBA in Dwe Loh and Bu Thoh townships. In these areas, villagers report abuses including movement restrictions, forced labour, looting, increased placement of landmines in civilian areas, summary executions and other forms of arbitrary abuse. This report documents abuses occurring between May and October 2009..."
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2009-F18)
      Format/size: pdf (861 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f18.html
      http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg09f18_karen_language.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2009


      Title: IDP responses to food shortages in Nyaunglebin District
      Date of publication: 10 April 2009
      Description/subject: "Since the beginning of 2009, SPDC troops have patrolled areas near displaced hiding sites in Nyaunglebin District. These patrols prevent displaced villagers from cultivating their secret crops or otherwise accessing food, which in turn exacerbates food insecurity for these civilians. Despite such hardships, villagers have responded by cooperating with each other-often sharing food or helping each other cultivate crops and sell goods in 'jungle markets'. This report describes the situation of displaced villagers in Nyaunglebin District from December 2008 to March 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F7)
      Format/size: pdf (881 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f7.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      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)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.chro.ca/publications/special-reports.html
      Date of entry/update: 09 July 2008


      Title: Pa’an District: Land confiscation, forced labour and extortion undermining villagers’ livelihoods
      Date of publication: 11 February 2006
      Description/subject: "Villagers in northern Pa'an District of central Karen State say their livelihoods are under serious threat due to exploitation by SPDC military authorities and by their Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allies who rule as an SPDC proxy army in much of the region. Villages in the vicinity of the DKBA headquarters are forced to give much of their time and resources to support the headquarters complex, while villages directly under SPDC control face rape, arbitrary detention and threats to keep them compliant with SPDC demands. The SPDC plans to expand Dta Greh (a.k.a. Pain Kyone) village into a town in order to strengthen its administrative control over the area, and is confiscating about half of the village's productive land without compensation to build infrastructure which includes offices, army camps and a hydroelectric power dam - destroying the livelihoods of close to 100 farming families. Local villagers, who are already struggling to survive under the weight of existing demands, fear further forced labour and extortion as the project continues."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 February 2006


      Title: Starving Them Out: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 31 March 2000
      Description/subject: "This report consists of an Introduction and Executive Summary, followed by a detailed analysis of the situation supported by quotes from interviews and excerpts from SPDC order documents sent to villages in the region. As mentioned above, an Annex to this report containing the full text of the remaining interviews can be seen by following the link from the table of contents or from KHRG upon approved request..." Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-02)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Food Security and militarisation in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin Township, January to March 2012
      Date of publication: 20 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in March 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District. It provides information on rations resupply operations by Tatmadaw MOC #9 along the vehicle road from Kler La army camp to Bu Hsa Hkee army camp from January to March 2012, in which soldiers from MOC #9 and LID #66 burnt the vehicle road and the roadside in order to clear vegetation for security purposes, resulting in the destruction of villagers' cardamom and betelnut plantations. The community member also described attacks on villagers' livelihoods and food supply, with the burning of 177 acres of villagers' cardamom plantations by LID #66 alone at the end of March 2012. Recent evidence of abuse by IB #35, under the control of LID #66, in forced relocation sites, such as using villagers for forced labour to clear weeds around military camps, is also provided. In one instance, Y--- villagers responded to the burning of the vehicle road by clearing away dry leaves in order to prevent the fire from spreading to their adjacent plantations, however, MOC #9 soldiers proceeded to burn the villagers' plantations nonetheless."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (185K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b43.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 June 2012


      Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, October 2011
      Date of publication: 18 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2011 in Nyaunglebin District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Naw P---, a 42-year-old flat field farmer, who described her experiences being forcibly relocated by Tatmadaw troops, most recently in 2004 from D--- to T--- relocation village. Villagers continue to face movement restrictions, specifically a curfew which prevents villagers from leaving T--- after 6:00 pm, as well as demands from people's militia and Tatmadaw troops for food on a bi-monthly basis following troop rotations, and monthly demands for a big tin (16 kg. / 35.2 lb.) of rice. Payments are also reported in lieu of sentry duties for the Tatmadaw. An incident involving the disappearance and suspected killing of a previous village head in the past was also mentioned. Relocation is reported to have severely undermined villagers’ food security; food scarcity in the relocation village has been exacerbated by the area being more highly populated, with less agricultural land available for villagers to cultivate or on which to graze cattle, and as a consequence they are forced to purchase the bulk of their food in order to survive."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (249K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b42.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 June 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw E---, September 2011
      Date of publication: 06 April 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Daw Pah Koh Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed D--- village head, Saw E---, who described being forced to serve as a guide for Tatmadaw soldiers in an area known to contain landmines. He also provided information about an incident in which two L--- villagers, Saw M--- and Saw P---, were killed by landmines on June 15th 2011 whilst being forced to guide a group of Tatmadaw soldiers. Saw E--- raised concerns regarding villagers' livelihoods, which have been undermined as a result of abnormal weather conditions. He also explained that the standard of education at D--- village school has suffered as a result of the schoolteachers' absences. To counter forced labour demands levied by the Tatmadaw, Saw E--- described challenging the soldiers for whom he was forced to guide by demanding to know their battalion number and commander's name. He also reported that he had on an occasion only partially complied with their demands, supplying 10 villagers as opposed to the 20 ordered, and discussed how he successfully negotiated with Tatmadaw soldiers to reduce the number of times that he was forced to meet with them each week."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (167K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b34.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


      Title: Ongoing forced labour and movement restrictions in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 12 March 2012
      Description/subject: "In Toungoo District between November 2011 and February 2012 villagers in both Than Daung and Tantabin Townships have faced regular and ongoing demands for forced labour, as well movement and trade restrictions, which consistently undermine their ability to support themselves. During the last few months, the Tatmadaw has demanded villagers to support road-building activities by providing trucks and motorcycles to send food and materials, to drive in front of bulldozers in potentially-landmined areas, to clean brush, dig and flatten land during road-building, and to transport rations during MOC #9 resupply operations as recently as February 7th 2012."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (314K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12f1.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


      Title: Incident Report: Forced labour and killing in Toungoo District, July 2011
      Date of publication: 09 March 2012
      Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses, in Toungoo District. It describes an incident that occurred on July 13th 2011 between the villages of H--- and K--- in Than Daung Township, locally referred to as Daw Hpa Khoh Township, during which two villagers were killed when the soldiers for whom they were forced to guide from LIB # [censored for security] and # [censored for security] were attacked by the KNLA. The villager reported that following this event, the Tatmadaw soldiers proceeded to loot H--- villagers' houses. The families of the villagers who were killed are facing livelihood difficulties as a result, and have not received any compensation from the Tatmadaw. However, they have received support from members of the local church and from the KNU."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (163K,), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b24.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: November 2011 to January 2012
      Date of publication: 01 March 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2012, by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District during the period between November 2011 and January 2012. It discusses augmented troop rotations, resupply operations and the sending of bulldozers to construct a new vehicle road between the 20-mile point on the Toungoo – Kler La road and Kler La. It also contains reports of forced labour, specifically the use of villagers to porter military equipment and supplies, to serve as set tha, and the clearing of vegetation by vehicle roads. Movement restrictions were also highlighted as a major concern for villagers living both within and outside state control, as the imposition of permission documents and taxes limits the transportation of cash crops, and impacts the availability of basic commodities. The villager who wrote this report raised villagers' concerns about rising food prices, the lack of medicine due to government restrictions on its transportation from towns to mountainous areas, and the difficulty in obtaining an education in rural villages beyond grades three and four. The villager who wrote this report flagged the ongoing use of landmines by armed groups and noted that this poses serious physical security risks, particularly where villagers are not notified of landmine-contaminated areas, but also noted that some villagers view the use of landmines by non-state armed groups in positive terms as a deterrent of Tatmadaw activity."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (122K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b22.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw H---, March 2011
      Date of publication: 08 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during March 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District, by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw H---, a 34-year-old hillfield farmer and the head of N--- village. Saw H--- described an incident in which a 23-year-old villager stepped on and was killed by a landmine at the beginning of 2011, at the time when he, Saw H--- and three other villagers were returning to N--- after serving as unpaid porters for Border Guard soldiers based at Meh Bpa. Saw H--- also detailed demands for the collection and provision of bamboo poles for construction of soldiers’ houses at Gk’Ter Tee, as well as the payment of 400,000 kyat ((US $ 519.48) in lieu of the provision of porters to Maung Chit, Commander of Border Guard Battalion #1013, by villages in Meh Mweh village tract. These payments were described in the previous KHRG report "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, April 2011." Saw H--- also described demands for the provision of a pig to Border Guard soldiers three days before this interview took place and the beating of a villager by DKBA soldiers in 2010. He noted the ways in which movement restrictions that prevent villagers from travelling on rivers and sleeping in or bringing food to their farm huts negatively impact harvests and food security. Saw H--- explained that villagers respond to such concerns by sharing food amongst themselves, refusing to comply with forced labour demands, and cultivating relationships with non-state armed groups to learn the areas in which landmines have been planted."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (297K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b14.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 February 2012


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, August 2011
      Date of publication: 27 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during August 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 74 year-old Buddhist village head who described the planting of what he estimated to be about 100 landmines by government and non-state armed groups in the vicinity of his village. Saw T--- related ongoing instances of forced labour, specifically villagers forced to guide troops, porter military supplies and sweep for landmines, and described an incident in which two villagers stepped on landmines whilst being forced to serve as unpaid porters for Tatmadaw troops. He described a separate incident in which another villager stepped on and was killed by a landmine whilst fleeing from Border Guard soldiers who were attempting to force him to porter for one month. In both cases, victims' families received no compensation or opportunity for redress following their deaths. Saw T--- noted that landmines planted in agricultural areas have not been removed, rendering several hill fields unsafe to farm and resulting in the abandonment of crops. He illustrated the danger to villagers who travel to their agricultural workplaces by recounting an incident in which a villager's buffalo was injured by a landmine. He further explained that villagers' livelihoods have been additionally undermined by frequent demands for food and by looting of villagers' food and animals. Saw T--- highlighted the fact that demands are backed by explicit threats of violence, recounting an instance when he was threatened for failing to comply quicky by a Tatmadaw officer who held a gun to his head. Saw T--- noted that villagers have responded to negative impacts on their food production capacity by performing job for daily wages and sharing food with others and, in response to the lack of health facilities in their community, travel over two hours by foot to the nearest clinic in another village."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (299K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b9.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Thaton Interview: Daw Ny---, April 2011
      Date of publication: 27 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Pa’an Township, Thaton District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Daw Ny---, who described an incident which occurred in November 2010, during which Tatmadaw Border Guard soldiers fired small-arms at her husband without warning and without attempting to hail him, seriously injuring his leg and necessitating 3,800,000 kyat [US $4,935.06] in medical expenses, which has had a deleterious effect on her family’s financial situation. Daw Ny--- told the villager who conducted this interview that her husband was visited in hospital by government officials investigating the incident but that no compensation or redress was offered. Daw Ny--- also described arbitrary demands for food and money, and the illegal logging of teak trees from A--- village by Border Guard soldiers; she mentioned that the imbalance in local power dynamics between armed soldiers and unarmed villagers deters villagers from attempting to engage and negotiate with perpetrators. Daw Ny--- raised concerns about the lack of livelihoods opportunities, and corresponding food insecurity, for villagers who do not own farmland; she notes that, in spite of these challenges, villagers offer voluntary material support to schoolteachers and often attempt to support their livelihoods by selling firewood or cutting bamboo. Daw Ny--- notes that some villagers choose to seek employment opportunities in larger towns but strongly expresses her unwillingness to move to an urban area, believing that food insecurity would only be exacerbated by a lack of money and an absence of alternative livelihood opportunities."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (267K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b8.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Thaton Situation Update: Thaton Township, August 2011
      Date of publication: 20 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing ongoing abuses occurring in Thaton Township in 2011, including frequent demands for forced labour from six villages, for villagers to serve as guards at a Tatmadaw LIB #218 camp, and for payments in lieu of forced labour. It outlines some difficulties faced by civilians in pursuit of their livelihoods, including the negative impact of forced labour demands, the lack of employment options available for villagers attempting to support their families and the destruction of paddy crops caused by flooding during the 2011 monsoon. It details restrictions on access to healthcare, specifically the high cost of medical treatment at government clinics and the denial of access for healthcare groups, and also expresses villagers’ frustrations at obstacles to children’s education caused by the need for children to work to support their families and the prohibitive costs of school attendance and supplies."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (245K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b7.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Lu Thaw Township, November 2011
      Date of publication: 17 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager living in a hiding site in northern Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. The villager described an incident that occurred in October 2011 in which Tatmadaw soldiers fired six mortar shells into an area in which civilians are actively seeking to avoid attacks by Tatmadaw troops; no one was killed or injured during the attack. This situation update places the occurrence of such incidents in the context of the repeated and prolonged displacement of villagers in northern Luthaw who continue to actively seek to avoid contact with government troops due to ongoing attacks against civilian objects. The villager who wrote this report raised concerns about food shortages in hiding site areas where the presence of Tatmadaw soldiers proximate to previously cultivated land has resulted in overcrowding on available farmland and the subsequent degradation of soil quality, severely limiting villagers' abilities to support themselves using traditional rotational cropping methods. For detailed analysis of the humanitarian situation in this area of Luthaw Township, see the previous KHRG report Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District, published in April 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (274K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b3.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


      Title: Land confiscation threatens villagers' livelihoods in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 31 October 2011
      Description/subject: "In September 2011, residents of Je--- village, Kawkareik Township told KHRG that they feared soldiers under Tatmadaw Border Guard Battalion #1022 and LIBs #355 and #546 would soon complete the confiscation of approximately 500 acres of land in their community in order to develop a large camp for Battalion #1022 and homes for soldiers' families. According to the villagers, the area has already been surveyed and the Je--- village head has informed local plantation and paddy farm owners whose lands are to be confiscated. The villagers reported that approximately 167 acres of agricultural land, including seven rubber plantations, nine paddy farms, and seventeen betelnut and durian plantations belonging to 26 residents of Je--- have already been surveyed, although they expressed concern that more land would be expropriated in the future. The Je--- residents said that the village head had told them rubber plantation owners would be compensated according to the number of trees they owned, but that the villagers were collectively refusing compensation and avoiding attending a meeting at which they worried they would be ordered to sign over their land. The villagers that spoke with KHRG said they believed the Tatmadaw intended to take over their land in October after the end of the annual monsoon, and that this would seriously undermine livelihoods in a community in which many villagers depended on subsistence agriculture on established land. This bulletin is based on information collected by KHRG researchers in September and October 2011, including five interviews with residents of Je--- village, 91 photographs of the area, and a written record of lands earmarked for confiscation."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (453K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b41.html
      Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


      Title: Toungoo Situation Update: May to July 2011
      Date of publication: 31 October 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District between May and July 2011. It describes a series of trade and movement restrictions imposed on villagers in June and July 2011, due to frequent clashes between Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups, and road closures between Toungoo Town and Buh Sah Kee. The report also examines in detail the serious impacts the road closures have had on the livelihoods of villagers who have been unable to support themselves by transporting and selling agricultural produce and purchasing rice supplies as usual. The report further describes incidents of human rights abuse by Tatmadaw forces, including the summary execution of two civilians in July 2011 by soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #379; forced labour including the portering of military supplies, the production and supply of building materials, guide duty and sweeping for landmines; and an attack on a village previously reported by KHRG and the subsequent destruction of villagers' homes and food stores."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (357K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b42.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw C---, Received in May 2011
      Date of publication: 09 September 2011
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted prior to Burma's November 2010 elections in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw C---, a 30-year-old married hill field farmer who told KHRG that he was appointed to the position of village head by his local VPDC in an area of Te Naw Th’Ri Township that is frequently accessed by Tatmadaw troops, and in which there is no KNLA presence. Saw C--- described human rights abuses faced by residents of his village, including: demands for forced labour; theft and looting of villagers' property; and movement restrictions that prevent villagers from accessing agricultural workplaces. He also cited an incident in which a villager was shot and killed by Tatmadaw soldiers while fishing in a nearby river, and his death subsequently concealed; and recounted abuses he witnessed when forced to porter military rations and accompany Tatmadaw soldiers during foot patrols, including the theft and looting of villagers’ property and the rape of a 50-year-old woman. Saw C--- told KHRG that villagers protect themselves in the following ways: collecting flowers from the jungle to sell in local markets in order to supplement incomes, failing to comply with orders to report to a Tatmadaw camp, and using traditional herbal remedies due to difficulties accessing healthcare. He noted, however, that these strategies can be limited, for example by threats of violence against civilians by Tatmadaw soldiers or scarcity of plants commonly used in herbal remedies."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (169K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b29.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


      Title: Militarization, Development and Displacement: Conditions for villagers in southern Tenasserim Division
      Date of publication: 22 March 2011
      Description/subject: "Villagers in Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division face human rights abuses and threats to their livelihoods, attendant to increasing militarization of the area following widespread forced relocation campaigns in the late 1990s. Efforts to support and strengthen Tatmadaw presence throughout Te Naw Th'Ri have resulted in practices that facilitate control over the civilian population and extract material and labour resources while at the same time preventing non-state armed groups from operating or extracting resources of their own. Villagers who seek to evade military control and associated human rights abuses, meanwhile, report Tatmadaw attacks on civilians and civilian livelihoods in upland hiding areas. This report draws primarily on information received between September 2009 and November 2010 from Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (481K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f3.html
      Date of entry/update: 26 February 2012


      Title: SPDC shelling destroys villagers' rubber plantations in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 20 May 2010
      Description/subject: "Two villagers have lost nearly 3,000 rubber trees in a fire started when SPDC soldiers from IB #548 fired mortars into their plantations as the men fled in anticipation of fighting between IB #548 and a patrol of KNLA troops on April 23rd 2010. The men will attempt to replant their plantations, but have each effectively lost four-year investments of labour and money..."
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B8)
      Format/size: pdf (329K - English version; 501K - Karen version)
      Alternate URLs: SPDC shelling destroys villagers' rubber plantations in Dooplaya District
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


      Title: Starving them out: Food shortages and exploitative abuse in Papun District
      Date of publication: 15 October 2009
      Description/subject: "As the 2009 rainy season draws to a close, displaced villagers in northern Papun District's Lu Thaw Township face little prospect of harvesting sufficient paddy to support them over the next year. After four straight agricultural cycles disrupted by Burma Army patrols, which continue to shoot villagers on sight and enforce travel and trade restrictions designed to limit sale of food to villagers in hiding, villagers in northern Papun face food shortages more severe than anything to hit the area since the Burma Army began attempts to consolidate control of the region in 1997. Consequently, the international donor community should immediately provide emergency support to aid groups that can access IDP areas in Lu Thaw Township. In southern Papun, meanwhile, villagers report ongoing abuses and increased activity by the SPDC and DKBA in Dwe Loh and Bu Thoh townships. In these areas, villagers report abuses including movement restrictions, forced labour, looting, increased placement of landmines in civilian areas, summary executions and other forms of arbitrary abuse. This report documents abuses occurring between May and October 2009..."
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2009-F18)
      Format/size: pdf (861 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f18.html
      http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg09f18_karen_language.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 24 October 2009


      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: pdf (850 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f16.html
      Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


      Title: Livelihood consequences of SPDC restrictions and patrols in Nyaunglebin District
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "This report presents information on abuses in Nyaunglebin District for the period of April to July 2009. Though Nyaunglebin saw a reduction in SPDC activities during the first six months of 2009, patrols resumed in July. Since then, IDP villagers attempting to evade SPDC control report that they have subsequently been unable to regularly access farm fields or gardens, exacerbating cycles of food shortages set in motion by the northern Karen State offensive which began in 2006. Other villagers, from the only nominally controlled villages in the Nyaunglebin's eastern hills to SPDC-administered relocation sites in the west, meanwhile, report abuses including forced labour, conscription into government militia, travel restrictions and the torture of two village leaders for alleged contact with the KNLA..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F15)
      Format/size: pdf (821 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f15.html
      Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


      Title: SPDC and DKBA order documents: August 2008 to June 2009
      Date of publication: 27 August 2009
      Description/subject: "This report includes translated copies of 75 order documents issued by Burma Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officers to village heads in Karen State between August 2008 and June 2009. These documents serve as supplementary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. The report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding the regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject by local military forces. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and alcohol; the production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on road repair; the provision of information on individuals and households; registration of villagers in State-controlled 'NGOs'; and restrictions on travel and the use of muskets. In almost all cases, such demands are uncompensated and backed by an implicit threat of violence or other punishment for non-compliance. Almost all demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involve some element of forced labour in their implementation..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2009-04 )
      Format/size: pfd (1.2 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0904.html
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


      Title: Abuse, Poverty and Migration: Investigating migrants' motivations to leave home in Burma
      Date of publication: 10 July 2009
      Description/subject: "International reporting of the large-scale migration of those leaving Burma in search of work abroad has highlighted the perils for migrant during travel and in host countries. However, there has been a lack of research in the root causes of this migration. Identifying the root causes of migration has important implications for the assistance and protection of these migrants. Drawing on over 150 interviews with villagers in rural Burma and those from Burma who have sought employment abroad, this report identifies the exploitative abuse underpinning poverty and livelihoods vulnerability in Burma which, in turn, are major factors motivating individuals to leave home and seek work abroad..." _Thailand-based interviewees explained to KHRG how exploitative abuses increased poverty, livelihoods vulnerability and food insecurity for themselves and their communities in Burma. These issues were in turn cited as central push factors compelling them to leave their homes and search for work abroad. In some cases, interviewees explained that the harmful effects of exploitative abuse were compounded by environmental and economic factors such as flood and drought and limited access to decent wage labour.[17] While the individuals interviewed by KHRG in Thailand would normally be classified as 'economic migrants', the factors which they cited as motivating their choice to migrate make it clear that SPDC abuse made it difficult for them to survive in their home areas. Hence, these people decided to become migrants not simply because they were lured to Thailand by economic incentives, but because they found it impossible to survive at home in Burma. Clearly, the distinction between push and pull factors is blurred in the case of Burmese migrants. The concept of pull factors for migrants is further complicated because migrants are not merely seeking better jobs abroad, but are instead pulled to places like Thailand and Malaysia in order to access protection. For refugees and IDPs, protection is a service that is often provided by government bodies, UN agencies and international NGOs. For refugees in particular, protection is often primarily understood to mean legal protection against refoulement - defined as the expulsion of a person to a place where they would face persecution. Beyond legal protection against refoulement, aid agencies have implemented specific forms of rights-based assistance, such as gender-based violence programmes, as part of their protection mandates. However, for migrants from Burma the act of leaving home is overwhelmingly a self-initiated protection strategy through which individuals can ensure their and their families' basic survival in the face of persistent exploitative and other abuse in their home areas. This broader understanding of protection goes beyond legal protection against refoulement and the top-down delivery of rights-based assistance by aid agencies. It involves actions taken by individuals on their own accord to lessen or avoid abuse and its harmful effects at home.[18] KHRG has chosen to use the term self-initiated protection strategy, rather than a more generic concept like 'survival strategy', in order to highlight the political agency of those who choose such migration. By seeing this protection in political terms, one can better understand both the abusive underpinnings of migration from Burma as well as the relevance of such migration to the protection mandates of governments, UN agencies and international NGOs currently providing support to conventional refugee populations. Understanding protection in this way presents opportunities for external support for the many self-initiated protection strategies (including efforts to secure employment without exploitation, support dependent family members, enrol children in school and avoid arrest, extortion and deportation) which migrant workers regularly use._
      Language: English, Burmese, Thai
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2009-03)
      Format/size: pdf (English Version: 2.6 MB), (Burmese Version: 383 KB, Thai version 991K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0903.html
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/KHRG%20Migrant%20report-Thai%20translation.pdf
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0903_burmese_lang.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2009


      Title: Food crisis: The cumulative impact of abuse in rural Burma
      Date of publication: 29 April 2009
      Description/subject: Systematic militarisation and widespread exploitation of the civilian population by military forces have created poverty, malnutrition and a severe food crisis in Karen State and other parts of rural Burma. This crisis requires urgent attention by the international community - with intervention shaped by the concerns of villagers themselves. This briefer outlines the human rights abuses which have caused the food crisis; the combined impacts of these abuses upon civilian communities; the ways in which villagers have responded to and resisted abuse; and the actions that can be taken by the international community to alleviate the current crisis and to prevent future cycles of abuse and malnutrition in rural Burma.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (1.74K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0902.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2009


      Title: Networks of Noncompliance: Grassroots resistance and sovereignty in militarised Burma
      Date of publication: 10 November 2008
      Description/subject: "...This paper examines state repression and state-society conflict in Burma through the lens of rural and urban resistance strategies. It finds very well developed 'networks of noncompliance' through which civilians evade and undermine state control over their lives, and that SPDC's brutal tactics represent not control, but a lack of control. Using concrete examples, the paper argues that outside agencies ignore this state-society struggle over sovereignty at their peril: by ignoring the interplay of intervention with local politics and militarisation, claiming a 'humanitarian neutrality' which is impossible in practice, and portraying civilians as helpless pawns, those who intervene and those who document the situation risk undermining the very civilians they wish to help, while facilitating further state repression. It calls for greater honesty and awareness in interventions, combined with greater outside engagement with villagers in their resistance strategies. Only days after this paper was first presented at the Yale University Agrarian Studies Colloquium, some of its cautions about the naïveté of claiming humanitarian neutrality in Burma's politicised and militarised context were tragically realised, when Cyclone Nargis devastated parts of the country and international aid agencies were forced to confront firsthand the SPDC's raw disdain for its own civilian population. Some gave in and chanelled aid through the Burmese military, much of which never reached the target populations...".....Paper for Agrarian Studies Colloquium, April 25, 2008 by Kevin Malseed, Advisor, Karen Human Rights Group Program Fellow in Agrarian Studies, Yale University
      Author/creator: Kevin Malseed
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
      Format/size: pdf (426 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08w3.html
      Date of entry/update: 25 November 2009


      Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 01 August 2008
      Description/subject: "SPDC troops have continued to target internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Toungoo District. Civilians continue be killed or injured by the attacks while many of the survivors flee their homes and take shelter in forest hiding sites. Some who have moved into SPDC forced relocation sites continue to secretly return to their villages to cultivate their crops, constantly risking punishment or execution by troops patrolling the areas. The SPDC's repeated disruption of regular planting cycles has created a food crisis in Toungoo, further endangering the IDPs living there. This report examines the abuses in Toungoo District from April to June 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F9)
      Format/size: pdf (880 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f9.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: Villagers risk arrest and execution to harvest their crops
      Date of publication: 04 December 2007
      Description/subject: "The months of November and December which follow the annual cessation of the rainy season mark the traditional harvest time for the agrarian communities of Karen State when villagers must venture out into their fields in order to reap their ripe paddy crops. Across large areas of Toungoo District, however, where the SPDC lacks a consolidated hold on the civilian population, this time of year has become especially perilous as the Army enforces sweeping movement restrictions backed up by a shoot on sight policy in order to eradicate the entire civilian presence in areas outside its control and restrict the population to military-controlled villages and relocation sites where they can be more easily exploited for labour, money, food and other supplies. Displaced communities in hiding thus risk potential arrest and execution by venturing out into the relatively open area of their hill side agricultural fields where they are more easily spotted by SPDC troops who regularly patrol the area. Yet, because of the Army's persistent attacks against covert farm fields, food stores and displaced communities in hiding these villagers confront a severe food shortage which has increased pressure on them to tend to their covert fields despite the risks. As a consequence some villagers have already lost their lives; having been shot by SPDC soldiers while attempting to tend their crops and address their community's rising food insecurity..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F11)
      Format/size: pdf (817 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f11.html
      Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


      Title: State agencies, armed groups and the proliferation of oppression in Thaton District
      Date of publication: 24 September 2007
      Description/subject: "Throughout SPDC-controlled areas of Karen State the regime has been developing civilian agencies as extensions of military authority. On top of this, the junta has continued to strengthen the more traditional forms of militarisation and, at least in Thaton District, has firmly backed the expansion of DKBA military operations to control the civilian population and eradicate KNLA forces which continue to actively patrol the area. The people of Thaton District thus face a myriad of State agencies and armed groups which have overburdened them with demands for labour, money and supplies. While engaging with these groups, addressing the demands placed on them and attending to their own livelihoods, local villagers have sought to manage a delicate balance of seemingly impossible weights..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F7)
      Format/size: pdf (1 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f7.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 09 August 2007
      Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
      Format/size: pdf (1.24 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f6.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: The Compounding Consequences of DKBA Oppression: Abuse, poverty and food insecurity in Thaton District
      Date of publication: 09 July 2007
      Description/subject: "As the principal means of establishing control over the people of Thaton District, the SPDC has supported a more aggressive DKBA role in the area. With the junta's political, military and financial backing the DKBA has sought to expand its numbers, strengthen its position vis-à-vis the civilian population and eradicate the remaining KNU/KNLA presence in the region. To those ends, the DKBA has used forced labour, looting, extortion, land confiscation and movement restrictions and embarked on a hostile campaign of forced recruitment from amongst the local population. These abuses have eroded village livelihoods, leading to low harvest yields and wholly failed crops; problems which compound over time and progressively deepen poverty and malnourishment. With the onset of the rainy season and the 2007 cultivation period, villagers in Thaton District are faced with depleting provisions. This food insecurity will require that many harvest their 2007 crop as early as October while still unripe. The low yield of an early harvest, lost time spent on forced labour and the harmful fallout of further extortion and other abuses will all combine to ensure once again that villagers in Thaton District confront food shortages and increasing poverty..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F5)
      Format/size: pdf (527 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f5.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Provoking Displacement in Toungoo District: Forced labour, restrictions and attacks
      Date of publication: 30 May 2007
      Description/subject: "The first half of 2007 has seen the continued flight of civilians from their homes and land in response to ongoing State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military operations in Toungoo District. While in some cases this displacement is prompted by direct military attacks against their villages, many civilians living in Toungoo District have told KHRG that the primary catalyst for relocation has been the regular demands for labour, money and supplies and the restrictions on movement and trade imposed by SPDC forces. These everyday abuses combine over time to effectively undermine civilian livelihoods, exacerbate poverty and make subsistence untenable. Villagers threatened with such demands and restrictions frequently choose displacement in response - initially to forest hiding sites located nearby and then farther afield to larger Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps or across the border to Thailand-based refugee camps. This report presents accounts of ongoing abuses in Toungoo District committed by SPDC forces during the period of January to May 2007 and their role in motivating local villagers to respond with flight and displacement..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F4)
      Format/size: pdf (527 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f4.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Oppression by proxy in Thaton District
      Date of publication: 21 December 2006
      Description/subject: "With the onset of the cold season the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) has been able to push ahead with military attacks against villages and displaced communities in the northern districts of Karen State. In Thaton District and other areas further south, however, the military is more firmly in control, fewer displaced communities are able to remain in hiding, and SPDC rule is facilitated by the presence of its ally the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). By increasingly relying on DKBA forces to administer Thaton, the SPDC has been able to free up soldiers and resources which can then be deployed elsewhere. To force the civilian population into submission, the DKBA has scoured villages throughout Thaton - detaining, interrogating and torturing villagers and conscripting them to serve as army porters. Commensurate with its increased control over the civilian population, DKBA soldiers have subjected villagers to regular extortion, arbitrary and excessive 'taxation', forced labour, land confiscation and restrictions on movement, trade and education which all serve to support ongoing military rule in Thaton. By systematising control over local villagers, the SPDC and DKBA have been able to implement 'development' projects that financially benefit and further entrench the military hierarchy. Amongst such initiatives, the construction in Thaton District of the United Nations-supported Asian Highway, connecting Burma with neighbouring countries, has involved uncompensated land confiscation and forced labour..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F11)
      Format/size: pdf (619 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f11.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Starving Them Out: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Date of publication: 31 March 2000
      Description/subject: "This report consists of an Introduction and Executive Summary, followed by a detailed analysis of the situation supported by quotes from interviews and excerpts from SPDC order documents sent to villages in the region. As mentioned above, an Annex to this report containing the full text of the remaining interviews can be seen by following the link from the table of contents or from KHRG upon approved request..." Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-02)
      Format/size: html
      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: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #98-C2
      Date of publication: 24 November 1998
      Description/subject: "..."Things are getting more difficult every day. Even the Burmese leaders capture each other and put each other in jail. If they can capture and imprison even the people who have authority, then how are the villagers supposed to tolerate them? That’s why the villagers are fleeing from Burma." - Dta La Ku elder (M, 44) from Dooplaya district (Report #98-09) There is no doubt that life is currently becoming worse for the vast majority of people in Burma, in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, people are plagued by high inflation, rapidly increasing prices for basic commodities such as rice and basic foodstuffs, the tumbling value of the Kyat, wages which are not enough to feed oneself, corruption by all arms of the military and civil service, and the ever-present fear of arbitrary arrest for the slightest act or statement that betrays opposition to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) junta..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG #98-C2)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


    • Food Security and nutrition

      Individual Documents

      Title: "Health Messenger" Magazine No. 26 -- special issue on Nutrition
      Date of publication: December 2004
      Description/subject: General Health: Underlying causes of malnutrition -- Why health workers should feel concerned by nutritional issues? Misconceptions Concerning Nutrition: Voices of Community Health Educators and TBAs along the Thai-Burmese Border; Micronutrients: The Hidden Hunger; Iron Deficiency Anaemia; The Vicious Circle of Malnutrition and Infection; Treatment: IDENTIFYING MALNUTRITION; MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE SEVERE MALNUTRITION; GROWTH MONITORING: THE BEST PREVENTION; Fortified Flour for Refugees living in the camp; Making Blended Flour at Local Level; The example of MISOLA Flour in Africa. Health Education: Pregnancy and Nutrition; Breastfeeding; WHEN RICE SOUP IS NOT ENOUGH: First Foods - the Key to Optimal Growth and Development; BUILDING A BALANCED DIET FOR GOOD HEALTH; From the Field: How Sanetun became a malnourished child?
      Language: Burmese, English
      Source/publisher: Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI)
      Format/size: pdf (5.2MB)
      Date of entry/update: 01 July 2007


      Title: Promoting household food and nutrition security in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: "Myanmar has a policy of promoting food and nutrition security and, at the national level, food production is more than that required to meet the country’s needs. Nevertheless, food and nutrition surveillance has revealed that malnutrition still exists in the country, despite economic growth and national food self-sufficiency. The National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, formulated in 1994 and adopted in 1995, accorded priority to household food and nutrition security. Accordingly, in 1996, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Nutrition Centre embarked on a study of household food and nutrition security in Myanmar. A preliminary situation analysis revealed that transitional changes in the economic, demographic and social sectors have driven dramatic changes in people’s lifestyles, behaviour and practices and that these changes affect food and nutrition security. The present paper explores household and intrahousehold determinants of nutrition problems in Myanmar.".....Results Preliminary descriptive analysis demonstrated more acute malnutrition in the urban area than in the rural area for both the pre- and post-harvest periods. Furthermore, nutritional problems were more acute in both the urban and rural areas during the preharvest period than during the post-harvest period. Urban children consumed fewer calories than rural children during both the pre- and post-harvest times, while children in both rural and urban areas consumed fewer calories during the preharvest period than during the postharvest period, although all the differences were not statistically significant......Keywords: care of the vulnerable, food security, malnutrition, Myanmar, National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.
      Author/creator: Aye Thwin MPH (NUTRITION), DFs&N, MB, BS
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2001) 10(Suppl.): S34–S39
      Format/size: pdf (231`K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 October 2009


    • Food Security and the economy in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: Rural Households' Food Security Status and Coping Strategies to Food Insecurity in Myanmar
      Date of publication: February 2009
      Description/subject: "...This study will examine the food (rice) availability at the national level using the official and FAO data. Second, a case study in the rice deficit region (Dry Zone) will present the characteristics and food security status of the farm and non-farm rural households (landless) and the determinants of food security. The Dry Zone was chosen to study because the EC & FAO (2007) classified this region as the most vulnerable area of the country. Furthermore, the FAO projected that the Net Primary Production would be decreased significantly in the Dry Zone in the next two decades. It is essential to collect the primary and secondary data on food availability, access, stability and utilization for understanding the current reality of food security at both macro and micro level... Objectives of the Study: > To assess the food (rice) availability at the national level by using indicators of trend of production index, growth rate of sown area, production and yield, average availability of rice, average per capita rice consumption, rice surplus, dietary energy supply of rice, share of food expenditure in total budget, self-sufficiency ratio, trends in domestic prices of rice and the estimated effects of the Nargis cyclone on rice self-sufficiency. > To investigate the rural household's access to food in terms of human capital, food production, household income, asset ownership, and income diversification of farm and non-farm (landless) households. > To examine the farm and non-farm household's food security status by applying the national food poverty line and the index of coping strategies method along with some indicators such as food share in the household budget, percentage of food expenditure in the total household income, and nutrition security indicators of access to safe drinking water, sanitation, diseases, and number of children death.
      Author/creator: Dolly Kyaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (V.R.F. Series No. 444)
      Format/size: pdf (656K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


    • Food Security in Burma - Natural disasters including Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath
      Description/subject: * Cyclone Nargis and its aftermath: major sources (3) * Cyclone Nargis: Individual documents (70) * Burma Cyclone Update (NCGUB) (2) * Cyclone Nargis - Food (5) * Cyclone Nargis - Health (8) * Cyclone Nargis - Logistics (1) * Cyclone Nargis - OCHA Situation Reports and Hub Updates (55) In addition to the Situation Reports, which began 4 April 2008, OCHA now issues Hub Updates focussing on the areas hardest-hit by Cyclone Nargis. * Cyclone Nargis - Protection (8) * Cyclone Nargis - Water and Sanitation (2) * Cyclone Nargis - visual images (2)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Nargis - May 2008 - Food Sector
      Description/subject: 367 reports including maps (as of August 2009) from UN agencies and NGOs on food security issues related to Cyclone Nargis.
      Language: English, French, Spanish
      Source/publisher: ReliefWeb
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Individual Documents

      Title: Is the SPDC diverting aid on ethnic grounds?
      Date of publication: 14 May 2008
      Description/subject: "According to recent reports received by KHRG from residents of the Irrawaddy Delta, the SPDC has not only been restricting aid supplies and access by international humanitarian workers, but has also been doing so on the basis of ethnicity. Increasing reports on the military's restrictions and misappropriation of aid supplies necessitate immediate international investigation, as all affected residents of the delta regardless of their ethnicity remain in urgent need humanitarian assistance. The regime's obstructions of humanitarian aid increasingly appear to fall under the criteria of crimes against humanity. In such a case, the responsibility to protect this population falls on the international community..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentaries (KHRG #2008-B5)
      Format/size: pdf (49 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08c1.html
      Date of entry/update: 16 November 2009


      Title: Food Security and Natural Disasters: Country Status Paper (Myanmar)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ESCAP
      Format/size: pdf (35K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2012


    • Policies leading to food insecurity in Burma

      Individual Documents

      Title: The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’ - The war on food sovereignty in Burma
      Date of publication: 03 September 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma's dramatic turn-around from 'axis of evil' to western darling in the past year has been imagined as Asia's 'final frontier' for global finance institutions, markets and capital. Burma's agrarian landscape is home to three-fourths of the country's total population which is now being constructed as a potential prime investment sink for domestic and international agribusiness. The Global North's development aid industry and IFIs operating in Burma has consequently repositioned itself to proactively shape a pro-business legal environment to decrease political and economic risks to enable global finance capital to more securely enter Burma's markets, especially in agribusiness. But global capitalisms are made in localized places - places that make and are made from embedded social relations. This paper uncovers how regional political histories that are defined by very particular racial and geographical undertones give shape to Burma's emerging agro-industrial complex. The country's still smoldering ethnic civil war and fragile untested liberal democracy is additionally being overlain with an emerging war on food sovereignty. A discursive and material struggle over land is taking shape to convert subsistence agricultural landscapes and localized food production into modern, mechanized industrial agro-food regimes. This second agrarian transformation is being fought over between a growing alliance among the western development aid and IFI industries, global finance capital, and a solidifying Burmese military-private capitalist class against smallholder farmers who work and live on the country's now most valuable asset - land. Grassroots resistances increasingly confront the elite capitalist class' attempts to corporatize food production through the state's rule of law and police force. Farmers, meanwhile, are actively developing their own shared vision of food sovereignty and pro-poor land reform that desires greater attention.... Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.
      Author/creator: Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (593K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


      Title: The role of coercive measures in forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: 17 March 2008
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "Most relevant reports and surveys I have been able to access state essentially that people from all parts of Burma leave home either in obedience to a direct relocation order from the military or civil authorities or as a result of a process whereby coercive measures imposed by the authorities play a major role in forcing down household incomes to the point where the family cannot survive. At this point, leaving home may seem to be the only option. These factors, which include direct forced relocation, forced labour, extortion and land confiscation, operate in, are affected by and exacerbate a situation of widespread poverty, rising inflation and declining real incomes. In other words, people leave home due to a combination of coercive and economic factors. One has to consider the whole process leading to displacement rather than a single, immediate cause. Where coercive measures, as described in this article, are involved, the resulting population movement falls under the Guiding Principles even if the situation that actually triggers movement, frequently food insecurity, may also be described in economic terms."
      Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Andrew Bosson
      Format/size: pdf (47K)
      Date of entry/update: 17 March 2008


      Title: Forced migration/internal displacement in Burma - with an emphasis on government-controlled areas
      Date of publication: May 2007
      Description/subject: This report is a preliminary exploration of forced migration/internal displacement in Burma/Myanmar in two main areas. The first is the status in terms of international standards, specifically those embodied in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, of the people who leave home not because of conflict or relocation orders, but as a result of a range of coercive measures which drive down incomes to the point that the household economy collapses and people have no choice but to leave home. Some analysts describe this form of population movement as "economic migration" since it has an economic dimension. The present report, however, looks at the coercive nature of the pressures which contribute to the collapse of the household economy and argues that their compulsory and irresistible nature brings this kind of population movement squarely into the field of forced migration, even though the immediate cause of leaving home may also be described in economic terms... The second area is geographic. The report looks at those parts of Burma not covered by the IDP Surveys of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, which concentrate on the conflict and post-conflict areas of Eastern Burma. It hardly touches on conflict-induced displacement since most parts of Burma covered in these pages, including the major cities, are government-controlled, and there is little overt military conflict in these States and Divisions. Within these parts of the country, the report looks at the coercive measures referred to above. It also carries reports of direct relocation by government agents through which whole rural and urban communities are removed from their homes and either ordered to go to specific places, or else left to their own devices. The report annexes contain more than 500 pages of documentation on forced displacement and causes of displacement in Arakan, Chin, Kachin and Eastern and Northern Shan States as well as Irrawaddy, Magwe, Mandalay, West Pegu, Rangoon and Sagaing Divisions. It also has a section on displacement within urban and peri-urban areas.
      Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
      Format/size: pdf (717K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs4/IDMC-Burma_report_mai07.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 15 May 2007


      Title: Pa'an District: Food Security in Crisis for Civilians in Rural Areas
      Date of publication: 30 March 2005
      Description/subject: Released on March 30, 2005... This bulletin examines the factors causing many villagers in Pa'an district to say that they now face a deepening food and money shortage crisis which is threatening their health and survival. Based on villagers' testimony, the main factors appear to be recurring forced labour for both SPDC and DKBA authorities, made worse in some areas by orders for farmers to double-crop on their land and the encroachment of new SPDC military bases on villages and farmland.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B3)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


      Title: Rich Periphery, Poor Center: Myanmar's Rural Economy
      Date of publication: March 2004
      Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper looks at the case of Myanmar in order to investigate the behavior and welfare of rural households in an economy under transition from a planned to a market system. Myanmar's case is particularly interesting because of the country's unique attempt to preserve a policy of intervention in land transactions and marketing institutions. A sample household survey that we conducted in 2001, covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, revealed two paradoxes. First, income levels are higher in villages far from the center than in villages located in regions under the tight control of the central authorities. Second, farmers and villages that emphasize a paddy-based, irrigated cropping system have lower farming incomes than those that do not. The reason for these paradoxes are the distortions created by agricultural policies that restrict land use and the marketing of agricultural produce. Because of these distortions, the transition to a market economy in Myanmar since the late 1980s is only a partial one. The partial transition, which initially led to an increase in output and income from agriculture, revealed its limit in the survey period."...There are 2 versions of this paper. The one placed as the main URL, which also has a later publication date, seems to be longer, though it is about 30K smaller.
      Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto, Kyosuke Kurita, Takashi Kurosaki and Koichi Fujita
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: IDE ( Institute of Developing Economies) Discussion Paper No. 23
      Format/size: pdf (213K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.econ.yale.edu/conference/neudc03/papers/1d-kurosaki.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


      Title: MYANMAR: AGRICULTURAL SECTOR REVIEW INVESTMENT STRATEGY VOLUME 1 – SECTOR REVIEW
      Date of publication: 2004
      Description/subject: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The Government of Myanmar has made it clear that it recognises the crucial importance of a dynamic, liberalised agricultural sector to the country, describing it as the ‘base’ for national economic growth and calling for the evolution of a ‘market-oriented economic system’ as a key economic objective, while the first policy declaration of the MOAI is ‘to allow freedom of choice in agricultural production’. Yet more than a decade after the commencement of the transition from the previous Socialist regime, many aspects of the agricultural and rural economy remain substantially under Government control or influence, including the choice of crops to be planted, priorities for agricultural research and extension, access to inputs, processing and international trade... The enormous potentials inherent in the agricultural and rural economy of Myanmar outlined in this document will continue to go unrealised unless the liberalisation process started in the late 1980s is encouraged to fully evolve. Although moves such as the liberalisation of rice marketing in 2003 should be welcomed, their impact is often reduced by a subsequent tightening of state controls – as indeed has been the case with the reintroduction of the prohibition on private sector exports of rice just a few months later. This study has identified a number of important technical issues that need to be addressed in order to facilitate the growth of the sector1, however, it must be understood that the impact of investment in the rural sector will be greatly lessened in the absence of continued liberalisation measures... The three policy areas which are exerting the greatest influence on sector development at this time are those relating to rural financial services, international trade and directed production. The liberalisation of rural finances is critical because state-controlled structures (e.g. MADB) are currently unable to provide farmers and other rural entrepreneurs with access to the financing they need to increase productivity. This lack of financing reduces the use of inputs, limits the adoption of new technologies, constrains the development of unutilised land and encourages low cost/low output production. Furthermore, by forcing rural populations to use much higher cost credit from informal sources it is, without doubt, a major factor in increasing rural indebtedness and poverty. Limitations on access to international markets are almost equally important, as they prevent the sector from identifying, and responding to, those opportunities which will provide the greatest returns, both for their families and for the country as a whole. The result has been to distort production patterns towards perceived national priorities, at the expense of economic growth. Finally, the continued use of directed production for perceived strategic crops limits the ability of the agricultural sector to seek out and adopt the most productive and profitable activities, effectively preventing its evolution in a rapidly changing world... The temptation to solve economic problems through direct intervention is an age old one, and it is not surprising that the Government sees intervention as an effective instrument for achieving short-term goals, such as maintaining low consumer prices, guaranteeing supplies, or reducing expenditure of scarce foreign currency – even when this is in conflict with its own broader national policies. Nevertheless, action in one area has inevitable consequences elsewhere, many of which may not be anticipated. As many countries have discovered, one intervention often requires another intervention to resolve an unintended side-effect. Consequently, such intervention should be used very sparingly, if at all, and alternative approaches, which do not conflict with basic national policies should be sought instead... With ASEAN integration now a likely prospect in the medium term, growing pressures from international globalisation, and strong indications of increasing poverty in rural areas, a continuation of the partial liberalization regime effectively in place at the moment will prove difficult to maintain and is likely to further constrain economic growth and development. Myanmar may ultimately have to choose between broad choices: To return to the socialist model of the 1970s and 1980s, and in so doing effectively disconnect the country from the international and regional economic system; or to push forward with existing national policies of economic liberalisation and realize the great potential of Myanmar as an agricultural producer and exporter. While the second choice will bring with it many challenges, few doubt that the agricultural sector in Myanmar can be a competitive force in the world economy, and the growth that such competitiveness would bring could both reduce rural poverty and catalyse the development of the rest of the economy. 14.95 Finally, it is worth noting that experience across a broad spectrum of developing countries has shown that food security is most prevalent when national policies influencing the productive sectors of the economy have a marked pro-poor orientation. In a predominantly rural economy such as that of Myanmar, agricultural growth provides the most opportunities for pro-poor development, as long as the poor are central to the process. This requires not only access to appropriate technical, financial and physical resources for production, as well as associated services such as health, sanitation, water supply and education, but also an economic and policy environment which enables rural households to respond to market demand and benefit from their contribution to national growth.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
      Format/size: pdf (2.1MB)
      Date of entry/update: 27 November 2007


      Title: Current Economic Conditions in Myanmar and Options for Sustainable Growth
      Date of publication: May 2003
      Description/subject: Abstract: In this paper, an extensive report on the economy of Myanmar prepared in 1998 is supplemented by more recent reports as of fall 2002 (included as appendices). The economy of Myanmar is one of the poorest in South East Asia. Despite relatively rapidly growth during the 1990’s, per capita income by 1998 was little higher than in the middle 1980s. Inflation rates are high, the currency value has fallen sharply, and Myanmar has one of the world’s lowest rates relative to income of government revenue and non-military spending. Agriculture in Myanmar has an unusually high share (59%) of GDP. Despite a high reported growth rate, yields for most food crops have remained stagnant or dropped. Poor price incentives and credit systems constrain agricultural production. As of 1998, farm wages are barely enough to provide food, with nothing left over for clothing, school fees, supplies, or medicine. Environmental problems including deteriorating water supply and diminishing common property resources further impact the poor. Industry suffers from limited credit, fluctuating power supplies, inflation and exchange rate instability. A possible bright spot is offshore gas potential. However, much of the expected revenue from offshore gas development may already have been pledged as collateral for expenditure prior to 1998, and thus will go primarily to service debt. Recent evidence summarized in a paper by Debbie Aung Din Taylor (Appendix 3) indicates that most people in rural areas are much worse off today than a decade ago. Decline in agricultural production is aggravated by severe degradation of the natural resource base. River catchment areas are denuded of forest cover, leading to more frequent and severe flooding. Fish stocks and water supplies are diminishing. These trends are pervasive and reaching a critical level. Assistance is urgently needed to provide the rural poor. Sustained international attention is needed to reverse the current rapid decline of economy and environment.
      Author/creator: David Dapice
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University
      Format/size: pdf (83,7K)
      Date of entry/update: 21 September 2004


      Title: Signs of Distress: Observations on agriculture, poverty and the environment in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 22 November 2002
      Description/subject: "...Why does food production in Myanmar appear to be in trouble? Although quantitative information is sparse, there is sufficient evidence to suggest three main reasons for declining agricultural production. These three reasons are: inadequate credit, unstable and restrictive market policies and mandatory cropping. Together, these three conditions act as powerful disincentives to national production..."
      Author/creator: Debbie Aung Din Taylor
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: School of Advanced International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
      Format/size: pdf (96K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2009


  • Food security by State and Division

    • Food Security in Chin State

      Individual Documents

      Title: Food Security Surveillance survey Comparative Report Southern Chin State, Kanpetlet Township
      Date of publication: October 2011
      Description/subject: June and October 2011..."Solidarites International (SI) started its intervention in Kanpetlet Township, Southern Chin State in March, 2011. After conducting two rapid assessments in the two townships of Mindat and Kanpetlet in September and December 2010, SI launched a food security intervention in Kanpetlet Township, with the support of WFP and CIAA1. SI started its intervention with a blanket food distribution funded by WFP in 67 villages, targeting 10,000 people, around 1900 HH. The beneficiaries’ selection was based on the rodent infestation level: most of the selected villages had been severely affected by rodent infestation, and the majority of the villages had lost at least 75 % of their crops. In each selected village, all the villagers, except the government employees, received 10 kg of rice per month, for 2 months. In parallel, SI launched a food security project funded by CIAA. The specific objective of this project was to improve the access to food and to restore the production capacities of the communities affected by the rodent infestation. The project activities included corn and paddy seeds distribution, Food for Work (FFW) for rodent control and rat trap distributions. This project targeted 58 villages, for a total of 8800 beneficiaries. Within the framework of this project, one of the expected results was to monitor the food security situation in the targeted area, in order to better understand the main constraints faced in terms of access to food, and thus to better address the needs. SI conducted 2 food security surveillance surveys during 2011 project implementation period: the first assessment was done in June 2011 and the second assessment end of September/ beginning of October 2011.The rationale behind conducting those 2 surveys at that time was to collect data both towards the beginning and the end of the lean season in the area. The present report shows a comparison between the main findings of those 2 food security surveillance surveys..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Solidarites International (SI)
      Format/size: pdf (515K)
      Date of entry/update: 17 February 2012


      Title: WFP to continue assistance to Chin State
      Date of publication: 07 January 2010
      Description/subject: The World Food Program (WFP) has pledged to offer further help to Chin state in western Burma plagued by rat infestation and other natural disasters leading to food shortage over the last three years. Swe Swe Win, program officer of WFP’s office in Burma’s former capital Rangoon on Tuesday said, WFP will continue its assistance program in the country including Chin State under the new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO), which will continue from 2010 to 2012 to improve food security, nutrition status and livelihood of the vulnerable population in Myanmar. The amount of the operation is not available.
      Author/creator: Salai Pi Pi
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Mizzima
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


      Title: A Land of Beauty and Misery
      Date of publication: January 2010
      Description/subject: Breathtaking vistas of Chin State contrast starkly with the hardships of life in this often-ignored corner of Burma... "The Chin people I met during my visit to this northwestern part of Burma take great pride in the natural attractions of their land—a place of dense forests and deep gorges, where exotic flowers cover steep mountains, which often lie enveloped in cool, refreshing mists. Children in Chin State are the most vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. (Photo: KO YUYA) But the natural beauty belies the hardships of life in this isolated highland, where ordinary people face privations that are severe even by the standards of a country ranked among the world’s most impoverished. Much of the suffering here is not, however, merely a matter of poverty. Besides the struggle to find food and earn a living, many must also contend with various human rights abuses committed by the Burmese junta..."
      Author/creator: Ko Yuya
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 1
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


      Title: MYANMAR: Chin State - a mountain of trouble
      Date of publication: 07 December 2009
      Description/subject: In the remote western Chin state, Ngite Pan, 46, ekes out an existence, feeding herself and her 15-year-old daughter by planting millet. Occasionally, she sells a traditional intoxicating brew called Khaung-Yay, also made from millet, which earns her about US$4 a month. It is the widow’s only source of income, and most of this money is spent on buying rice to supplement the millet - but it is not enough.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: IRIN_ humanitarian news and analysis
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


      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+…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: On the Edge of Survival: The Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis in Chin State, Burma
      Date of publication: September 2009
      Description/subject: This report is dedicated to the memory of John Tuihing, a Chin human rights activist and relief worker who drowned on 30 October 2008 in a boating accident while delivering much-needed food aid to communities struggling with food shortages in Paletwa Township, Chin State. John joined as a staff member of CHRO in April 2008 based on the India-Burma border. He had recently assumed the position of acting coordinator for the Chin Famine Emergency Relief Committee (CFERC), a Mizoram-based cross-border relief team. He will be remembered as a dedicated activist, committed to protecting and promoting the rights of the Chin people. Our work continues in his memory.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Chin Human Rights Organization
      Format/size: pdf (3.04 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/news-and-reports/reports/title/on-the-edge-of-survival-th...
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


      Title: Myanmar: Chin State - Rodent Infestation Area (2008-09 Monsoon Crops) (map)
      Date of publication: 05 August 2009
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: MIMU
      Format/size: pdf (605K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009


      Title: MYANMAR: Rats exacerbate food insecurity in Chin State
      Date of publication: 03 February 2009
      Description/subject: Food insecurity in Myanmar’s remote and impoverished Chin State, northwestern Myanmar, has worsened following a major infestation of rats. “It has been well documented that food insecurity in Chin is chronic,” Chris Kaye, country representative for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) told IRIN from Yangon, the former Burmese capital.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: IRIN_ humanitarian news and analysis
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


      Title: An Overview of the Food Security Situation in Chin May 2009
      Date of publication: 2009
      Description/subject: Chin state is located in the north-west part of Myanmar, bordering India and Bangladesh. Most of the state is hilly and mountainous having an average height of 4,000 ft. The main livelihood activity is agriculture and shifting cultivation or slash and burn farming, is widely practiced. In Northern Chin State, the economic activities are mostly agriculture activities (vegetable and fruit production), livestock, weaving, small trade and seasonal labor work. Regarding food security, the Northern Chin State is representative of upland agriculture systems and the farming systems are based on rotational fallow method to allow time for the regeneration of soil fertility. Over the last twenty years, most of the villages have faced a marked reduction of the fallow period (from 15 years to 6-9 years) due to the increased pressure on agricultural lands. Consequently both natural resources management and agricultural production have been significantly affected.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The World Food Program (WFP)
      Format/size: pdf (340.29 K)
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


      Title: Food Crisis Deepens in Chin State
      Date of publication: 08 October 2008
      Description/subject: At least 1,000 villagers are currently facing a food crisis in Haka Township in Chin State, a Rangoon-based Chin development agency told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday. The Country Agency for Rural Development (CAD), a Roman Catholic-based NGO which facilitates sanitation, education and construction projects in the most remote villages of Chin State, said it assessed the food situation in 20 villages around Haka Township last week and discovered that seven of the villages faced a severe and immediate food crisis.
      Author/creator: LAWI WENG
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: News and Periodical Enterprise, Ministry of Information, Union of Myanmar
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=14410
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 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)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.chro.ca/publications/special-reports.html
      Date of entry/update: 09 July 2008


      Title: Food Shortages in Chin State Bamboo flowers bring starvation, devastation and suffering to Chin Land
      Description/subject: Chin Human Rights Organization believes that at least 120 Chin villages along the Burma India and Bangladesh border approximately 50,000 people or roughly ten percent of the entire population of Chin State may be directly affected by the ongoing famine.
      Author/creator: Naw Cha Mu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Issues
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


    • Food Security in Kachin State

      Individual Documents

      Title: Papun Interview: Maung R---, August 2011
      Date of publication: 29 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions in Bu Tho Township, Papun District. The villager interviewed Maung R---, a 31-year-old village head, who described extensive demands for forced labour, specifically for villagers to porter military rations, produce thatch shingles and bamboo poles, and tend to plantations owned by Border Guard soldiers. He also detailed demands for money including mandatory payments in lieu of recruitment for portering duties and arbitrary taxation. Threats against villagers were used to ensure compliance with these demands. Past instances of forced recruitment into the Border Guard were mentioned, as well as cases of direct violence, including an attack against villagers with three reported deaths. Other concerns expressed include the absence of basic medical care, and the poor quality of farmland which contributes to food insecurity and can force villagers to seek daily wage work in order to meet their basic food requirements. To mitigate this insecurity villagers employ a range of tactics including the sharing of food, as described by Maung R--- below."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (288K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b20.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


    • Food Security in Karen (Kayin) State

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Search the KHRG site for Food & Livelihoods
      Description/subject: Use the drop-down menu to search the KHRG database for "food" -- 98 results -- or "Food & Livelihoods" -- 144 results (October 2010)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2010


      Individual Documents

      Title: Papun Interview Transcript: Saw L---, June 2011
      Date of publication: 02 March 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw L---, a 49 year old Buddhist paddy farmer, who described demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw soldiers, including portering and guide duty, as well as clearing vegetation for the Border Guard. Saw L--- stated that villagers undertaking forced labour for the Tatmadaw were denied medical treatment and provided with unsuitable rations, such as stale rice. Forced recruitment into the Border Guard was also cited, with villagers from three different villages forced to pay US $389.61 in lieu of military service. Saw L--- also described Tatmadaw soldiers' demands for chicken and rice as putting pressure on already strained resources, and contributing to villagers' food insecurity. Saw L--- noted that some villagers who are unable to produce enough rice engage in daily wage labour in order to meet their basic food requirements, and that villagers who live in Lay Poh Hta village tract have developed support networks at the village level and reportedly share food with others in times of crisis."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (288K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b23.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


      Title: Thaton Interview Transcript: Saw T---, April 2011
      Date of publication: 24 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Pa'an Township, Thaton District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 60-year-old Buddhist farmer and village head, who described demands for forced labour that occurred during 2011, including for guide duty and the production of thatch shingles and bamboo poles. Saw T---noted that Karen language is not permitted to be taught in the village school, and expressed concerns over the absence of a medical clinic in the village and a lack of rain during the previous year that resulted in a marked decrease in paddy outputs. Saw T--- noted that villagers share food to deal with increasing food insecurity and described an instance in which villagers only partially complied with a forced labour demand, producing and delivering only 300 thatch shingles to Tatmadaw soldiers, instead of the 500 that had been demanded."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (284K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b18.html
      Date of entry/update: 25 February 2012


      Title: Thaton Interview: U Kh---, December 2011
      Date of publication: 17 February 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed U Kh---, a 48-year-old farmer who described being forced to porter for Tatmadaw LIB #220 troops for four days at the beginning of September 2011 during which time he witnessed the looting of villagers' animals, as well as the arrest and detention of two P--- villagers to serve as recruits for Border Guard troops and subsequent demands for the payment of 200,000 kyat (US $259.74) in lieu of each recruit. He described the firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas and detailed demands for food, weapons, and a motorboat to Border Guard troops. U Kh--- mentioned that he anticipated widespread food shortages as a result of extensive flood damage to paddy crops during the 2011 monsoon season and noted that demands for unpaid forced labour further strained villagers' ability to pursue their own livelihoods effectively. U Kh--- explained that villagers counter burdensome demands by negotiating with local commanders to reduce the number of recruits and pay a smaller sum than demanded in lieu of the provision of recruits"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (287K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b17.html
      Date of entry/update: 17 February 2012


      Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: September to October 2011 [News Bulletin]
      Date of publication: 17 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District, during the period between September and October 2011. It details an incident that occurred in October 2011, in which a villager was shot and injured while working in his betelnut field; the villager who wrote this report noted that some villagers living in these areas respond to the threat of violence by fleeing approaching Tatmadaw patrols. Following the shooting, Tatmadaw troops imposed movement restrictions that prevented villagers from traveling to or staying in their agricultural workplaces in the area where the shooting occurred. This report includes additional information about the use of villagers to provide forced labour at Tatmadaw camps, specifically to perform sentry duty along roads, and also raises villagers' concerns about food security after unseasonable rain prevented villagers in some areas from burning brush on their hill fields preparatory to planting and paddy crops in other areas were destroyed by insects and by flooding during the monsoon."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (215K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b4.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Lu Thaw Township, November 2011
      Date of publication: 17 January 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager living in a hiding site in northern Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. The villager described an incident that occurred in October 2011 in which Tatmadaw soldiers fired six mortar shells into an area in which civilians are actively seeking to avoid attacks by Tatmadaw troops; no one was killed or injured during the attack. This situation update places the occurrence of such incidents in the context of the repeated and prolonged displacement of villagers in northern Luthaw who continue to actively seek to avoid contact with government troops due to ongoing attacks against civilian objects. The villager who wrote this report raised concerns about food shortages in hiding site areas where the presence of Tatmadaw soldiers proximate to previously cultivated land has resulted in overcrowding on available farmland and the subsequent degradation of soil quality, severely limiting villagers' abilities to support themselves using traditional rotational cropping methods. For detailed analysis of the humanitarian situation in this area of Luthaw Township, see the previous KHRG report Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District, published in April 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (274K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b3.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


      Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: August to October 2011 [News Bulletin]
      Date of publication: 09 December 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District between August and October 2011. The report describes the an incident of forced labour in which villagers were forced to clear undergrowth from a palm oil plantation at IB #60 military headquarters, as well as arbitrary demands for villagers to provide money, firewood, wooden logs and food to Tatmadaw troops. The villager who wrote this report notes that governmental administrative reforms at the village tract level have resulted in increased demands for payment from civilian officials at a time when flooding in flat areas of paddy cultivation adjacent to the Sittaung River at the end of the 2011 monsoon has substantially impacted villagers’ food security. The villager also raises local communities’ concerns regarding the proposed construction of a dam on the Theh Loh River; and requirements that civilians provide guarantees that non-state armed groups will not attack Tatmadaw troops, which villagers fear will lead to reprisals from Tatmadaw soldiers if fighting does occur. This report also documents several ways in which villagers in Ler Doh Township have responded to abuses, including the formation of Mu Kha Poe village security groups to monitor Tatmadaw troop activity and warn other community members of incoming Tatmadaw patrols and attacks;; and cooperation with other villagers and with local community-based aid groups to secure food support, communication equipment, education materials and medical treatment."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf (867K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b52.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


      Title: Papun Incident Reports: November 2010 to January 2011
      Date of publication: 24 August 2011
      Description/subject: This report contains 12 incident reports written by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions, based on information provided by 12 different villagers living in hiding sites in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District between November 2010 and January 2011.[1] The twelve villagers described human rights concerns for civilians prior to and during displacement to their current hiding sites, including: deliberate firing of mortars and small arms into civilian areas; burning and destruction of houses, food and food preparation equipment; theft and looting of villagers' animals and possessions; and use of landmines by the Tatmadaw, non-state armed groups, and local gher der 'home guard' groups in civilian areas, resulting in at least one civilian death and two civilian injuries. The reports register villagers' serious concerns about food security in hiding areas beyond Tatmadaw control, caused by effective limits on access to arable land due to the risk of attack when villagers cultivating land proximate to Tatmadaw camps, depletion of soil fertility in cultivable areas, and a drought during the 2010 rainy season which triggered widespread paddy crop failure.[2] To address the threat of Tatmadaw attacks targeting villagers, their food stores and livelihoods activities, villagers reported that they form gher der groups to monitor and communicate Tatmadaw activity; utilise early-warning systems; and communicate amongst themselves and with non-state armed groups to share information about Tatmadaw troop movements. Two villagers stated that the deployment of landmines by gher der groups and KNLA soldiers prevents access to civilian areas by Tatmadaw troops and facilitates security for villagers to pursue their agricultural activities. Another villager described how his community maintained communal agricultural projects to support families at risk from food shortages. These reports were received by KHRG in May 2011, along with other information concerning the situation in Papun District, including 11 other incident reports, 25 interviews, 137 photographs and a general update on the situation in Lu Thaw Township.[3]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (840K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b25.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 February 2012


      Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, May 2011
      Date of publication: 26 July 2011
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw P---, a 40-year-old farmer who described her experiences living in a Tatmadaw-controlled relocation site, and in her original village in a mixed-administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Naw P--- described the following human rights abuses: rape and sexual violence; indiscriminate firing on villagers by Tatmadaw soldiers; forced relocation; arrest and detention; movement restrictions; theft and looting; and forced labour, including use of villagers as military sentries and porters. Naw P--- also raised concerns regarding the cost of health care and about children's education, specifically Tatmadaw restrictions on children's movement during perceived military instability and the prohibition of Karen-language education. In order to address these concerns, Naw P--- told KHRG that some villagers pay bribes to avoid forced labour and to secure the release of detained family members; lie to Tatmadaw commanders about the whereabouts of villagers working on farms in violation of movement restrictions; and organise covert Karen-language education for their children."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (158K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b18.html
      Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


      Title: Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
      Date of publication: 20 July 2011
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcripts of three interviews conducted during March and April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The three female interviewees described the following abuses: attacks on villages, villagers and livelihoods; killing of villagers; theft and looting; taxation and demands; forced displacement; and forced labour, including the production and supply of building materials and forced portering. They also raised concerns regarding food shortage, the provision of education for children during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attacks, and access to healthcare. One of the women explained that villagers communicate with non-state armed groups and other villagers to share information about Tatmadaw movements, prepare secret caches of food in the forest outside their village in case of a Tatmadaw attack, and hold school classes outside of their village in agricultural areas during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attack. These interviews were received along with other information from Toungoo District, including a general update on the situation in Toungoo District, ten incident reports, seven other interviews and 350 photographs.Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (286K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b16.html
      Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


      Title: Thaton Situation Updates: May 2010 to January 2011
      Date of publication: 18 May 2011
      Description/subject: "This report includes two situation updates written by villagers describing events in Thaton District during the period between May 13th 2010 and January 31st 2011. The villagers writing the updates chose to focus on issues including: updates on recent military activity, specifically the rebuilding of Tatmadaw camps, and the following human rights abuses: demands for forced labour, including the provision of building materials; and movement restrictions, including road closure and requirements for travel permission documents. In these situation updates, villagers also express serious concerns regarding food security due to abnormal weather in 2010; rising food prices; the unavailability of health care; and the cost and quality of children's education."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (256K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b7.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 February 2012


      Title: Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District
      Date of publication: 11 May 2011
      Description/subject: "At least 8,885 villagers in 118 villages in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District have either exhausted their current food supplies or are expecting to do so prior to the October 2011 harvest. The 118 villages are located in nine village tracts, where attacks on civilians by Burma's state army, the Tatmadaw, have triggered wide scale and repeated displacement since 1997. As tens of thousands of civilians in northern Karen State have been displaced, over-population in hiding areas where civilians can more effectively avoid attacks has created shortages of arable land, depleted soil fertility and reduced potential crop yields. Civilians forced to cultivate land or live near Tatmadaw camps, meanwhile, have faced recent attacks, including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on food supplies, buildings and livelihoods. These existing obstacles to food security were compounded by an unusually dry rainy season in 2010, coupled with other environmental factors, causing the 2010 harvest to fail. The impact of acute food shortages on the civilian population is magnified by budgetary constraints of local relief organisations, which can access the affected area but are currently unable to provide emergency assistance to many of those facing food shortages. This regional report is based on research conducted by KHRG researchers in Lu Thaw Township in February and March 2011, including 41 interviews with villagers and village and village tract leaders in the affected areas. This research was augmented by interviews with members of local relief organisations in February, March and April 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (1.31MB), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101.html
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101%20-%20Briefer.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


      Title: Human rights abuses and obstacles to protection: Conditions for civilians amidst ongoing conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts
      Date of publication: 21 January 2011
      Description/subject: "Amidst ongoing conflict between the Tatmadaw and armed groups in eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts, civilians, aid workers and soldiers from state and non-state armies continue to report a variety of human rights abuses and security concerns for civilians in areas adjacent to Thailand's Tak Province, including: functionally indiscriminate mortar and small arms fire; landmines; arbitrary arrest and detention; sexual violence; and forced portering. Conflict and these conflict-related abuses have displaced thousands of civilians, more than 8,000 of whom are currently taking refuge in discreet hiding places in Thailand. This has interrupted education for thousands of children across eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts. The agricultural cycle for farmers has also been severely disrupted; many villagers have been prevented from completing their harvests of beans, corn and paddy crops, portending long-term threats to food security. Due to concerns about food security and disruption to children's education, as well as villagers' continuing need to protect themselves and their families from conflict and conflict-related abuse, temporary but consistent access to refuge in Thailand remains vital until villagers feel safe to return home. Even after return, food support will likely be necessary until disrupted agricultural activities can be resumed and civilians can again support themselves."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (Main text, 688K; Appendix 188K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2_appendixes.pdf (Appendix)
      http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2.html
      Date of entry/update: 26 February 2012


      Title: Livelihood consequences of SPDC restrictions and patrols in Nyaunglebin District
      Date of publication: 22 September 2009
      Description/subject: "This report presents information on abuses in Nyaunglebin District for the period of April to July 2009. Though Nyaunglebin saw a reduction in SPDC activities during the first six months of 2009, patrols resumed in July. Since then, IDP villagers attempting to evade SPDC control report that they have subsequently been unable to regularly access farm fields or gardens, exacerbating cycles of food shortages set in motion by the northern Karen State offensive which began in 2006. Other villagers, from the only nominally controlled villages in the Nyaunglebin's eastern hills to SPDC-administered relocation sites in the west, meanwhile, report abuses including forced labour, conscription into government militia, travel restrictions and the torture of two village leaders for alleged contact with the KNLA..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F15)
      Format/size: pdf (821 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f15.html
      Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


      Title: SPDC and DKBA order documents: August 2008 to June 2009
      Date of publication: 27 August 2009
      Description/subject: "This report includes translated copies of 75 order documents issued by Burma Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officers to village heads in Karen State between August 2008 and June 2009. These documents serve as supplementary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. The report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding the regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject by local military forces. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and alcohol; the production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on road repair; the provision of information on individuals and households; registration of villagers in State-controlled 'NGOs'; and restrictions on travel and the use of muskets. In almost all cases, such demands are uncompensated and backed by an implicit threat of violence or other punishment for non-compliance. Almost all demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involve some element of forced labour in their implementation..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2009-04 )
      Format/size: pfd (1.2 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0904.html
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


      Title: IDP responses to food shortages in Nyaunglebin District
      Date of publication: 10 April 2009
      Description/subject: "Since the beginning of 2009, SPDC troops have patrolled areas near displaced hiding sites in Nyaunglebin District. These patrols prevent displaced villagers from cultivating their secret crops or otherwise accessing food, which in turn exacerbates food insecurity for these civilians. Despite such hardships, villagers have responded by cooperating with each other-often sharing food or helping each other cultivate crops and sell goods in 'jungle markets'. This report describes the situation of displaced villagers in Nyaunglebin District from December 2008 to March 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F7)
      Format/size: pdf (881 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f7.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Papun District
      Date of publication: 04 February 2009
      Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in the Lu Thaw and Dweh Loh townships of Papun District. Abuses have been particularly harsh in Lu Thaw, most of which has been designated a "black area" by the SPDC and so subject to constant attacks by Burma Army forces. Villagers who decide to remain in their home areas are often forced to live in hiding and not only face constant threats of violence by the SPDC, but also a worsening food crisis due to the SPDC's disruption of planting cycles. This report covers events in Papun District from August 2008 to January 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F2)
      Format/size: pdf (578 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f2.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Forced labour and extortion in Pa'an District
      Date of publication: 08 August 2008
      Description/subject: "At a time when civilians in Pa'an District are already struggling with rising food prices and unemployment, an increasing number of villagers are being subjected to forced labour and extortion by local SPDC and DKBA forces. This is especially true in eastern Karen State, near the Thoo Mweh (Moei) river, where DKBA commanders are forcing villagers to ignore their own livelihoods in order to help these leaders cultivate their personal rubber plantations. The result of these abuses is a worsening food crisis and constant economic migration to other areas both in Burma and in neighbouring Thailand, places where villagers hope to find more sustainable employment opportunities. This report describes the situation in the Dta Greh and T'Nay Hsah townships of Pa'an District from January to June 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F11)
      Format/size: pdf (511 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f11.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: Military expansion and exploitation in Nyaunglebin District
      Date of publication: 05 August 2008
      Description/subject: "With the SPDC Army's continued expansion in Nyaunglebin District, local villagers not under military control have had to once again flee into the surrounding forest while troops have forcibly interned other villagers in military-controlled relocation sites. These relocation sites, typically in the plains of western Nyaunglebin, alongside army camps or SPDC-controlled vehicle roads, serve as containment centres from which army personnel appropriate labour, money, food and supplies to support the military's ongoing expansion in the region. Extortion by military officers operating in Nyaunglebin District has included forced 'donations' allegedly collected for distribution to survivors of Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy Delta. This field report looks at the situation in Nyaunglebin up to the end of May 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F10)
      Format/size: pdf (697 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f10.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 01 August 2008
      Description/subject: "SPDC troops have continued to target internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Toungoo District. Civilians continue be killed or injured by the attacks while many of the survivors flee their homes and take shelter in forest hiding sites. Some who have moved into SPDC forced relocation sites continue to secretly return to their villages to cultivate their crops, constantly risking punishment or execution by troops patrolling the areas. The SPDC's repeated disruption of regular planting cycles has created a food crisis in Toungoo, further endangering the IDPs living there. This report examines the abuses in Toungoo District from April to June 2008..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F9)
      Format/size: pdf (880 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f9.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: Burma Army attacks and civilian displacement in northern Papun District
      Date of publication: 12 June 2008
      Description/subject: "Following the deployment of new Burma Army units in the area of Htee Moo Kee village, Lu Thaw township of northern Karen State, Papun District, during the first week of March 2008, at least 1,600 villagers from seven villages were forced to relocate to eight different hiding sites in order to avoid the encroaching army patrols. These displaced communities are now facing heightened food insecurity and an ongoing risk of military attack. This report is based on in-depth interviews with displaced villagers from Lu Thaw township regarding the recent Burma Army operations and the resultant effects on the local communities. It also includes information on the recent military attack on Dtay Muh Der village, Lu Thaw township, Papun District which Burma Army forces conducted during the first week of June 2008 and which led to the further displacement of over 1,000 villagers..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F6)
      Format/size: pdf (537 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f6.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


      Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
      Date of publication: 09 August 2007
      Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
      Format/size: pdf (1.24 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f6.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: The Compounding Consequences of DKBA Oppression: Abuse, poverty and food insecurity in Thaton District
      Date of publication: 09 July 2007
      Description/subject: "As the principal means of establishing control over the people of Thaton District, the SPDC has supported a more aggressive DKBA role in the area. With the junta's political, military and financial backing the DKBA has sought to expand its numbers, strengthen its position vis-à-vis the civilian population and eradicate the remaining KNU/KNLA presence in the region. To those ends, the DKBA has used forced labour, looting, extortion, land confiscation and movement restrictions and embarked on a hostile campaign of forced recruitment from amongst the local population. These abuses have eroded village livelihoods, leading to low harvest yields and wholly failed crops; problems which compound over time and progressively deepen poverty and malnourishment. With the onset of the rainy season and the 2007 cultivation period, villagers in Thaton District are faced with depleting provisions. This food insecurity will require that many harvest their 2007 crop as early as October while still unripe. The low yield of an early harvest, lost time spent on forced labour and the harmful fallout of further extortion and other abuses will all combine to ensure once again that villagers in Thaton District confront food shortages and increasing poverty..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F5)
      Format/size: pdf (527 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f5.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


      Title: Eastern Pa'an District: Forced Labour, Food Security and the Consolidation of Control
      Date of publication: 23 March 2004
      Description/subject: "The SPDC and DKBA continued to consolidate their control over Pa'an District in 2003, especially in the mountainous eastern part of the district. Fighting between the SPDC and the DKBA was ongoing up until the ceasefire talks began in December 2003, culminating in an offensive against the KNLA's 7th Brigade headquarters in October. In order to expand their influence DKBA units are actively recruiting in the area. Villagers must also face demands from both the SPDC and the DKBA for forced labour, building materials and extortion money. Fulfilling these demands have left the villagers with little time to work their fields. Many villagers are unable to get enough food to eat, making food security a serious issue in the area..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


      Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #2000-C2
      Date of publication: 06 April 2000
      Description/subject: After they get a lot of paddy, they report to other countries that their country produces a lot of paddy. But really they beat civilians and take the paddy from us. They are just starting to do this now so we still have enough rice to eat, but if they keep doing this for many years, I don't think there will be enough.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentaries (KHRG #2000-C2)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Food Security in Magwe Region

      Individual Documents

      Title: A Nutrition and Food Security A ssessment of the Dry Zone of Myanmar in June and July 2013
      Date of publication: July 2013
      Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This assessment of the rural Dry Zone reveals the nutrition situation to be a concern, with high rates of wasting and medium rates of stunting, high rates of low birth weight and high rates of undernutrition among mothers; particularly those who are pregnant and/or lactating. The pattern of indicators suggests that flood plains and irrigated areas are best off, and the highlands may be worst, but the situation is far from acceptable in the Dry Zone as a whole. A wide range of likely causes of undernutrition needs addressing. Acute and chronic malnutrition have shared determinants and there is a need to tackle one to tackle the other. Children’s and mother’s nutrition status are associated, and a child’s birth weight is an important determinant of their later nutrition status. This reminds us of the imortance of the 1000 day window of opportunity between a child’s conception and their second birthday, and the need to take a life-cycle approach; paying p articular attention to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Dietary factors and their determinants seem likely to be particularly important drivers of undernutrition as do deficiencies in water, sanitation, hygiene and the public health environment. An absence of consistent associations between household economic status and nutrition indicators is likely in part because of widespread poverty as well as the focus on data from the current situation. However, analysis of associations revealed only small contributions of any specific explanatory variable to the variance of any of the nutrition outcomes (including indicators of food security) which together with analysis of risk factors reinforces that there is not just two or three important causes of undernutrition in the Dry Zone. Rather,a multi-sector approach is required for malnutrition prevention and nutrition status improvement."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Save the Children, WFP and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development
      Format/size: pdf(1.6MB)
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2014


      Title: Myanmar - An Analysis of Markets Across Magway Division, May 2010
      Date of publication: May 2010
      Description/subject: "...From the data collected, it is clear that markets in Magway sell a variety of food and that most of this food is available / sold in most markets across all townships. A t the current time very few items depict show low availability and do so due to seasonality of the crop. The only exception being petrol. The transport costs incurred in obtaining and selling petrol in markets would drive the costs up thus limiting 2 access and demand for the same. This could be a reason for the lack of availability of petrol in 50% of the sampled markets..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Program (WFP)
      Format/size: html, pdf(385K)
      Alternate URLs: http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp221540.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2014


      Title: FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENT IN MAGWAY DIVISION
      Date of publication: December 2009
      Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The food security situation in the Magway Division has not changed significantly following the drought conditions that affected the area in mid 2009. Levels of food insecurity are similar to those pre-drought. The assessment shows that food consumption of approximately 65% of the sample can be classified as ‘Inadequate” and 35% as ‘Adequate’. The 2008 November WFP Food Security Profile states that 71% of the sample was either moderately (39%) and / or severely (32%) food insecure. This is more-or- less a similar situation today, post-drought. What is striking is that both surveys identify the same Zones (B & A) as being the most vulnerable..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Program (WFP)
      Format/size: html, pdf (568K)
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2014


      Title: Food Security Profile
      Date of publication: November 2008
      Description/subject: "This Report summarizes the findings of the Food Security Profiling assessment carried out across the Dry Zone, especially in Magway Division in August 2008. This is the first time a Food Security Prof iling exercises has been conducted in the Dry Zone by the WFP and its Cooperating Partne rs, including OISCA, TDH, REAM, ADRA, and World Vision and the line department for Dryzone Department of Development Affairs. This profile attempts to present a sn apshot of household food security in the Dry Zone; 463 households in 59 villages under WFP project area of 6 townships: Pakokku, Pauk, Yesagyo, Natmauk, Chauk & Yenanchaung were covered under this assessment. It should be noted that the sample size has statistical limitations. However care was taken to ensure that the geographic coverage of the sample was considerable. The Dry Zone area is one of the more critical areas in the Union where the fragile ecosystem (a result of natural and human behaviour) has had adverse effects on household food security. Magway Division includes a vast semi-arid lowland surrounded by Mandalay Division the East and the Rahine Yoma and Chin hills on the West, Bago Division on the South and Sagaing Division in the north. The region also includes two major rivers, Ayeyarwady and Chindwin that flow through the Dry Zone from North to South towards the Delta. Average annual rainfall is low (500 to 1000 mm) compared to 5000 mm in other parts of the country..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: World Food Program (WFP)
      Format/size: html, pdf (461K)
      Alternate URLs: http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp194986.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2014