Burma

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Burma Docs & News

Burma

Written by Helle Duus Alex.

Women in Burma

In November 2010, Burma transitioned from five decades of authoritarian rule to a semi-civilian government with the election of President Thein Sein and a new parliament. Signaling a shift towards democracy, President Thein Sein initiated political, economic, and social reforms including the release of thousands of political prisoners; the peaceful election of opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and 42 of her National League for Democracy colleagues to Parliament in April 2012; and the re-commitment to peace negotiations with ethnic groups with whom the Burmese military has been mired in conflict for over fifty years. 

Despite these positive developments, human rights violations and armed conflict in the country continue, particularly in the resource rich and historically marginalized ethnic regions of Eastern Burma. 

Kachin State and Northern Shan State have seen an escalation of conflict and human rights abuses since June 2011. Ongoing fighting and intermittent intensive military strikes between the Burmese military and the Kachin Independence Army (the military arm of the Kachin Independence Organization) have resulted in the displacement of 100,000 people; there is limited to no humanitarian access for these displaced communities which are primarily composed of women, children, and the elderly.

One group directly responding to the conflict is  the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT), a grantee of the International Women’s Program.

The organization works with displaced Kachin communities living in Thailand, China, and inside Kachin State to empower women, ensure the protection and safety of women and children, and improve the well-being of the population overall. KWAT also documents human rights violations in Kachin State and Northern Shan State, and brings these violations to the attention of the international community.

This report is published at

http://kachinwomen.com

Who also wrote this report of incidents: http://kachinwomen.com/images/stories/publication/state_terror.pdf

and this is a doc on the horrors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CCXHR5bjM6g