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Human Rights Watch;
This report is based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in the city of Yangon and Rakhine State, Myanmar, and Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, since late 2018.We conducted interviews with 32 Rohingya living in the townships of Sittwe, Pauktaw, Myebon, Kyauktaw, and Kyaukpyu in central Rakhine State, and in the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar who had fled the central Rakhine camps. Because Human Rights Watch is restricted by the Myanmar government from visiting the central Rakhine camps, all interviews with people detained there were conducted by phone.Interviewees were informed how the information gathered would be used and that they could decline the interview or terminate it at any point. The majority of interviews were conducted directly in the Rohingya language. Some were conducted in Burmese with English interpretation. The names of Rohingya interviewees have been replaced with pseudonyms for their protection.We also conducted more than 30 in-depth interviews with staff from United Nations agencies, international and local humanitarian organizations, and Rohingya and Kaman civil society groups, in addition to activists, community leaders, and local and regional analysts. Follow-up interviews were conducted over the phone and via other secure means of communications. Because of concerns of official backlash and security considerations, we have withheld the names and details of sources.In researching this report, Human Rights Watch obtained, reviewed, and analyzed over 100 internal and public government, UN, and academic documents and reports related to the situation in central Rakhine State.
Open Technology Fund;
This research study seeks to identify the various surveillance and censorship technologies and strategies deployed by the government and military in Myanmar. In doing so, the study utilizes a diverse combination of analytical methods including technical network measurements, interviews, and key research analysis of newspaper archives, media reports, and government publications. Throughout the overall assessment process, the study focuses not only on technology but also on offline spaces and legal loopholes which tend to obscure transparency and allow the authorities in Myanmar to implement surveillance and censorship practices in unchecked manners.The goal of this project is to shine a light on these troublesome tactics helping both the people of Myanmar as well as other internet freedom researchers around the world. In countries such as Myanmar where information on existing surveillance practices is limited this type of research is all the more difficult - and important - to conduct. It is therefore the hope of this study the information produced by this research serves as a seed that will ultimately sprout and grow into a tree of resistance hope and change.The study begins with an overview of Myanmar's relevant political and internet-based background. Next the study's methodologies and limitations are discussed. The core of the study is then devoted to findings from research and measurements followed by findings from interviews. Finally, the study finishes with concluding thoughts and key acknowledgements.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI);
On 27 April, the Myanmar Government published the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) which aims to mitigate COVID-19's impact on the macroeconomic environment and the private sector and to ease the impact on laborers, workers, and households. The CERP action plan should pay explicit attention to gender discrepancies to avoid unintentional harm or aggravating existing gender inequalities.
Medecins Sans Frontieres;
The Rohingya people live in northern Rakhine state (formerly Arakan), located in western coastal Union of Myanmar (formerly Union of Burma) bordering Bangladesh to the north. The stateless Rohingya are predominately a Muslim minority, in a majority-Buddhist country. Since the late 70s, the Rohingya have fled persecution and violence to seek refuge in Bangladesh.The case study "MSF and the Rohingya 1992 - 2014" brings to light two decades of MSF advocacy activities as part of its humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya people in Bangladesh and Myanmar and explores the questions and dilemmas the organisation was confronted with surrounding speaking out.
This white paper provides an overview of the human rights situation for these populations in Myanmar and Bangladesh and the causes of the internet shutdowns in both countries. The report illustrates that, by impeding the rights of IDPs and refugees, violations of digital rights are violations of human rights. At the heart of Lockdown and Shutdown are sixteen semi-structured qualitative interviews, conducted with Rakhine, Rohingya, Chin IDPs in conflict-affected areas in Myanmar, and Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh, which give a voice to those who have been deprived of one, as well as reveal the devastating impacts of the internet shutdowns in the two countries.The report also demonstrates that there are commonalities in the impacts of the shutdowns in Myanmar and Bangladesh, specifically in the areas of public health information around COVID-19, education, and access to reliable news in misinformation-rich environments, as well as differences in areas like work, access to healthcare, and physical security and offers key recommendations to the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of the critical factors that influence decision-making behaviour related to misconduct reporting in Kachin, Myanmar, based on a human-centred approach.The intended primary audience includes the accountability, safeguarding and technology teams from Oxfam Great Britain (OGB) and members of the Oxfam in Myanmar country offices. This document is also intended for other humanitarian audiences interested in understanding the critical factors that influence misconduct reporting in Kachin.There are four sections to this document. The first section provides some background information on this initiative and the approach guiding this work. The second section provides specific details on the research process, ethical considerations and limitations. The third section presents a summary of the key findings and themes. The fourth and final section offers some high-level recommendations for moving forward.
Older people are largely invisible in situations of crisis, including during armed conflict and in humanitarian response. Their rights are often not respected, their needs unmet. In Myanmar, older people from many ethnic minorities have endured a lifetime of conflict, displacement, and military abuse. Now, in older age, military operations have again forced them out of their home and village, often where they have lived for decades, and into a displacement setting where they face distinct hardships that are frequently overlooked.This report examines the impact of conflict and displacement on older people in areas of Myanmar where the military has undertaken recent operations—operations marred by crimes under international law, as Amnesty International has reported previously. It looks at the specific ways older people are affected by conflict, both in the violations they suffer and the psychosocial impact. There are tens of thousands of older people among the more than one million people displaced within Myanmar or to neighbouring Bangladesh. This report also analyses how and why humanitarian assistance is falling short in responding to their needs.
Save the Children;
It has been clear for a number of years that digital connectedness is playing an important role in the lives of young people in Myanmar. Yet research on its impact has been limited. Very little substantive research has tested the actual impacts of increased exposure to online hate speech and fake news on populations of any age in Myanmar, let alone young people. The assumption that platforms such as Facebook increase the reach and speed of transmission of dangerous discourses is logical, but evidence is scant on the ground as to how variables like trust in the reliability on those platforms affect changes in the attitudes and offline behaviours of various audiences. Moreover, though international researchers increasingly study the emotional and psychological impacts of social media use among young people, such studies are yet to be duplicated in Myanmar.In response to this information gap, between November and December of 2018, Save the Children Myanmar undertook a piece of research to examine the impact of social media use on young people living in conflict-affected regions of Myanmar. In total, the research team conducted 16 focus group discussions (121 participants in total) and 38 key informant interviews. The study focused on how diverse groups of young people in Kayah and Rakhine States engage with issues of hate speech, propaganda, fake news, rumours, incitement to violence, and the impact of that engagement on young people's on- and offline emotional well-being, attitudes, and behaviours. In addition, a short social media use survey was administered to 232 young people, including to all focus group and interview participants.This report is based on the data collected from that study. It begins with a literature review, examining prior relevant studies from Myanmar and further afield. It then provides an overview of the research methodology, including the guiding research questions, selection criteria, and team structure. The analysis is divided by region (the results of focus groups conducted in Kayah State and then Rakhine State), followed by a further section discussing findings from oneon-one interviews with young people, community leaders, parents, and other key informants. The report then details the results of the social media use survey, before presenting key findings and recommendations for advocacy and programming.
Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET);
The use of social media platforms and chat applications in Asia has grown exponentially in recent years. Throughout the 2010s, violent extremists (VEs) in different parts of the continent exploited this growing access to audiences, disseminating their divisive messages broadly, while targeting individuals in fringe online groups. Technology companies and governments eventually imposed relatively effective measures to moderate overtly terrorist content, remove accounts and limit reach. However, the dynamics of broader communication on platforms that reward contentious engagement is continuing to inflame domestic political polarisation and societal division.Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and India are four Asian nations with unique but comparable experiences regarding the impact of online communications on social fault lines, extremism and violence. This report outlines and analyses these respective contexts.
The pace of Myanmar's fluid, fragile, and young political and economic transition and reform process has slowed during a period of significant internal conflict. While State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been in a de facto leadership role for two years, real control of the country remains in the military's hands.Suu Kyi's focus on the country's internal peace process has not thus far borne the fruit that ethnic armed organizations and the civilian government had hoped. Additionally, while the economy is still showing growth, the sizeable hopes and expectations for the country's economic development have not been met, and instead the pace of this development has slowed for myriad reasons. Magnifying the birth pangs of this nascent democracy is the violent persecution of Rohingya civilians in northern Rakhine state at the hands of Myanmar's military, coupled with poor crisis communication and purposeful disinformation campaigns that further the challenges in Rakhine, as well as fan the flames of Muslim-Buddhist conflict. As the United States and the international community focus on accountability for the violence against the Rohingya and ways to help alleviate the tragedy this community has faced, a continued campaign of violence by Myanmar's military is underway against ethnic armed organizations in other parts of the country.
Kachin Baptist Convention;
People displaced by conflict (IDPs) in Myanmar's Kachin State want to return to their land, yet it is being appropriated unfairly. Legal or administrative procedures are undermining IDP rights, ignoring the exceptional circumstances of displacement. Restrictions on movement are making the situation worse. Action is required to resolve the lack of clarity over IDP land rights and to ensure equitable remedy is available where land has been unfairly acquired. This report is produced by The Durable Peace Programme (DPP), an EU-funded consortium of seven international and local organizations supporting peace, reconciliation, rehabilitation and development in Kachin State since 2015.