January 28, 2009

V. Life for Chin in Mizoram

Here [in India] I am like a prisoner. Even though India is the biggest democratic country, staying in India is like staying in prison: no freedom, no happiness, no money to take care of my family.
-Chin refugee living in New Delhi, India [236]
[Some Mizo residents] take advantage of our position and demand money threatening that if we don't pay up they'll inform the police or the YMA. There are some Mizos who simply just hate the sight of us and challenge us or threaten to beat us up. Life is hell for us. We cannot protect ourselves as this will cause further furor. We have to just make ourselves seem small and avoid these dangers. To be Burmese is to face discrimination.
-Chin woman living in Mizoram, India [237] 
We live in fear and misery and just manage to keep surviving day to day. Most of us have decided that if there is another drive by the YMA we will not move. We choose to die right here rather than be deported to Burma.

                -Chin widow living in Mizoram, India [238]

As conditions have worsened in Chin State, the Indian state of Mizoram has continued to serve as the main destination for thousands of Chin, many of whom cross the border without documents. As of March 2008, an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 undocumented Chin from Burma live in Mizoram.[239]

In the first waves of migration of Chins to Mizoram in 1988, the local Mizo population accepted the new arrivals. As conditions further deteriorated in Burma and the exodus of Chin escalated, the Mizo population became less accommodating.

Although most Chin come to Mizoram to escape persecution and abuse, the Chin live in Mizoram without basic protection of their rights or adequate humanitarian assistance. Most Chin in Mizoram live without documents of any kind. Although many would likely qualify as refugees under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, India is not a party to either and the UNHCR has no operations in Mizoram. Chin in Mizoram face security abuses, severe discrimination, religious repression, and lack of jobs, housing, and affordable education. They live largely at the mercy of the local population in Mizoram.

Arbitrary Arrests and Forced Returns

Tension between the Chin and Mizo has given rise to periodic "anti-foreigner" campaigns. During these campaigns, members of the Mizo community and Mizoram state authorities have targeted and threatened members of the Chin community with forced eviction from their homes, arbitrary arrest, and forcible return back to Burma.

In some instances, the Mizoram government is responsible for issuing orders to round-up and return the Chin to Burma.[240] In other instances, campaign drives against the Chin are initiated and carried out by voluntary associations in Mizoram, which hold large memberships and widespread popular support among the Mizo population. Such campaigns typically are conducted in collaboration with the Mizoram police and under orders of the Mizoram government.[241] The mandate of these voluntary associations is ostensibly rooted in protecting their culture. Some rely on this motto to justify "anti-foreigner" drives against the Chin.[242] During campaigns against the Chin, these organizations issue "orders" demanding that the Chin leave Mizoram.[243] The Mizoram authorities enforce the orders for forced evictions and returns.

One long-time resident of Mizoram who left Burma in 1985 described how in 1989 the Mizoram police searched for Chin coming from Burma, rounded them up, brought them to the river at the border, and told them to return to Burma, where they were at risk of serious human rights abuses by the military government, including arrest, imprisonment, and torture.[244] 

Some of the large-scale arrests and deportations of the Chin have been initiated by Mizo voluntary associations, such as in 1996 when the Mizo Zirlai Pawl initiated the return of some 1,000 Chin, in 2000 when the Young Mizo Association (YMA) initiated the return of at least 105 Chin and the arrest of several hundred, and in 2003 when the YMA forced the return of some 10,000 Chin.[245]

 

Human Rights Watch interviewed three Chin who had been forcibly returned to Burma. Twenty-two interviewees told Human Rights Watch they had been threatened with forcible return by voluntary associations and Mizoram authorities. Sixteen said they had been threatened with forced return by members of the YMA, most during the 2003 campaign. During this campaign, the YMA in collaboration with the Mizoram authorities forcibly returned some 10,000 Chin back to Burma.[246] Other interviewees indicated that they were threatened with deportation after being arrested by the police.

The Young Mizo Association (YMA) and the 2003 Anti-Foreigner Campaigns in Mizoram

The YMA is one of the largest voluntary associations in the state, with 750 branches across Mizoram. As of March 2004, the YMA had 350,000 members, or almost 40 percent of the total population of Mizoram. The YMA is a voluntary organization funded through membership fees. Their mandate is to provide community service, which includes "conservation of Mizo culture and heritage." [247]

The YMA also has played the lead role in initiating several anti-foreigner campaigns against the Chin, including the largest and most far-reaching campaign that took place in 2003. During this campaign, tension between the communities reached a breaking point after the Mizoram authorities accused a Chin man of raping a nine-year-old Mizo girl in Aizawl on July 17, 2003. This was the impetus for the largest anti-foreigner campaign to date against the Chin. The YMA issued notices to all Chin in Mizoram ordering them to leave the state by August 15, 2003. [248] Mizoram authorities subsequently enforced and assisted in carrying out the YMA's orders.

Even long-time residents of Mizoram and community leaders could not escape the actions of the YMA. A 73-year-old Chin who was born in Mizoram in 1935 and migrated to Burma in 1951, where he studied and worked as a teacher before returning to Mizoram in 1993, said the YMA ordered him out just like everyone else. [249] Another Chin, who has lived in Mizoram since 1988 and served as a section leader of the YMA in his area, said the YMA still singled him out as a foreigner during the 2003 campaign and ordered him to leave. He said:

Here I was thinking and acting all these years as part of the society and yet [the YMA] had always held that I was a foreigner. They rubbed my name out of the electoral rolls. I found it very humiliating, that a person like me who had been so much a part of the YMA should be labeled a foreigner and be asked to leave. [250]

Altogether, YMA and Mizoram authorities forcibly returned some 10,000 Chin to Burma during the 2003 campaign. [251]

The YMA issued "orders" for the Chin to leave Mizoram as recently as September 2008, providing September 30 as a deadline.[252] In February 2007 when the Mara Thyutlia Py (MTP or Mara Youth Party) issued similar orders against the Chin community living in a certain section of Saiha, local police along with the MTP rounded up and threatened the Chin with forced return to Burma. One Chin man living in Saiha recounted what happened:

This time, when the deadline came for everyone to be out of the village section, the MTP went in small groups to each house to ensure everyone had left. They carried sticks with them. Most of the people had left already. We also tried to sell our possessions and received only a small amount of money. At this time, the MTP sent 17 families back to Burma. The police arrested people who wouldn't leave and brought them to Lawngtlai jail.[253]

In most cases, Chin are not returned on official deportation orders and the Mizoram police transport the Chin to the border without handing them over directly to SPDC officials. When Chin are returned directly to, or subsequently discovered by, SPDC officials, SPDC officials have arrested them for violating immigration law or under suspicion of being affiliated with ethnic opposition groups based in Mizoram. Many human rights organizations have reported that Chins returned to Burma from Mizoram have been arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and killed.[254] One man told Human Rights Watch his nephew was arrested and subsequently died in a Kalaymyo prison in Burma after being deported from Mizoram in October 2004.[255] Those returned to Burma are subject to punishment for, among other things, failing to be represented on house registration lists, leaving the country without permission, and allegedly having contact with ethnic opposition groups based in Mizoram, such as the Chin National Front (CNF).[256]

In addition to campaigns initiated by voluntary associations in Mizoram, the Chin live in constant fear of potential arrest, eviction, and deportation by the Mizoram police and other authorities. Arrests occur on a widespread basis, particularly in Mizoram's Saiha and Lunglei Districts.[257] One long-time Chin resident in Mizoram said:

The local authorities have arrested me many times as a foreigner. We have to pay at least 250 to 300 Rupees (US$5.50 to $7) to get released. From 2001 to 2005, the authorities arrested me at least once every year… Sometimes they arrested me on my way home and other times they would come to my house. They would bring me to the lock-up. I would usually have to spend one day in jail. Then I would be brought to court where [a judge] would charge me as a foreigner. The court would tell me to return to my country. Then they would set a fine. Once I paid the fine, they released me. I know the Mizoram authorities have taken some people to the border and left them there. I have been lucky and they have only given me a fine to pay.[258] 

Discrimination

Without access to any form of official protection, some Chin attempt to blend in with the local population. This can be difficult for new arrivals from Burma who may be unfamiliar with the language and without any contacts in Mizoram. Members of the Chin community with the same tribal ancestry as the local population have fewer difficulties assimilating.

Despite the fact that the Chin and the Mizo people share common ancestries, culture, and in some cases language, many Chin feel discriminated against by the Mizo population.[259] A Chin woman who came to Mizoram in 1996 said:

[The Mizos] call us bad names like Burmani [a derogatory reference to a person from Burma] or they say you are foreigners.[260]

 

Physical attacks by Mizos on Chin are not uncommon. Several Chin interviewees said some Mizos demand money from Chin then beat those who are unable to pay.[261] Chin interviewees also reported incidents of sexual violence and domestic abuse perpetrated by Mizo men against Chin women.[262] Such attacks often go unreported to authorities as some Chin feel it is futile to lodge complaints with the police in Mizoram, even for serious crimes. As expressed by one Chin woman:

The way [the Mizos] think is that killing a Chin person is like killing a dog. It is not that serious.[263]

In a recent case, the Mizo man accused of killing a man from Burma was released after paying the Mizoram police 500 Rupees (US$12).[264]

Mizos blame the Chin as scapegoats for social ills and criminal activities.[265] As one Chin woman living in Lawngtlai, Mizoram explained: 

[Some Mizo residents] take advantage of our position and demand money threatening that if we don't pay up they'll inform the police or the YMA. There are some Mizos who simply just hate the sight of us and challenge us or threaten to beat us up. Life is hell for us. We cannot protect ourselves as this will cause further furor. We have to just make ourselves seem small and avoid these dangers. To be Burmese is to face discrimination.[266]

A Chin community leader in Mizoram admitted that some Chin are involved in illegal activities, but, as he explained:

The whole community is tarnished with the same brush. If one Chin commits a crime, the Mizo say 'Beat all of them to death,' 'Throw out all the foreigners.' This is what we are suffering now.[267]

After the YMA eviction drive in 2003, the Chin Refugee Committee in Lunglei, Mizoram (CRCL), began to take steps to develop its own means of self-protection. CRCL began registering its members, documenting the reasons they left Burma, and issuing its own refugee identification cards to its members. According to one refugee leader, the cards indicate that "we members of CRCL are all Chins who claim to be refugees with no chance of going back to Burma under this army regime."[268] Although the cards carry no authoritative weight, for many it is their only form of identification and it is sometimes effective in fending off the YMA and Mizoram authorities.[269]

Chin report that discrimination makes it difficult for them to obtain secure housing and access to affordable education for their children.

Housing

Many Chin we spoke with said that Mizo landlords hesitate to rent properties to Chin, overcharge them, or are quick to threaten to throw them out. Their lack of official status and documentation makes them particularly vulnerable. A Chin religious leader living in Mizoram explained:

The only way we can still get a roof over our head is if the house owner has a room for rent and no one else will stay there. House owners need the money, so we get it by default. At the first sign of trouble we will be thrown out. Life is very unstable now.[270]

One Chin man told how a Mizo landlord charges excessive rent to Chin tenants. He said:

I had already gone to see the house and it cost 200 Rupees (US$4.50). But when the landlord asked for a village council's certificate and we did not have it, he immediately raised the rent to 600 Rupees (US$14). We are poor and being made poorer because of this kind of discrimination.[271]

Chin interviewees told Human Rights Watch they feel vulnerable to being evicted at a moment's notice. They feel more secure when they are able to obtain a "no objection" letter from a local voluntary association, such as the YMA, which serves as an informal acceptance of the person's presence in Mizoram. However, most Chin found such letters are difficult to obtain, particularly those with few contacts or friends within the Mizo community.[272] 

Education

What's the future for my three children; children of unrecognized refugees like us? They are 14, 12 and five. Even to reply to an ordinary question like 'are your children born in Mizoram?' is a major issue as it affects the future wellbeing of my children. What to reply to that? What answer would not harm their future?

-A Chin refugee leader living in Mizoram, India, since 1998 [273]

According to India's 2001 census, Mizoram hosts 2,427 government schools, including primary, middle, and high schools. Mizoram boasts an 88 percent literacy rate, the second highest in India. Despite the existence of quality educational institutions, few Chin are able to obtain an education in Mizoram.

Government schools require documents such as a birth certificate from any country in order to register a child for school. For Chin children born in Burma, it is often difficult to obtain the necessary documents.[274] Even if Chin children are born in Mizoram, many lack birth certificates. Some schools will accept a certificate demonstrating residency or domicile in Mizoram issued by village officials. In other instances, a certificate from a Mizo church organization is acceptable. But Chin face barriers to such certification. A Chin man said:

I tried to become a member of the local church, Salem Kohran [Church], but the church leaders would not allow it as I was labeled a foreigner. Then I went to Ramthar locality [in Lunglei] where I requested [church membership from] a church elder of the local church, but he said that I would have to live in the locality to become a member. To live in the locality, they said I need a certificate certifying that I am a bonafide resident of Mizoram from any village council.[275] 

Private schools are available to the Chin, and the admission requirements are not as restrictive. However, private schools tend to be prohibitively expensive, particularly for Chin earning a typical salary of about 100 Rupees (US$2) a day.[276] Private school tuition can cost as much as 3,000 to 4,000 Rupees (US$66 to $88) for one year of instruction.[277]

While informal schools run by members of the Chin community have not been established in Mizoram, some Chin community organizations have established scholarship programs, which are available for a limited number of Chin students, to assist with the costs associated in obtaining a private education in Mizoram.[278]

Religious Repression

According to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, "all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion."

Like the Chin, the people of Mizoram are overwhelmingly Christian, largely Presbyterian and Baptists. Despite sharing the same faith, the Chin typically prefer to worship separately from the Mizo community. They have established their own churches in Mizoram. In some areas, Mizo voluntary associations have prohibited Chin from having their own churches and fellowship organizations.[279] The head of a Chin fellowship in Lunglei told Human Rights Watch:

[Members of the YMA] come to our residences and tell us not to hold separate church services or create separate church organizations.[280]

A Chin man working as a government teacher in Mizoram described pressure on Chin from the Mizoram police not to practice their religion separately or in their own language. He said:

The police have forcibly shut down many of our fellowships and churches. In the case of the church that I was part of, three Mizo welfare committees [voluntary associations] came to us and told us not to continue with our congregation in our own language but to change over and use the Mizo language.[281]

A Chin woman interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Aizawl in March 2008 told how the YMA had recently ordered all the churches closed. She said:

Just a couple of weeks ago, the YMA announced that the Chin should not worship in separate churches. They said if we want to stay in Mizoram, we should attend the Mizo churches. But some Chin do not know the Mizo language. Also some Chin are ashamed because they do not have much money and cannot wear nice clothes to worship services like the Mizos do.[282] 

In the past, Mizo voluntary associations have ordered the shutdown of Chin churches in Mizoram. As one Chin church leader from Saiha, said:

[The Mizos] have forced us to disband our church many times. This is the third time that we have set it up again.[283]

Chin churches are particularly targeted and closed down during "anti-foreigner" campaigns.[284]

"The Place for Those without a Home:" Chin Cemeteries in Mizoram

Despite discouraging Chin from holding separate worship services, Mizos also exclude Chin from burying their dead in Mizo cemeteries. One Chin church leader explained the process:

When our people die, [the Mizos] do not allow us to be buried in the local graveyard but ask us to bury our dead in the graveyard which is kept separately for strangers and unidentified people. When a Chin person dies we have to go to the state government's Local Area Development officials to get permission to bury the dead person in this 'strangers' cemetery. This is on a piece of land which [the Mizoram authorities] have [marked] as a garbage dump right outside the town limits. Then they send along one of their employees to identify the spot where we can bury the dead Chin person. [285]

Whereas local burial grounds are typically located within the town limits, the Mizos relegate the Chin to less desirable land located far from town. The Chin burial sites are often too far to walk and require separate transportation, which is costly for the Chin community:

There is a separate burial spot located far from town. The Mizos call these burial grounds, 'the place for those without a home.' When one of our people dies, we have to go to the burial grounds by car. This makes us feel like we do not belong anywhere, even in death. [286]

Livelihood

Many Chin reported discrimination in employment and a lack of stable job opportunities in Mizoram. Without proper documents, Chin are relegated to informal work, performing jobs that are typically temporary, labor-intensive, low-paying, and sometimes dangerous.

Chins typically work in Mizoram selling vegetables and other goods in the market, or as laborers, weavers, domestic workers, and tenant farmers. Some also work as sub-contractors, arranging for Chin laborers to fulfill government contracts held by Mizos who have been hired by the government of Mizoram to do public projects, such as road construction. The Chin sub-contractors are dependent on the Mizo contract-holders to provide payment once the work is completed, which is not always provided as promised.[287]

Discrimination and lack of documents exclude Chin from the better-paid jobs. Chin interviewees say that the typical salary earned by Chin workers is roughly 100 Rupees (US$2) a day for 10- to 16-hour work days.[288] Some survive off much less.[289] Mizo workers that perform the same work are typically paid more.[290] 

Most Chin are able to work only a couple of days per week. One woman said she sells vegetables in the market and her husband cuts wood in the forest, both earning about 100 Rupees (US$2) per day in Champhai, Mizoram.[291] When work is unavailable, some rely on loans from friends, and end up trapped in debt.[292] Others forage for food in the forest to eat or sell.[293]

Exploitative and abusive work environments are a common problem for the Chins. Several Chin interviewees said their Mizo employers often do not pay them as promised, but they dare not complain for fear of being fired, evicted, or deported.[294]

Chin women are particularly at risk working in abusive and exploitative environments in Mizoram. Many are employed as traditional handloom weavers, where they are often required by their employers to work very long hours and live at the workplace. Most Chin weavers are not paid salaries but instead receive low wages on a piece-by-piece basis. Their wages typically depend on the intricacy of the weaving pattern and how much the weaving is sold for, decisions decided upon by the employer. Although exact wages depend on many factors, most Chin weavers receive 150 Rupees (US$3.50) for completing four to five weavings a day.[295] Chin weavers in Mizoram typically work in small, cramped rooms with limited natural light. As handloom machines take up a considerable amount of space, there is little room to sleep. In some instances, weavers must sleep on their machines.[296]

 

Many Chin women and girls, mostly between the ages of 12 and 20, work as live-in domestic workers. Domestic workers often work very long hours for little pay. The exact wages often depends on the employer, but Chin domestic workers typically earn 200 to 1,500 Rupees (US$4.50 to $35) per month for 16 hour days.[297] The risk of abuse and exploitation, including rape and sexual violence, beatings, failure to receive promised wages, and other problems, is high.[298]

Indian law prohibits the employment of children under age 14 in occupations deemed hazardous, a list that includes domestic work, using handlooms or powerlooms, and in weaving workshops.[299]

VI. India's Legal Obligations: A Need for Protection

India, which has not joined either the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Refugee Convention) or its 1967 Protocol, lacks a domestic legal framework to determine asylum claims or recognize refugees. The treatment of refugees falls under India's Registration of Foreigners Act of 1939, the Foreigners Act of 1946, and the Foreigners Order of 1948, which do not distinguish between undocumented migrants and refugees.[300] Under Indian law, the government can arrest, detain, and deport any undocumented migrant.[301]

Despite this, India does allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to maintain a presence in its capital city of New Delhi. In 1988, the Indian government also issued strict orders not to turn back any refugees from Burma seeking shelter in India following the 1988 uprisings in Burma and provided humanitarian support to camps set up along the Mizoram-Burma border. By 1995, however, relations between New Delhi and Rangoon improved, the border camps closed, and the Indian government began to initiate attacks against pro-democracy ethnic opposition groups from Burma based in Mizoram.[302] This same year, India became a member of UNHCR's Executive Committee, which requires a "demonstrated interest and devotion to the solution of refugee problems."[303]

Although India is not yet a party to the Refugee Convention, it has signed the Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These treaties are relevant in defining India's international legal obligations with regard to Chin asylum seekers and refugees living in Mizoram. As a party to ICCPR, India is prohibited from expelling persons from its territory without due process.[304] Article 3(1) of the Convention Against Torture prohibits a state from returning a person to a country "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture."[305] As a signatory to the CAT, India has an obligation not to take actions that defeat that treaty's object and purpose.[306]Those returned to Burma are subject to punishment for, among other things, failing to be represented on house registration lists, for leaving the country without permission, and under accusations of having contact with the ethnic opposition groups based in Mizoram, such as the Chin National Front (CNF).[307]

Children are protected from forced return under articles 6, 22, and 37 of the CRC where "there is a real risk of irreparable harm to the child."[308] Chin children in Burma are subject to extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture, forced labor and portering, and conscription into military trainings by the Tatmadaw.[309]

India is also bound by the principle of nonrefoulement under customary international law, which protects refugees and asylum seekers from being returned to any country where their lives or freedoms could be threatened or where they could be at risk of persecution. The Indian government violates the principle of nonrefoulement byfailing to prevent Mizoram authorities and voluntary associations from forcibly returning thousands of Chin in Mizoram to Burma without any determination as to the risks they face upon return.  

Although UNHCR operates in New Delhi, the Indian government does not allow UNHCR access to the significant refugee populations living in India's northeastern states. For the Chin in Mizoram, this means they are effectively cut-off from procedures that could possibly provide protection and a chance to live free from fear.

At present, the only way for Chin in Mizoram to acquire UNHCR protection is to travel to New Delhi. Very few, however, are able to make the arduous and expensive journey. As of September 2007, the community of Chin in New Delhi numbered only 1,800, some two to three percent of the Chin estimated to be living in India. Of those 1,800 people, the UNHCR has granted 1,000 refugee status, demonstrating that many Chin have legitimate claims to such status and the protections that go with it. The UNHCR has registered another 300 Chin cases, who are now awaiting refugee status determination. Those who have been recognized by UNHCR have had to wait several years in difficult conditions in New Delhi before being resettled to third countries.[310]

The 1951 Refugee Convention defines a refugee as a person who:

Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.[311]

Many Chin have fled to Mizoram in order to escape egregious human rights violations and persecution committed by Burma's military government, including arbitrary arrest, detention, and even death. But Chin in Mizoram continue to be indiscriminately classified as "illegal" economic migrants.[312] Without recognition as refugees and therefore lacking legal protection, the Chin in Mizoram are subject to arrest, detention, extortion, and deportation at the hands of or with the complicity of the Mizoram authorities.

The status of being a refugee is inherent, and does not depend on state recognition. India's refusal to recognize Chin refugees in Mizoram does not absolve it from meeting its obligation not to return Chin who have fled persecution and human rights violations to Burma. Such persecution is well-known and well-documented. The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has repeatedly cited Burma for "widespread and systematic human rights violations, including summary executions, torture, forced labor practices, sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers."[313]

According to a Chin refugee leader living in Lawngtlai, Mizoram since he fled Burma in 1998:

The fact that we are refugees and we are not recognized as such by anyone is by far the most painful and urgent issue for us. I am a refugee but who will believe me. As far as the Mizos are concerned I am a Chin who migrated here for economic reasons which is far from what my situation is. I am actually a fugitive fleeing a desperate situation in my own country ruled by the army.[314]

In addition to protection against forced return to risk of persecution or torture, India is also obligated under international law to provide certain basic rights to all people living within its borders, regardless of status. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), India is bound by provisions that prohibit discrimination in protecting rights on the basis of language, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.[315] 

The issue of whether India must protect the fundamental economic, social, and cultural rights of non-nationals within its territory is complex. The ICESCR recognizes the right of "everyone" to housing, livelihood, food, education, and health, and requires the state to "take steps" towards the progressive realization of these rights.[316] While article 2.3 allows developing countries to determine to what extent they will guarantee the economic rights of the Convention to non-nationals, they must do so "with due regard to [both] human rights and their national economy." In the context of the purpose of the Convention and its guarantee of rights to "everyone" without discrimination, this provision can be interpreted to mandate that even developing countries strive to guarantee a core minimum level of these rights.[317]

The Refugee Convention also provides limited employment rights to longer-staying refugees, as well as equal rights to primary education, food rationing, and public assistance as nationals.[318] India's unwillingness to join the Refugee Convention and Protocol underscores its failure to guarantee even a minimal level of protection to the economic rights of non-nationals.

The right to education is also protected under the CRC, which requires India to ensure that all children born in India are registered immediately after birth.[319] India is required to provide all children with access to education without discrimination, including on the basis of nationality. Under the CRC and the ICESCR, everyone has a right to education, including a free and compulsory primary education for all.[320] The UN committee that monitors the ICESCR has confirmed that the right to education without discrimination "extends to all persons of school age residing in the territory of a State party, including non-nationals, and irrespective of their legal status."[321]

The Parliament of India adopted an amendment to the Constitution of India in 2005 providing "free and compulsory education to all children" between the ages of six to 14. In reality, Chin are unable to afford the costs and meet the documentation requirements for admission, and are denied entrance to government schools.

VII. Recommendations

To Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council:

  • Publicly order all members of the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) and other government officials to end all human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, abusive military conscription policies, forced labor, severe reprisals against members of the opposition, restrictions on movement, expression, and religious freedom, and extortion and confiscation of property without due process or adequate compensation.
  • Develop a legitimate and transparent legal framework to investigate, prosecute, and address allegations of human rights abuses. Ensure those responsible and complicit in such abuses, including Tatmadaw officials, are held accountable and are appropriately prosecuted or disciplined.
  • Invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to visit Chin State and provide him unfettered access to all areas of the state to investigate human rights violations.
  • End the torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Ensure that prisoners in Chin State receive adequate levels of food, water, health care, and that their rights, including the right to be free from abuse, are fully respected.
  • End forced labor practices in Chin State, including forced portering, forced labor on infrastructure projects, roads and military camp construction, and forcing villagers to grow jatropha and tea, and the confiscation of land for such purposes without compensation.
  • Invite representatives from the International Labour Organization to visit Chin State and provide them unfettered access to all areas of the state to investigate allegations of forced labor.
  • Allow civilians in Chin State to communicate, associate, assemble, and move freely without undue or illegitimate restriction, particularly with regard to political and religious expression and association.
  • Immediately end all recruitment of children under the age of 18, and demobilize children under the age of 18 from the armed forces. Develop and impose effective and appropriate sanctions against individuals found to be recruiting children under 18 into the armed forces.
  • Ensure the effective delivery of food aid and humanitarian assistance to respond to food shortages in Chin State. Prevent obstruction of food aid delivery to famine-affected areas.
  • Allow UN and international humanitarian agencies and delegations unfettered access to all areas of Chin State in order to assess the needs of Chin people and provide assistance, particularly in areas recently affected by food shortages and famine. Make good-faith efforts to implement recommendations made by the UN and international humanitarian agencies.

To the Chin National Front (CNF) and the Chin National Army (CNA):

  • Order all members of armed groups operating in Chin State to end all human rights abuses against civilians, including extortion, harassment, and physical abuse, and take appropriate action against persons responsible for human rights abuses.

To the Government of India:

  • Accede to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Develop a legal framework to implement the Convention by incorporating its refugee definition and the nonrefoulement principle in domestic law and through the establishment of asylum procedures.
  • Uphold the principle of nonrefoulement in practice by stopping state and non-state actors from forcibly returning Chin asylum seekers and refugees to Burma.
  • Allow UNHCR access to Mizoram to determine refugee status of Chin asylum seekers. Ensure that Chin asylum seekers are not prevented or obstructed from having their claims for refugee status assessed.
  • Allow humanitarian agencies access to Mizoram to provide formal assistance to asylum seekers and refugees living there.
  • Call upon the state government of Mizoram to stop all arbitrary arrests, forced evictions, assaults, intimidation, and forcible returns of Chin people. Ensure Chin in Mizoram are protected from discrimination with respect to fundamental rights.
  • Pressure the government of Mizoram to remove and rehabilitate children involved in hazardous occupations in accordance with Indian law.
  • Call on the State government of Mizoram to ensure all children have access to primary education without imposing requirements for specific identity documents that would frustrate that goal.

To the State Government of Mizoram:

  • End deportations of Chin people to Burma who face persecution or torture.
  • Prevent all arbitrary arrests, forced evictions, assaults, intimidation, and forcible returns of Chin people by Mizoram authorities as well as Mizo voluntary associations, such as the YMA. Ensure those engaging in such abuses are held legally accountable. 
  • Monitor voluntary associations to ensure their actions do not violate the rights of others and create a system to register complaints of abuse.
  • Promote non-discriminatory practices towards the Chin community in Mizoram.
  • Establish a process for Chin to obtain work permits and ensure labor protections extend to Chin laborers. Create accessible complaint mechanisms for Chin workers who face discrimination or abuse in the workplace. Remove and rehabilitate children involved in hazardous occupations in accordance with Indian law.
  • Grant Chin equal access to education, healthcare, and other social services, including access to redress for victims of domestic violence. Ensure all children have access to education without requiring proof of legal identity.
  • Permit the unfettered operation and maintenance of Chin churches and use of local cemeteries.

To the UNHCR:

  • Urge the government of India to accede to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and respect the principle of nonrefoulement.Encourage the government of India to protect and prevent the forcible return of Chin asylum seekers and refugees living in India, particularly those living in Mizoram.
  • Continue advocacy with the governments of India and Mizoram for unhindered access to asylum seekers and refugees living in Mizoram and other northeastern states of India.
  • Support outreach and public awareness campaigns in Mizoram to increase local understanding about rights and protection needs of asylum seekers and refugees. 
  • Support trainings for Mizoram authorities and members of voluntary associations, such as YMA, on the rights and protection needs of asylum seekers and refugees.

To ASEAN, the US, EU member states, the EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Other Concerned States:

  • Pressure Burma to immediately end forced labor, torture and mistreatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, severe reprisals against members of the opposition, restrictions on movement, expression, and religious freedom, extortion and confiscation of property, abusive military conscription policies, and extrajudicial killings and other abuses forcing Chin to flee from Burma.
  • Increase humanitarian assistance earmarked for populations at risk in Chin State while ensuring that the delivery of humanitarian assistance is carried out independently without unnecessary interference from government or military officials.[322]
  • Impose or strengthen targeted sanctions against Burma if it does not meet specific human rights conditions. Such sanctions should include financial sanctions directed at specified officials, both military and civilian, who bear responsibility for abuses, as well as others who may assist or be complicit in the evasion of sanctions by those individuals. Such sanctions should be identified by means of a fair process, and the sanctions should be subject to regular monitoring.[323]
  • Issue public statements unequivocally supporting the right of Chin people fearing persecution, including torture, to appropriate protection and assistance in India in line with international principles.
  • Urge the governments of India and Mizoram to stop the forced eviction, arbitrary arrests, and forcible returns of members of the Chin community who would face persecution or torture upon return to Burma.
  • Encourage the governments of India and Mizoram to allow UNHCR and humanitarian agencies access to Mizoram and other northeastern states in order to protect and assist asylum seekers and refugee populations living in such areas.
  • Support and promote the operations of UNHCR in India.

[236]Human Rights Interview with T.K.T., New Delhi, India, June 2005.

[237]Human Rights Watch interview with P.D., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October, 2005.

[238]Human Rights Watch interview with C., Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[239] Due to the porous border and closed nature of the Chin community living in Mizoram, it is difficult to ascertain the exact population of Chin in Mizoram. Human Rights Watch interviewed several Chin refugee leaders and residents of Mizoram, who provided rough estimates of the number of Chin living in Mizoram. Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T., a long-time resident and teacher in Mizoram, Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005 (estimating that 80,000 Chin live in Mizoram); Human Rights Watch interview with P.H.L. Saiha, Mizoram, India, August 2006 (putting the population at 70,000); Human Rights Watch interview with Colin Gonzales of UNHCR's partner agency Socio-Legal Information Center (SLIC), New Delhi, India, January 31, 2005 (reporting 62,000 Chin in Mizoram). See also U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, "World Refugee Survey- 2008," 2008, http://www.refugees.org/countryreports.aspx?id=2143 (accessed July 22, 2008) (reporting a population of 75,000 ethnic Chin in Mizoram State, India); Julien Levesque and Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, "Tension in the Rolling Hills: Population and Border Trade in Mizoram," Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, April 2008, http://ipcs.org/IPCS-ResearchPaper14.pdf (accessed July 22, 2008) (estimating 75,000 to 100,000 Chin in Mizoram State).

[240]"Chin Refugees in Mizoram (India) Jailed, Tortured, and Threatened with Deportation to Myanmar," The Other Media, August 13, 1996.

[241]"India Human Rights Report 2007," Asian Center for Human Rights, 2007.

[242]Human Rights Watch interview with A., Lunglei, Mizoram, March 4, 2008.

[243]The Young Mizo Association (YMA) along with other voluntary associations in Mizoram issued "orders" against the Chin on September 27, 2008, demanding that they leave Mizoram by September 30, 2008. "Mizos Tell Burmese to Move Out of Village in Mizoram," Khonumthung News, September 26, 2008.

[244] Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, March 5, 2008.

[245]Asian Human Rights Commission, "Expulsion Chin-Burmese Asylum Seekers Puts Many Lives in Danger," Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeals Program, AHRCUA Index: 000816, August 16, 2000, http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2000/334/ (accessed September 27, 2008); Victor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[246]Victor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[247] "Young Mizo Association: A Profile," brochure published by Central YMA Office, Aizawl, 2004.

[248]Victor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[249] Human Rights Watch interview with H.T., Mizoram, India, September 2005.

[250]Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[251]Victor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[252]"Mizos Tell Burmese to Move Out of Village in Mizoram," Khonumthung News, September 26, 2008.

[253] Human Rights Watch interview with S.A., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 7, 2008.

[254] "Forced Back: Burmese Chin Refugees in India in Danger," Refugees International, August 8, 2003, http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/article/detail/902/ (accessed September 29, 2008); "India: Expulsion Chin-Burmese Asylum Seekers Puts Many Lives in Danger," Asian Human Rights Commission, Urgent Action Appeals Program, AHRC UA Index:000816, August 16, 2000, http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2000/334/ (accessed September 29, 2008); "Survival, Dignity, and Democracy: Burmese Refugees in India," South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center, 1997, http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/resources/survival_dignity.htm (accessed September 29, 2008); "The Situation of Burmese Refugees in Asia: Special Focus on India," South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center, undated, http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/resources/burmese_refugee.htm?

[255] Human Rights Watch interview with T.K.T., Mizoram, India, June 2005.

[256] Human Rights Watch interview with R.T., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, September 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with L.M., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, September 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with N.C., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2008.

[257]Human Rights Watch interview with C.K.H. and L.T.P., Champhai, Mizoram, India, March 12, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.Z.U., K.T., T.P., M.V., and H.K., March 6-7, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with A. and R., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with L.C., and L.L., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with B.H., New Delhi, India, June 2005.

[258] Human Rights Watch interview with T.Z.U., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 6, 2008.

[259] Human Rights Watch interview with K.T., H.Z., K.S.L., and H.K., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 6-7, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with L.N.M., T.D., and T.B., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.B.L., H.L.K., and T.T., Lungtlai, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008.

[260] Human Rights Watch interview with L.N.M., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008.

[261] Human Rights Watch interview with S.S., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, October 18, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with A., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with P.D., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October, 2005. See also "Burmese Migrant Pushed from Building Dies in Mizoram," Khonumthung News, August 4, 2008; "Mizoram Police Make Arrest in Chin Woman Murder Case," Khonumthung News, June 18, 2007.

[262]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.T., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 15, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005. See also "Minor Burmese Girl Raped in Mizoram," Khonumthung News, August 4, 2008; "Landlord Arrested for Attempting to Rape Minor Burmese Girl," Khonumthung News, June 3, 2008.

[263]Human Rights Watch interview with the S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008.

[264] "Burmese Migrant Pushed from Building Dies in Mizoram," Khonumthung News, August 4, 2008.

[265]Human Rights Watch interview with T.B.L., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with V.L.H. and N.K.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with H.T.H. and S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, July 2005. See alsoVictor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[266]Human Rights Watch interview with P.D., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October, 2005.

[267] Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[268]Human Rights Watch interview with L.M., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[269]Human Rights Watch interview with L.M., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, September 2006.

[270] Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005. .

[271]Human Rights Watch interview with P.D., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005. See alsoHuman Rights Watch interview with T.Z.U., March 6, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with L.C., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[272] Human Rights Watch interview with C.Z., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, September 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with P.D. and L.C., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[273]Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[274] Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with A., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T. and K.C., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[275]Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[276]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.L. and T.Z.U., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 5-6, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with V.L.H., Champhai, India, October 2005.

[277]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.D., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.Z.U., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 6, 2008.

[278]Human Rights Watch interview with T.B.L., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008. See alsoVictor Biak Lian, Achan Mungleng, and K. Sutthiphong, "Assessment Report on Burmese Refugees in Mizoram and New Delhi," June 2004.

[279] Human Rights Watch interview with L.B.K. and B.U.T., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with P.H.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, August 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with S.T. and H.T.H., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, July 2005.

[280]Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[281] Human Rights Watch interview with N.K.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[282]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, March 9, 2008.

[283]Human Rights Watch interview with P.H.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, August 2006.

[284]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, July 2005.

[285]Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[286] Human Rights Watch interview with A., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008.

[287] Human Rights Watch interview with B.U.T., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with T.Z.U., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 6, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[288]Human Rights Watch interview with K.C., Champhai, Mizoram, India, March 11, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with M.V. and T.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 5-7, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with L.N.M., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008.

[289] Human Rights Watch interview with S., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008.

[290]Human Rights Watch interview with M.V. and B.R.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 7, 2008.

[291]Human Rights Watch interview with K.C., Champhai, Mizoram, India, March 11, 2008.

[292]Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008.

[293]Human Rights Watch interview with T.L., Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 5, 2008.

[294]Human Rights Watch interview with T.L, T.Z.U., M.T., M.V., and K.S.L, Saiha, Mizoram, India, March 6-7, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with A., H.L.K., and B.U.T., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, March 4-5, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with S.T., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, July 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with L.M. and N.T.C., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, October 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with R., P.D., and L.L., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[295]Human Rights Watch interview with B.T., M., and P.L., Aizawl, Mizoram, India, October 17, 2008.

[296]Women's Rights and Welfare Association of Burma (WRWAB) and Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), Surviving on the Unwelcoming Hills (Delhi and Chiang Mai: WRAB and HREIB, January 2008); J.H. Hre Mang, Report on the Chin Refugees in Mizoram State of India (Delhi: The Other Media, 2000).

[297]Human Rights Watch interview with E.H., Mizoram, India, September 2005 (indicating she earned 600 Rupees (US$13) per month in Mizoram as a domestic worker). See also WRAB, et. al., Surviving on the Unwelcoming Hills.

[298] WRAB, et. al., Surviving on the Unwelcoming Hills; Mang, Report on the Chin Refugees in Mizoram State of India; National Domestic Workers Movement Welfare Trust: Mizoram Unit, Aizawl, Mizoram, India, September 2007.

[299]Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, as amended 2006. See also Constitution of India, art. 24.

[300] There is no special category reserved for refugees under Indian law. Under these statutes, refugees are considered foreigners, which is defined as "a person who is not a citizen of India." Registration of Foreigners Act of 1939, art. 2 (1939); Foreigners Act of 1946, art. 2 (1946); The Foreigners Order of 1948.

[301]The Foreigners Act of 1946 (arts. 3 and 14) and the Foreigners Order of 1948 provide broad powers to the Indian government to restrict and control the movements of foreigners, including refugees. In 1955, the Supreme Court of India gave "absolute and unfettered" discretionary power to the government to deport foreigners. Hans Muller of Nuremburg v. Superintendent, Presidency Jail Calcutta and Others, 1 SCR 1284, Supreme Court of India, (1955).

[302]In April 1995, Indian security forces attacked a Chin National Front (CNF) camp in Mizoram and arrested the vice president and a soldier of the CNF. Both were killed in Indian custody. Indian security forces attacked and destroyed additional CNF camps in Mizoram in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2005, including CNF's headquarters in Mizoram, "Camp Victoria." In June 2005, Indian security forces arrested and deported to Burma 12 members of the Chin National Confederation (CNC). Aung Zaw, "Chins Feel the Pinch," The Nation, March 2, 1997; "Indian Army Attacked Burma Rebel Camp," Mizzima, July 3, 1999; "State Govt Arrests 12 CNC members," Newslink, June 10, 2005; "Indian Government Started to Crack Down Camp Victoria," Khonumthung News, June 21, 2005. 

[303]United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), "How to apply for ExCom membership," http://www.unhcr.org/excom/418b5ecc4.html (accessed June 5, 2008).

[304]International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted December 16, 1966 (entered into force March 23, 1976, acceded by India April 10, 1979), art. 13. General Comment No. 20 interprets this prohibition to protect individuals from extradition, expulsion, or refoulement to a country where they would in danger of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. General Comment 20, Human Rights Committee, HRI/HEN/1/rev.1, July 28, 1994.

[305]Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, adopted December 10, 1984 (entered into force June 26, 1987, signed by India October 14, 1997), art. 3.

[306]Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art. 18.

[307]Human Rights Watch interview with R.T., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, September 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with L.M., Lunglei, Mizoram, India, September 2006; Human Rights Watch interview with N.C., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2008.

[308]Article 22 of Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states "to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee…receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance…" See also Committee on the Rights of the Child, "General Comment No. 6," U.N. Doc. CRC/GC/2005/6, September 1, 2005 (stating that states "shall not return a child to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk of irreparable harm to the child, such as, but by no means limited to, those contemplated under articles 6 and 37.")

[309]Human Rights Watch interview with S.K., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 12, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with K.Z.T., Champhai, Mizoram, India, March 12, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with C.B.T., New Delhi, India, January 31, 2005; Human Rights Watch interview with L.U., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2008; Human Rights Watch interview with S.H.T., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 14, 2008. See also Chin Human Rights Organization, "A 17 Year-old Boy Summarily Executed by Burmese Troops," Rhododendron News, Vol. IX, No. I, February 1, 2006; Chin Human Rights Organization, "Burmese Soldiers Killed Two Children, Injured Six Civilians in Random Shooting," Rhododendron News, Vol. VIII, No. VI, November 14, 2005; Chin Human Rights Organization, "Villagers Flee to India to Escape Brutalities," Rhododendron News, Vol. VIII, No. III, May 5, 2005.

[310] Chin Refugee Center, New Delhi, India, September 2007. The resettlement of the Chin population in New Delhi started in 2007 after prolonged delays. Before this time, UNHCR did not refer most recognized Chin refugees for resettlement out of India. Instead, UNHCR expected the Chin to locally assimilate, despite the fact that the Chin community faced a host of livelihood, protection, and cultural challenges that are beyond the scope of this report.

[311]Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted July 28, 1951 (entered into force April 22, 1954).

[312] In response to allegations of human rights violations connected to evictions conducted against Chins living in Lunglei, the Central YMA president, J.H. Zoremthanga, said that the problem with "so-called Chin refugees is that they are 'economic migrants' rather than 'political refugees.'" "YMA Denies Alleged Human Rights Violations," Newslink, October 2, 2006.

[313]"Human Rights Situation that Require the Council's Attention," Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/7/18, March 7, 2008, http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G08/115/16/PDF/G0811516.pdf?OpenElement (accessed September 19, 2008).

[314]Human Rights Watch interview with R., Lawngtlai, Mizoram, India, October 2005.

[315]Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 2(1); Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted December 16, 1966 (entered into force January 3, 1976, acceded by India April 10, 1979), art. 2(2); and Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted November 20, 1989 (entered into forced September 2, 1990, acceded to by India January 11, 1993), art. 2(1).

[316] See Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, arts. 7, 11, 12, and 13 (providing the right to livelihood, housing, health, and education, respectively).

[317]See Matthew C. R. Craven, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: A Perspective on its Development (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), p. 172.

[318]Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, arts. 17, 20, 22, and 23.

[319]Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 7.

[320]Convention on the Rights of the Child, art. 28. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, art. 13.

[321]Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment no. 13 (The Right to Education), para. 34.

[322] For more detailed recommendations of effective delivery of humanitarian aid in Burma see Human Rights Watch, Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 Popular Protests in Burma, vol. 19, no. 18(C), December 2007, http://hrw.org/reports/2007/burma1207/, p.125; and Human Rights Watch, "Letter to Donors on Reconstruction after the Cyclone," July 22, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/07/22/letter-donors-reconstruction-after-cyclone-nargis.

[323] For more detailed recommendations of what sanctions should include, see Human Rights Watch, Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 Popular Protests in Burma, vol. 19, no. 18(C), December 2007, http://hrw.org/reports/2007/burma1207/, p.123.