• Burma’s human rights situation remains poor despite some noteworthy actions by the government toward reform. In April 2012, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party swept nearly all the seats contested in a parliamentary by-election, but a large majority of seats in Burma’s lower house are controlled by the government party and the military. The Burmese government released several hundred prisoners since 2011, although a small number remain behind bars, and an roughly a couple hundred face charges. While some laws have been amended, repressive laws remain. The army targeted civilians in armed conflict with the Kachin minority group. After violence erupted between Arakanese Buddhists and the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims, state security forces took part in abuses against the Rohingya.

  • A family looks from their temporary shelter at a Rohingya refugee camp as Burma's government embarks on a national census, in Sittwe on April 2, 2014.
    Burma's human rights situation declined in 2014, setting back progress made since the reform process began three years ago, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.

Reports

Burma

  • Jun 25, 2015
    The governments of Thailand and Burma should immediately end discrimination and other rights abuses against the Moken, sea nomads who are among the few remaining hunter-gatherer populations in Southeast Asia. Approximately 3,000 Moken live mostly on small boats within the Mergui archipelago along Burma’s southern coast, while another 800 are settled in Thailand.
  • Jun 16, 2015
    The impact of Myanmar's repressive policy toward Rohingya Muslims was made clear in recent weeks with scenes of desperate people crammed into boats, an escalation of a miserable maritime flight in which an estimated 90,000 people have fallen prey to smugglers and traffickers since early 2014.
  • Jun 9, 2015
  • Jun 4, 2015
    Across the world, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers and migrants are turning to boat smugglers and risking or losing their lives in the world's oceans. So far this year at least 1,800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. Instead of mustering life-saving political will, countries are responding with policies to keep them out and deter others from heading their way.
  • Jun 1, 2015
  • May 27, 2015
    Governments gathering in Bangkok on May 29, 2015, to discuss the Southeast Asia boat people crisis should reach binding agreements to save people at sea, permit them to disembark without conditions, and ensure unimpeded access for United Nations agencies to protect the rights of asylum seekers.
  • May 27, 2015
    Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional meeting scheduled on May 29, 2015, in Bangkok must find solutions to the so-called boat people exodus.
  • May 20, 2015
    Thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims remain stranded at sea without adequate food and water. On Wednesday, 20 May, Malaysia and Indonesia finally bowed to mounting international pressure, announcing that they would offer refugees temporary shelter provided that they are resettled and repatriated by the international community within a year. Roma Rajpal Weiß spoke to Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Asia, who condemned the policy of the countries of South-East Asia
  • May 16, 2015
    Burma’s parliament should vote down a draft population law that authorities could use to repress religious and ethnic minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. Burma’s donors and other concerned governments should publicly call on the government to withdraw the bill.
  • May 15, 2015
    On the Andaman Sea, west of the Siam peninsula in Asia, a tragic scandal is unfolding. Thousands of Rohingya asylum seekers who had recently fled Burma or Bangladesh on boats—mostly small open fishing boats and larger trawlers—and a smaller number of Bangladeshis, have been trying to reach Malaysia, where many Rohingya have previously sought refuge.